Assault And Battery—An Overview

Of all the criminal offense categories, personal crimes are considered to be the most egregious. While property crimes deprive people of their belongings, a personal crime deprives someone of their right to live. Even if the victim ends up surviving an attack with the intention to kill, the crime will still be dealt with seriously.

In this post, we will discuss two of the most common personal crimes—assault and battery:

Assault—a definition

The exact definition and laws pertaining to assault vary from one state to another. Broadly speaking, it’s described as using violence or force in an attempt to cause bodily harm to someone. In some cases, assault may also include threatening behavior.

An act can be categorized as assault even if there’s no physical contact between the two parties. As long as the victim fears for their safety, the act is categorized as assault and is punishable by law.

Do spoken words alone qualify as assault? Not always. Spoken words are only punishable as assault if the offender backs them up with an action that puts the victim in some sort of imminent harm.

Just like every other category of criminal offense, an assault also requires intent. The offender must have ‘general intent’ for the crime to classify as assault. The law assumes that no one attacks a person accidentally or by mistake.

If the offender acts in a way that is dangerous for those around them, they do so with malicious intent. Hence, the act is punishable by law—even if the act only frightens them.

Battery —a definition

Just like assault, battery is defined differently in every jurisdiction. In the most general terms, it’s defined as harming an individual, with the condition that:

  1. It was intentional
  2. It was offensive and harmful
  3. The act was non-consensual
  1. The act was non-consensual

Unlike assault, battery requires contact between the victim and offender. Threatening words don’t count as battery. Even if the offender hurts someone as a result of criminally negligent and reckless behavior, it will constitute assault.

Anything between minimal touch and obvious physical action is a battery offense, as long as it’s somehow harmful to the victim. Even if the offender spits on someone, it will fall in the category of battery. The victim doesn’t always need to be seriously harmed or injured.

What does the law of Indiana say?

Battery is usually classified as either Class A or Class B misdemeanor. However, it may be considered a Level 6 felony if it either results in a moderate bodily injury or is committed against a minor. In the case of a misdemeanor, the defendant can be sentenced to 180 days to one year in jail. However, if it’s a felony, the resulting fine could be up to $10,000 with up to 1.5 years behind bars.

On the other hand, if the defendant is charged for intimidation/threat/criminal recklessness, the act is usually classified as Class B misdemeanor. However, if the same involves the use of a deadly weapon, it’s a Level 6 felony.

The fine for Class A misdemeanor is $5,000 and that for Class B misdemeanor is $1,000. If the assault is classified as a Level 6 felony, the fine can go up to $10,000 along with one to six years in jail.

 No matter what the charges, the law gives you the right to fight your case. Meanwhile, get in touch with DeLaughter Bail Bonds to ensure your bail as quickly as possible. Get in touch if you’re based in Indiana.

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