How many times have you heard someone mention that they or someone else
was “arrested for assault and battery”? The way they said
it or the scenario they described probably made it sound like “assault and battery” is a single criminal violation. But the truth of the situation
is that assault and battery are two related yet separate crimes in Alabama,
as well as many other states.
Defining the Violent Crime of Assault
What exactly is the
violent crime of assault in Alabama’s criminal code? Put simply, assault is categorized
as actually causing physical harm to someone due to an intentional or
reckless action. The severity of the injuries suffered by the assault
victim will determine the level of crime, ranging from a high level misdemeanor
to a high level felony. The introduction or use of a dangerous weapon,
such as a firearm or motor vehicle, can also escalate the severity of
an assault crime.
Defining the Violent Crime of Battery
If assault is actually hurting someone, what is battery? Criminal codes
often describe battery as the attempt to cause someone harm, or the act
of threatening someone with harm. Battery charges can escalate depending
on the perceived realness of the threat, the intent behind the attempt
to inflict injury, the criminal record of the person committing battery,
and certain classifications about the battery victim. For example, a strong
man weighing 250 pounds angrily threatening a frail, elderly woman may
be charged with escalated battery charges due to real danger he created
and the harm he could have caused had he taken violent action.
Why Do People Combine Assault & Battery?
Since assault and battery are actually two different crimes, why is it
so normal for people to say “assault and battery” together?
It really comes down to how violent crimes are typically carried out.
It is unusual for someone to inflict harm – commit assault –
without first threatening or warning the victim – committing battery.
Oppositely, when someone has already made an attempt or threat to hurt
someone – committed battery – they will often immediately
attempt to cause that harm – commit assault. The end result being
that assault and battery are most often said together. In fact, some states
do have a single charge for assault and battery.
Have you been charged with assault, battery, or both in Alabama? Tidwell
Law Group, LLC and our Birmingham criminal defense attorney can be retained
to work on your case and defend your rights in and out of the courtroom.
For more than a decade, we have built a reputation for being aggressive
in the pursuit of justice and shutting down even the most tenacious of
Call 205.800.8596 right now to schedule an
initial case evaluation to get started.