Understanding Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery are two different offenses in most states, but are sometimes combined as one charge. If you are charged with assault and battery, it is important to understand the charge. There are many assault and battery attorneys who are ready to help you understand any legal charges against you.

Assault and battery are serious charges, and can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Assault is the intentional, harmful, imminent contact with another person. Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of another; most times, it involves some type of object you might have in your hand with intent to do harm with that object.

Many times the two charges are distinguished by the intentional or unintentional harm intended. The charges usually carry stiffer penalties if criminal intent to do another person harm is proven. The charge could be classified as a felony if intent can be proven.

Laws vary in each state, and some do not differentiate between the two charges unless intent to do harm is evident when the offenses are committed. Some state laws also agree that in the case of mutual combat, or assault and battery, that both parties may be charged and either party has the right to sue the other.


It is extremely important to hire a reputable criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with assault and battery. You should choose an experienced assault and battery attorney with whom you have a good sense of rapport. Your attorney should represent your interest in court and explain possible consequences if you are convicted. Your criminal defense attorney should work with you to build a defense plan, or possibly work to have the charges reduced.