Difference Between Assault and Battery

Main Difference

Battery and Assault are two terms which are commonly used in criminology. Both these words originate from the same scene and give the impression of having a similar meaning which is true in most cases, but there are slight differences between them which are therefore presented properly during a court proceeding or filing of a report. To understand the difference between these two terms, we will have to go in detail of the definitions of them. Assault can be termed as the action of one person which result in making the other person fear for their safety and life. Battery, on the other hand, is the actual physical damage which is caused to one person by another person. Both of them have different cases, but assault can be divided into several other subclasses while battery cannot be categorized further. In simple words, assault can be explained as an act of self-defense or stopping others from doing something which can harm an individual. The battery can be described as the actions which along with self-defense and defense are a requirement at that instant when some event is taking place. Regarding international law, a person can be charged with assault if he or she threatens the other person by their words. There is no requirement of touching the other person physically. In the case of battery, only words are not enough to create a situation and a person has to contact the other person so for them to file a report carrying battery charges is valid. To elaborate the differences further, it can be said that the purpose of assault is to make someone fear for their safety and life while the main aim of the battery is to cause physical harm to the other person. Both have different sentences where battery carrying more length than assault though both are considered to be serious charges. Further explanation of both these types of terminologies is given in the paragraphs that follow.

Comparison Chart

AssaultBattery
DefinitionAn act which intends to cause fear in the other person’s heart and make them consider their safety.An actual act of causing harm to the other person.
ExampleA person sitting on a street chair, and someone throws a bottle towards them if the bottle misses the person who is sitting it will be considered as an assault.A person sitting on a street chair is attacked by someone else with a bottle if the bottle hits the first individual and causes some damage it will be taken as a battery.
PunishmentPunishment for assault ranges from 1 to 20 yearsPenalty for the battery is from 5 to 25 years.

Definition of Assault

Assault can be defined as an act which intends to cause fear in the other person’s heart and make them consider their safety. An example of this will be a person sitting on a street chair, and someone throws a bottle towards them if the bottle misses the person who is sitting it will be considered as an assault. It can also be valid if the individual with the bottle takes the action of throwing that bottle. There are different types in which this can be divided. The first degree is the harshest which actually is causing serious injuries to the other person and neglecting the value of human life. It is also known as aggravated assault. Then follows the second degree which includes the use of a tool which is dangerous but the degrees of injuries caused are not as severe. The third level is the simplest one which is the attempt of injuring the other person which may or may not be successful. The punishment for assault ranges from 1-20 years.

Definition of Battery

The battery used to be considered different from physical damage in the beginning but in the modern terms although they shall be regarded as not the same things but the terminologies are used in a similar manner. In traditional terms, a battery is an actual act of causing harm to the other person. For example, a person sitting on a street chair is attacked by someone else with a bottle if the bottle hits the first individual and causes some damage it will be taken as a battery. It is not categorized in different levels and has a severe punishment up to life imprisonment because this can result in the loss of human life. As long as the person touches the other person with the intent of harm, the charges of the battery can be filed against anyone. Though the mostly battery is now included as one of the types of assault.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. The word assault gives the explanation of protecting someone or your own self from someone who is trying to harm. The battery, on the other hand, is the justification of the actions of self-defense, overall defense and the requirement to take an action against something serious.
  2. Assault can be defined as the act of threatening someone about their life or health which can or may not cause damage. The battery is the actual activity which causes damage to other person and even includes taking someone’s life.
  3. The main aim of assault is to make a person fear their safety while the primary purpose of the battery is to harm the other person or cause them damage.
  4. In criminology terms, an assault can or cannot be physical, but a battery has to be physical if there is any chance to file criminal charges against the acquitted.
  5. The best example is of assault is the throwing of a shoe at the other person and it misses. The best example of the battery is that shoe hitting the other person.
  6. Punishment for assault ranges from 1 to 20 years while the penalty for the battery is from 5 to 25 years.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

In summary, it can be said that both the terms are closely relate to each other but have very different meanings. Both perform the same functions but the way the processes are carried out and the activities done are variable. All in all, the article has compared and shown them in a proper manner.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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