Assault & Battery

Although assault and battery are often mentioned as one phrase, they are actually two different criminal charges. However, they are very similar, in that they both involve causing another person to feel apprehensive about their immediate safety.

Assault refers to threats delivered without physical contact. The threat can be spoken or physical, in the form of a gesture or written note. Legally, the threat must be imminent in order to qualify as assault; that is, the victim must be reasonably afraid that they will are about to be injured immediately. If the victim has adequate time to leave the situation or protect themselves, the threat being given to them is generally not considered assault. If the person delivering threats is holding a gun or other weapon, the charge can be raised to aggravated assault, which carries harsher penalties.

If the victim suffers some form of physical injury or attack, that is legally considered battery. The attack may be direct (such as hitting or kicking) or indirect (such as poisoning a person or commanding a dog to attack them.) Battery may even be unintentional, if a person’s negligent behavior leads them to cause injury to another person. Battery committed with a weapon, or against a child or police officer, is considered aggravated battery, which is a more serious crime.

Assault and battery are misdemeanors. Aggravated assault and aggravated battery, however, are felonies, which means they can be punished by over a year in prison. If you have been accused of one or more of these offenses, you will need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. Contact Milwaukee assault and battery defense attorneys Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 13, 2016