The Difference Between Assault, Battery, and Domestic ViolenceAssault, battery, and domestic violence crimes are all commonly mistaken for each other. These crimes have different elements and people frequently mix them up. If you have been accused of one of these crimes, it is wise to understand what your criminal charges mean, and what the prosecutor will need to prove to secure a conviction.

Battery Charges
The crime of battery is what many people refer to as “assault.” The crime of battery can happen in two different ways.

First, someone can intentionally touch or strike another individual against their will. This type of battery is intentional and involves physical contact. The second type of battery happens when an individual intentionally causes someone else bodily harm. A first battery offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. If you have another battery conviction on your record, you will be charged with a third-degree felony, which carries a sentence of up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years of jail time.

Aggravated Battery Charges
Prosecutors can bring charges of aggravated battery when the circumstances around the incident are particularly severe—those convicted of aggravated battery face up to $10,000 in fines or 15 years in prison. The penalties for aggravated battery are increased. For prosecutors to secure an aggravated battery conviction, they will need to first prove that an underlying battery occurred.
Then they need to prove that one of three additional factors are present. Specifically, they need to prove the following:

  • The defendant “intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement,” or
  • The defendant utilizes a “deadly weapon” or
  • The victim is pregnant at the time of the aggravated assault, and the defendant knew or should have known she was pregnant.

Assault Charges
An assault happens when someone verbally or physically threatens to harm another person. There needs to be an “apparent ability” of the defendant to carry out his or her threat.

Additionally, the threat must create in the victim a reasonable fear that the violence is imminent.,Many people assume that assault involves hitting, striking, or punching someone else. However, a defendant does not need to make physical contact with the victim to face assault charges. Instead, all they need to do is take a swing at someone with their fist or engage in a verbal threat without making contact to meet the assault elements.

Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. The penalty for assault could be higher if there are aggravating circumstances, such as domestic violence assault or aggravated assault.

Aggravated Assault
Prosecutors need to prove four elements to convict a defendant of assault:

  • The defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened, by word or act, to do violence to the alleged victim.
  • When the defendant made the threat, he or she appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.
  • The defendant’s threat created a well-founded fear in the mind of the alleged victim that violence was about to happen.
  • The made the assaults either with a deadly weapon or with a fully-formed conscious intent to commit a felony crime.

Essentially, aggravated assault is the same as assault, but the prosecution must prove an additional element. With aggravated assault, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant used a deadly weapon or had the intent to commit a felony when he or three made the threat.

Prosecutors will need to prove that the defendant intended to threaten violence against the alleged victim. To do so, they need to show that the defendant intended violence against the alleged victim. The prosecutor does not need to prove that the defendant made actual contact or wounded the victim at the time of the assault. A deadly weapon means any weapon that the defendant used or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to produce great bodily harm or

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. The penalties for a conviction of aggravated assault
include up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000. Prosecutors
take assault extremely seriously and aggressively prosecute defendants. Even if you are a first-
time offender, you faced a possibility of serving jail time if you are convicted.

Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence occurs when the defendant commits a crime against his or her domestic partner. Domestic violence is different from assault or battery because the prosecutor must prove that the alleged victim and the defendant have a domestic relationship with one another.
Specifically, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant and the victim live together, have lived together in the past, or share a child together.

When the two individuals do not have a child together, they must be spouses, former spouses,
related by marriage, related by blood, residing together as a family, or have resided together as a family in the past. When the special relationship exists between the victim and the defendant,
prosecutors can charge the defendant with domestic violence. All of the following crimes can be
considered domestic violence charges:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Battery
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Any other crime that can result in the physical injury or death of another person

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with battery, assault, or domestic violence, you need an experienced
criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact Mark Solomon, P.A today to schedule your free
initial consultation.