Although assault and battery are often mistaken for one another, they are indeed two completely different crimes, each carrying their own distinct criminal penalties. Assault is the attempt to injure someone, but battery is the actual use of force against another person. Assault does become a much more serious offense when a weapon is involved, but when it comes to simple assault, battery is a much more serious crime. As a result, battery can carry much more severe penalties than simple assault.
Battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries. Those convicted of misdemeanor battery can face up to six months in jail and $2000 in fines, in addition to restitution made to the victim. If you are convicted of aggravated battery because the victim was subjected to serious bodily harm, the penalties will increase drastically and you could be sentenced to up to 4 years in prison and have a “strike” added to your record.
In many cases, a skilled lawyer will argue that the battery occurred as a matter of self-defense. If he can prove to the jury that your actions were justified, you will not be convicted of this serious offense. If you have been accused of assault or battery, please call Vista battery attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Creative Commons Image by Polina Sergeeva