What's The Difference Between Assault and Battery? :: Temecula, Murrieta and Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney

The words assault and battery get thrown around all the time when people talk about fights using legal terms. Between cop dramas on TV and crime thrillers on the bestseller lists it can be hard to tell the difference between these two crimes. If you're involved in a battery case, though, it is extremely important for you to know what you're actually being accused of.

So What Is The Difference?

According to Penal Code sections 242 and 243, battery is defined as any unlawful, offensive physical contact with another person. The contact doesn't have to be violent, as just laying your hand on someone's thigh is enough to constitute misdemeanor-battery when that touch is offensive and unwanted. On the other hand, if the physical contact causes "great bodily injury" or "serious bodily injury", the prosecutor's office will most likely file the battery as a felony.

So where does assault come into things? After all, the phrase we're used to hearing is assault and battery, so how do they go together?

Assault is similar, but different. According to Penal Code section 240, for assault to occur a person must attempt to physically strike another person. The difference is that battery requires you to actually have made that physical content, whereas if you take a swing at someone and you miss completely you can still be guilty of assault because you sincerely tried to hit that person.

If you find yourself involved in a battery case you are going to need solid, dependable representation to protect your rights. That's why if you find yourself in this situation all you have to do is contact us. Don't wait, because tomorrow might be too late!

Our law office is located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. We represent individuals who has been arrested in the Riverside County cities of Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Hemet, Corona, Murrieta and Riverside.

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