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What Makes Assault and Battery Different From One Another?

Steps NJ Residents Should Take After Being Charged With Assault or Battery

When you hear of assault and battery, you may think these are the same crime that is committed against others. However, there are some differences between assault and battery that you should know about ahead of time. Both types of charges may be brought up in civil lawsuits and criminal lawsuits where defendants will often face fines and have to spend time in prison for their actions.

What is Assault?

Assault occurs when someone makes a threat against another person that involves causing great harm to them. People may be charged with assault without physically harming someone simply because they have made serious threats and have attempted to act on those threats while making victims fear for their lives. As an example, someone who holds a gun to another person’s head may be found guilty of assault. Even if they did not shoot the person or hit them with the gun, they are still assaulting that person by threatening them in such a serious way.

Simply making a threat is not considered assault, but it does become assault when that threat involves certain things, such as a weapon or even a person’s own fists. They may threaten to beat the person down while holding them against their will or getting in their face with the intention of hitting them. Putting a person in harm’s way and causing them to fear for their own safety is something that is considered assault.

What is Battery?

While assault involves threats of violence that are intimidating for victims, battery involves actual violence that occurs. The battery will occur when someone becomes physically violent against another person. They may hit, stab, or even shoot the person to cause them great harm. When someone commits an act of battery, it is usually intentional. It can occur due to self-defense, but in many situations, the battery occurs because the guilty party acted out on the threats that he or she made against the victim.

Difference Between Criminal and Civil Charges

Criminal charges can occur in both assault and battery cases. These charges may require a person to end up on probation or in prison for a set amount of time. On the other hand, civil lawsuits against an attacker involve the victim attempting to receive compensation for damages. A victim can pursue compensation when serious damages have occurred that have required them to seek medical help for their injuries. Those medical bills and loss of wages due to the injuries sustained during the attack are often used as evidence in a civil case against someone.

It is entirely possible for a defendant to be charged both civilly and criminally. They may be required to pay out a certain amount of money to the victim while also doing community service, being placed on probation, or spending months/years in prison. It all depends on the extent of the assault and battery, along with the defendant’s criminal record and pattern of abusive behavior.

While assault and battery are two different things, they are often lumped together because they tend to happen together. Someone may first commit an act of assault by threatening another person in a serious way. When they follow through with their threats, they are then committing an act of battery and can receive charges for both crimes.

Contact an Experienced Summit Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Assault and Battery Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with assault and battery in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Zegas Law have successfully represented clients charged with assault and battery in Bergen, Atlantic, Camden, Burlington Counties, and throughout New Jersey. Call 973-833-4724 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 60 Morris Turnpike #3 in Summit, NJ 07901.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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