Legal Definitions: Assault and Battery

Please note: This blog post does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice, please do contact a licensed attorney. I can be reached for a free consultation at 214-702-CARL(2275) or 469.2000(DWI). Thanks, Carl Ceder

Assault and battery can often conjure up images of a typical fight or brawl, and some states even combine the two offenses. However, these terms are actually two separate legal ideas with their own elements.

In short, an assault is defined as an attempt or threat of injury to another person, while a battery is defined as actually striking another person in a harmful. In Texas, the elements for Assault and Battery are the same.

Proof of Assault and Battery:

One of the following needs to apply for a Prosecutor to prove Assault and Battery:

The defendant knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused bodily injury to the intended victim.
The defendant knowingly, intentionally, or knowingly threatened this victim with imminent bodily harm.
The defendant knowingly, intentionally, or knowingly caused physical contact with this victim when the defendant should have reasonably believed that this victim would regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges:

Intoxication (NOTE: It cannot be voluntary intoxication)
Age (e.g. If victim is a child and defendant was also a child as well at the time of the crime)
No offense occurred
Unintentional or mistake
Lack of knowledge

Penalties for Assault and Battery:

Penalties In Texas for assault and battery convictions urange from a “Class C” misdemeanor (monetary fine of up to $500) to a second degree felony (two to twenty years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000).

The primary factors that influence which type of penalty is likely to be imposed are the following: Victim’s relationship to the defendant; Defendant’s past convictions, or lack thereof; Whether suffocation or strangulation was involved –