Battery is the criminal offence whereby one party makes physical contact with another party with the intention to harm them. In order to constitute battery, an offense must be intentional and must be committed to inflict injury on another. Battery is different from a similar offense called assault. An assault is any attempt to threaten or attack another party. Physical contact is not required to constitute an assault.

Battery can be considered a criminal offense and it can also be considered an intentional tort in civil court. An intentional tort is a purposeful action that is intended to cause harm to another individual. Battery, or any other intentional tort, is valid grounds to seek relief through a civil case. Through a civil legal case, the victim of battery can seek monetary compensation for their damages from the person who committed the battery. This civil case exists separately from any criminal charges that have been brought against the offender.

There are different degrees of battery that indicate the severity of the offense. Simple battery may include any type of non-consensual, insulting, or harmful contact, regardless of the damage done. Domestic violence can involve battery that occurs between two parties who are related by some degree (familial or intimate relationships). Sexual battery is defined as any non-consensual physical contact that is sexual in nature.

These types of battery are most often prosecuted as misdemeanors, though charges depend on the state where the crime took place and the nature of the offense. Acts of simple battery can be considered more serious when similar acts have previously been committed against the same victim. In some states, a second or third conviction for battery against the same individual is a felony. In domestic violence cases, battery charges may not be dropped against an offender, even at the request of the victim.

Aggravated battery is a battery offense that involves some aggravating factor. This type of battery offense is typically considered a felony offense, and the perpetrator can face incarceration, fines, and many other punishments. For an offense to be considered aggravated battery one or more of the following factors may have been involved: the battery was committed against a protected person (a child, peace officer, or person over 65 years of age); the battery involved a weapon (whether use was real or threatened); the victim suffered significant injury (loss of limb or permanent damage); or the offense occurred in a public transit vehicle or station, school zone, or other protected place.

There are a few arguments that may be used to defend a person charged with battery. Lack of intent can be argued by the defendant in a battery case to contend that the injurious physical contact was an accident. A defendant may also argue that the battery was committed in self defense or the defense of others or property. If you would like to learn more about battery, please contact us to speak to an attorney who can evaluate your case to determine how best to protect and maximize your legal interests.

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