What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
It’s common to confuse between assault and battery, but they are two separate crimes in reality. The confusion comes because they are often charged together.
That means if you are facing assault charges, there is a strong likelihood that you’ll have to face batter charges, too.
So, what makes one different from the other?
According to California Penal Code 240, assault is an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on a human being, coupled with the ability to cause harm.
Simply put, assault is attempting to touch another person offensively without actually doing it.
California Penal Code 242 defines battery as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another human being. So, it makes battery the completion crime to assault.
Even if you don’t actually cause harm, your intent is enough to charge you for assault and battery. And if the victim receives bodily injury, then the accused must face separate charges related to serious violent crimes.
In turn, this can lead to severe penalties. If the violence is committed on a spouse or partner, it comes under domestic violence. Here again, the penalties are harsh and difficult to navigate without a skilled assault attorney.