What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery Charges?

Posted July 22nd, 2021 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

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The difference between assault and battery charges is subject to specific circumstances. One is the crime of making contact with an individual, while the other is threatening an individual. Both offenses are severe and can result in imprisonment and fine punishment.

Due to the complexity of assault and battery charges in New Jersey and other states, you must work with an attorney. A North Bergen Personal Injury Attorney should protect your rights if you are facing either charge. Here is the difference between battery and assault:

Assault vs. battery


An assault is an intentional attempt to injure or cause fear in a victim using threatening language or behavior. Therefore, an assault does not have to involve actual violence or force. Instead, it focuses on an attempt to use violence or coercion. Touching rudely or offensively will automatically qualify as an assault charge regardless of whether touching caused physical harm or not.


Battery is legally defined as an intentional forceful or harmful touching by an individual without the consent of the other. Thus, an action that qualifies as battery must involve:

  •       Intentional touching
  •       Harmful or forceful touching
  •       No consent from the victim

In a battery, the accused does not have to harm the victim but must have made contact, and the court must find evidence or allegation of touching. This means that touching through the victim’s clothing or indirectly with an object would still constitute a battery.

Punishment for battery and assault

The law punishes simple battery offenders with a jail time of six months or substantial fines. On the other hand, assault attracts a jail time of six months or less or a fine of $1000. There is a significant difference between the simple battery, simple assault, aggravated battery, and aggravated assault.

An aggravated assault means that the assault involved a deadly weapon or the victim was either a police officer or a law enforcement official. Similarly, an aggravated battery is a battery that results in severe bodily harm to the victim.

What is the legal defense for assault and battery charges?

An experienced lawyer will raise a legal defense challenging battery and assault charges. If the defense is strong, the court will either reduce the charges or dismiss them entirely. For this, there are four main arguments for assault and battery.

For assault, the attorney will argue that the accused did not attempt to use force; they acted in self-defense, did not act willfully, or were falsely accused. On the other hand, the attorney can argue that the accused individual in a battery charge did not touch the victim, acted in self-defense, was charged without probable cause, or did not act willfully.

Work with a North Bergen Personal Injury Attorney

As discussed above, simple offenses can easily land you in jail or a fine not exceeding $1000. That is why it is essential to protect your rights with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone at 201-733-2230 to discuss your case. With over 30 years of experience in similar cases, you are assured of high chances of success.

Call Today! (201) 963-6000

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