Difference Between Assault and Battery

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Assault and Battery

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When it comes to legal terminology, the words assault and Battery are sometimes used interchangeably. While most people believe that these phrases are synonymous, they are not, and both constitute a criminal offense under the law. As a result, you must get familiar with these terminologies and phrases.

As both of these disciplines are incredibly significant and interconnected to one another, it is essential to have a working knowledge of one of them before comprehending the other. People are familiar with the remark "You are under arrest for assault and violence," often heard in movies. When two individuals are fighting, this phrase is used to defuse the situation.

Even though they are two separate offenses, anyone accused of either assault or Battery should expect to face severe consequences if they are prosecuted and convicted to the maximum extent of the law in both cases. Despite the fact that the ramifications of a possible criminal conviction might be terrifying, a qualified defense attorney may be able to give the tools required to assist prevent a conviction in this situation.

Assault vs Battery

The main difference between assault and battery is that assault occurs when someone attempts to damage another person or makes a threat to injure another person. When someone injures another person physically by touching him, this is known as Battery, and it is punishable under the law.

Because the charges are unique from one another, if one is found guilty, each will face a different set of consequences. On the other hand, anyone facing either charge might face penalties and a prison term. Fortunately, with the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, it is possible to successfully defend against criminal accusations.

The criminal crime of assault is defined as the threat of injuring another person without actually touching that person, while Battery is defined as the physical contact between two people with the intent of harming one another. Typically, an attack is defined as an act that causes the victim to have a reasonable fear of being subjected to harmful or offensive touch.

While a battery is defined as the actual use of force or violence, an assault is defined as the attempted use of force or violence to commit a battery.

It should be noted that, in the case of the use of force or violence, any harmful or offensive contact is usually sufficient to warrant an assault accusation. If the contact is done unpleasantly or disrespectfully, even the smallest touch will be considered.

The battery is defined as any purposeful and illegal use of force or violence against another person, regardless of the circumstances. The legal definition of Battery demands that a person inflict harmful or offensive touch on the victim for the crime to be considered committed. There is no necessity that the person claiming to be the "victim" has inflicted any personal hurt or physical harm to that individual. Even the tiniest of touches may activate a battery.

Difference Between Assault and Battery In Tabular Form

Parameter of Comparison Assault Battery
Definition Generally speaking, assault is described as a criminal conduct committed when someone threatens another person with the intent to cause damage to them or others. This menace instills a feeling of terror in the hearts and minds of others. Battery is a criminal offense that happens in numerous states and is punishable by law.

First and foremost, when a person causes bodily harm to another individual by physical abuse or conduct.

Second, when a person causes damage to another by premeditatedly plotting against the other individual.

Example If a person by the name of Abhishek steps up to close the face of ravi and threatens him with breaking his face by flashing his fist, ravi will run. In response to this warning, Abhishek steps back out of sheer terror. Because there is no bodily injury, this is referred to be an assault under criminal law.  If someone attacks Abhishek with his hand, Ravi would smash his face. Abhishek suffers bodily hurt as a result of Ravi's actions, and the criminal offense is referred to as battery in this instance.
Punishment Assault is a criminal offense for which a person may be sentenced to up to 60 days in prison and a fine of up to $500. Battery is also a criminal offense for which a person may be sentenced to up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Aggravated Offence If a person threatens another person with a weapon, this is considered a threat. If a person causes bodily harm to another person while using a lethal weapon.

What is Assault?

The word "assault" in the context of criminal law refers to the illegal conduct of willfully putting another person in reasonable fear of physical injury or offensive contact. When someone physically assaults you or threatens to harm you, it is called an assault.

This material is intended for children and teenagers. If you're above the age of 18, check out our assault information in the Types of Crime section. Assault may include being pushed, shoved, punched, or kicked, as well as the use of weapons. If someone throws a bottle at you or threatens to stab you with a knife, for example.

To be convicted guilty of assault, a person does not have to hit another person. In reality, the legal definition and elements of evidence for assault never specify physical contact—only the reasonable expectation that the victim would be subjected to injurious or offensive touch. However, there are several actions that may provide better evidence of an attack. Getting into someone's face, for example, might be constituted assault if the assaulter is hostile and screams, spits, or threatens to attack the other person with an item they are carrying (e.g., bat, beer bottle, fist, etc.). Getting in a friend's face and pretending to slap them while both parties are laughing about it, on the other hand, is not considered an assault.

The severity of the assault will be determined by state legislation, the circumstances of the case, and the degree or kind of attack perpetrated. A defendant charged with and convicted of simple assault, for example, will be found guilty of a misdemeanour crime. Misdemeanour offences are punishable by up to one year in county prison and a monetary punishment (typically no more than $1,000).

Other forms of violence may result in felony charges, such as aggravated assault or assault with a dangerous weapon. Defendants convicted of felony assault may face a term of one year or more in a state prison institution, as well as additional criminal penalties that might range from $100 to $5,000.

Keep in mind that expunging or erasing a felony conviction from a criminal record is far more difficult than removing a minor conviction.

What is Battery?

A battery is defined as the intentional touching or use of force on other people or items associated with the person with the aim to injure the person without the person's permission. It is only taken into consideration when there is real physical contact with the individual without the person's permission with the intent to injure the person. In most cases, assault is followed by battery, which is why assault and battery are often used in conjunction with one another.

Because the battery is often seen as trespassing on a person's property, it is separated into two categories:

  • Criminal Battery
  • Civil Battery

Criminal Battery

Criminal Battery is sometimes referred to as the crime of battery or the crime of battery. Battery of crime is defined as any offensive physical contact with the purpose to kill or injure another person while using an offensive physical contact. If you commit a criminal battery, your purpose is critical, since the conduct is motivated by a desire to kill another person.

Civil Battery

Civil Battery, often known as the battery as a tort, is a civil wrong that occurs when a person commits a battery. Civil battery is defined as an act committed by a person who has no purpose of harming another person but who still conducts an act that causes harm to another person and who has no knowledge that the act would cause harm to another person. Because battery is regarded as an intentional tort, but in the case of civil battery, the perpetrator does not have the intent to harm the victim, and the victim may file a complaint against the wrongdoer in civil court.

There are significant differences between the intentions of civil battery and criminal battery. Although criminal intent to inflict the damage is not needed, the intention to do the conduct that causes the harm to the person is required since it results in the battery, which is a felony.

For example, if a person attempts to beat someone without his permission and ends up striking a different person, the culprit is still responsible for violence on the original victim. As a result, the aim is the heart and soul of the battery, and it is quite important.

Main Differences Between Assault and Battery in Points

  • An assault happens when a person conducts an act that has the potential to cause bodily injury to another, while a battery occurs when a person commits an act that has the potential to cause physical harm to another. When someone does an act that causes bodily injury to another, this is referred to as a battery.
  • An assault is analogous to a battery attempted, whilst a battery is analogous to a completed assault.
  • Attack is classified as a criminal offence when a person threatens to hurt others, while battery is defined as a criminal offence when a person does real bodily injury to another by hitting or kicking them in the face.
  • In the case of assault, a person may be sentenced to up to 60 days in prison and a fine of $ 500, while in the case of battery, a person can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of $ 1000. Both offences are punished by law.
  • Excessive use of force is defined as the display of a weapon while threatening another person, but the intentional infliction of bodily damage on another person while using a lethal weapon is defined by the term "aggravated battery."
  • Someone may only be prosecuted with battery if they have actually caused bodily injury to another person, however someone can be charged with assault if there is simply the threat of harm to another person.
  • A battery, on the other hand, does include real physical contact with another person, but an attack does not necessarily do so.


Assault and battery are two legal concepts that are criminal under the law, and they both refer to situations in which someone intentionally cause injury to another person, either verbally or physically. Both subjects are quite closely related to one another, which is one of the primary reasons why both are taught in depth together at legal education institutes in tandem. On the one hand, assault is defined as the act of threatening another person with bodily harm, while battery is defined as the act of injuring another person by physical contact.

Having a thorough understanding of the differences between assault and battery is essential in order to comprehend legal concepts thoroughly. Intentional torts include both assault and battery. The attack is usually an effort to injure another person, although it may also involve threats against others. Assault is defined as a deliberate effort to cause bodily injury to another person. While the battery is deliberately touching another individual without their permission. In a battery, a person's personal liberty is jeopardized in order to damage them physically.

Being charged with a crime may be highly stressful, especially when a criminal record might make future goals more difficult. If you have been charged with assault or battery, having a powerful criminal defense team on your side is the greatest approach to avoid punishment.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/764278
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1982-32831-001



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"Difference Between Assault and Battery." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 03 Mar. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-assault-and-battery-279>.

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