Assault vs Battery: Difference and Comparison

Assault and Battery both these terms are both very commonly used in the legal field. At the same time, most people think these terms are the same, and both are criminal offences in law. Therefore, it is essential to gain information about these terms.


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Knowledge of any of these two subjects is critical before understanding the other subject, as both are extremely important and interrelated. People hear the statement commonly used in movies “You are under arrest for assault and battery”. Such kind of statement is used in case of fights between two people.

Key Takeaways

  1. Assault is the threat or attempt to cause harm to another person and does not require physical contact.
  2. The battery is intentional physical contact with another person without their consent.
  3. Assault and battery are often charged together as a single criminal offense.

Assault vs Battery

The difference between assault and battery is that assault means someone tries to injure some other person or gives the threat to injure. On the other hand, Battery means someone causes an injury to another person physically by touching him.

Assault vs Battery

If a person only gives a threat of harming another person without any touch is called assault, whereas if there is physical contact to harm each other, then this criminal offence is called a battery.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAssaultBattery
DefinitionAssault is defined as an illegal act when a person gives a verbal threat to another person, and that person has the ability to harm others. This threat creates a sense of fear in another person.Battery is an illegal offence which occurs in multiple states.

First, when a person injures the other person by physical abuse and action.

Second, when a person harms others by pre-planned planning against the other person.
ExampleIf a person named Raj stands up to close the face of Vijay (another person) and gives him the threat of breaking his face by showing a fist. Seeing this warning, Vijay moves back because of fear. As there is no physical harm, this criminal offence is called assault.If a person, Raj breaks the face of Vijay with his hand. In such a case, there is physical harm caused by Raj to Vijay; hence, this criminal offence is called battery.
PunishmentAssault is a punishable offence where a person can get jailed for up to 60 days and a fine of $ 500.The battery is also a punishable offence where a person can get jailed for up to 1 year and a fine of $ 1000.
Aggravated OffenceIf a person shows a weapon while giving a threat to another person.If a person gives injury to another person using a deadly weapon.


What is Assault?

Assault is defined differently in different states. Generally, it is defined as the intention to harm others physically or to give an intentional threat to someone in order to create a sense of fear.

Assault is also sometimes defined as an attempt to create a battery.

Contact is not necessarily required to do assault, but still, there is a requirement of a criminal act in order to convict a person.

It is an act of offence which create a threat in a person and makes a person uncertain about his security.

Assault is not a criminal offence if a person gives a threat to the person only by speaking words from his mouth.

Assault becomes a criminal offence if spoken words are also supported by the action, like showing a fist hand while giving the warning of breaking the face of the other person.

There should a valid reason if a person is convicted of assaulting another person. A person cannot assault the other person without having a general intent.

Therefore, if a person gives a threat to another person that the other person finds dangerous for his body, it can come under the act of assault, even though he has not done any physical harm to another person.


What is Battery?

The battery is a criminal offence when a person touches another person and intentionally harms another person’s body without that person’s consent.

Some of the acts which are categorized as battery are:

  1. Touching another person having the wrong intention.
  2. Harming the body of the other person

Basically, the intent is not mandatory for the act to be called a battery. If a person touches another person physically with the intent to cause bodily harm, it is called a battery.

On the other hand, if a person accidentally touches another person, such an act is not called battery, and there is no punishment for such acts.

The acts which are qualified as battery and often punishable are kicking or punching someone and harming others with the help of a deadly weapon.

The victim doesn’t need to have an injury to convict the person for the battery.


Main Differences Between Assault and Battery

Although both are classified as legal offences and related to the country’s law, there still exists a lot of difference between assault and battery when it comes to meaning, punishment and aggravated offence.

  1. Assault is defined as a criminal offence when a person threatens to harm others. In contrast, the battery is a criminal offence when a person actually harms others by punching or kicking.
  2. Assault is a punishable offence where a person can get jail for up to 60 days and a fine of $ 500, whereas battery is also a punishable offence where a person can get jail for up to 1 year and a fine of $ 1000.
  3. If a person shows a weapon while giving a threat to another person, it is called aggravated assault. In contrast, if a person causes injury to another person using a deadly weapon, it is known as aggravated battery.
Difference Between Assault and Battery
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2 thoughts on “Assault vs Battery: Difference and Comparison”

    1. Always glad to help people like yourself with more knowledge that is presented in the best way.

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