Call For A Consultation (202) 644-8303
Our Blogs

Assault and battery: what is the difference?

Many people talk about assault and battery as if they were the same thing. An assault is an intentional act or a threat to cause physical harm to another person without consent of the other person. Actual contact is not necessary for there to be an assault, but it must appear to the person that the threat is made against that the person who is making the threat has the ability to carry it out and the person threatened in must be in reasonable fear of harm. A battery is the intentional touching of another person without their consent. In order for there to be a battery the touching must be harmful or offensive, That means that it causes pain, injury or illness. A touching is offensive it offends the other person's reasonable sense of personal dignity. Neither an assault nor a battery need be originally directed at the person who suffers the assault or battery. For instance, if the threat is directed at one person but another bystander is put in reasonable fear of imminent harm, then the innocent bystander was also assaulted. Similarly, if one places into motion a force that was intended to cause a battery on one person, such as throwing a stone, but the stone hits an unintended victim, then the unintended victim was subject of the battery so long as there was a harm caused.