Assault and Battery

Across the nation, assault and battery crimes are taken very seriously, but each state has its own definition of what exactly the terms “assault” and “battery” mean and how severely they should be punished. In California, assault is defined as attempting to harm or offensively touch someone, whereas battery is the act of actually harming someone or touching them in an unwelcome or violent way.

For instance, let’s say two people get into an argument. Person A calls Person B a rude name. In retaliation, Person B tries to hit Person A but misses. At this point, Person B has committed assault. They haven’t physically harmed Person A, but they did try to.

Person B then tries to push Person A and succeeds. Now, Person B has committed battery.

This is a fairly straightforward example of assault versus battery. As you can imagine, though, the various assault and battery charges can become much more complex, especially when no one is physically harmed and when the people involved disagree on what really happened.


What Happens Next

What happens after an assault, battery, or both greatly depends on the person who was harmed or threatened and how severely they were hurt. The resulting charge may be a misdemeanor or a felony. As a general rule, the more serious the injury, the more serious the charge.

If the offended party was a civil servant — such as a police officer, paramedic, or firefighter — the charges become even more serious for the aggressor. Their charge jumps from “battery” to “battery on a police officer” or “battery on a peace officer” — both of which are taken very seriously and are often escalated to felony charges.

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Compensation for the Offended Party

Any time a person gets hurt because of someone else’s actions, the injured person may be entitled to compensation in order to pay for various expenses caused by the injury. When it comes to assault and battery cases, these are just a few of the after effects that the offended party may be able to claim compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological trauma and recovery
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Expenses related to changing travel plans

Whether the injuries are serious or minor, it’s important to seek legal counsel in assault and battery cases. A knowledgeable attorney can make all the difference when it comes to claiming fair compensation.


Your Next Step

If you’ve been hurt or threatened by another person, you should start by seeking help. When you call our office for a free consultation, we’ll consider the details of your case as we advise you on the appropriate steps to take next. Even more importantly, we’ll be considerate of your circumstances and talk to you like a person.

We’re on Your Side

Everyone loses their temper from time to time, but there’s no excuse for certain actions — especially violent ones. If you’ve been threatened or hurt by another person, don’t wait to take action. Seek the appropriate legal counsel so that you can get the help you need and start focusing on recovery. At Law Offices of Michael D. Herman, we genuinely care about your well-being, and we’re committed to seeking justice.