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Assault vs. Battery: What's the Difference?


When people hear “assault” or “battery,” they are usually used together. Someone was charged with “assault and battery,” or someone was acquitted of “assault and battery charges.” However, they are technically two different crimes bundled under the umbrella of “assault” or “aggravated assault.”

Assault is often defined as an attempt to injure someone else and, in some cases, as a threat to harm someone. Even if you don’t make contact with a person, you could still be charged with assault if your general intent to harm was present. Battery, though the definition may vary depending on jurisdiction, includes intentional offensive or harmful touching of another person without their consent. The two are often linked together because assault often directly leads to battery. The intent to harm someone is usually followed by actually doing harm to them.

Arizona law places assault as either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, but in both cases, the penalties can be severe. Merely threatening injury can result in a Class 2 misdemeanor charge for assault, which could mean a sentence of 4 months in jail and a $750 fine. Aggravated assault is a felony charge that can result in certain circumstances (such as hurting a restrained victim or causing temporary but substantial disfigurement) and will be considered a Class 3 felony. Punishments for aggravated assault can lead to a penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison or 10 to 20 years in prison for subsequent charges.

If you’ve been charged with assault, battery, or aggravated assault, don’t hesitate to call our experienced Mesa violent crime lawyers. Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys has earned a reputation for being fierce legal advocates four our clients. We dedicate all our resources and time to developing the best, most cutting-edge defenses for the people we represent. Let us help you next.

Contact us at (480) 418-0776 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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