What is the Difference Between Aggravated Assault and Assault and Battery?

Posted by Jacqueline D. Crowley | Aug 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

There is often a lot of confusion when it comes to differentiating between assault and battery.

Most individuals are under the impression that both assault and battery mean the same thing, and that the aggravated classification is just a more severe form of the crime.

However, this is UNTRUE. Battery and assault are distinctly different crimes.

what is the difference between assault and aggravated assault

Assault vs. Battery

The Criminal law clearly defines assault as an intentional act that makes the victim believe that he or she is about to be physically abused.

If you threaten someone else and you are obviously able to carry out the action, then you can easily be charged with assault. It is not a must that you make any physical contact or even carry out any actions. Making the threat alone is enough to get you charged.

This simply means that if you threat another person, a police officer can intervene and arrest you for it without necessarily waiting for you to physically harm your victim.

On the contrary, when there is actual physical abuse, the crime now becomes battery.

The key difference between the assault and battery is the absence of physical contact in one and the occurrence of physical contact in the other.

What exactly is Aggravated Assault?

Whilst assault basically involves making a threat, there are many different factors that can significantly change that level of danger. For instance, holding a knife or a gun in your hand whilst making the threat, elevates the act to an aggravated assault, even when the weapon is not used.

The fact that you are holding it in your hand and making the threat clearly shows that you have the intention to cause serious harm and make the victim fear for his or her safety.

There are particular crimes that are classified as aggravated simply because of the victim's status. They include threats carried out on fire fighters, teachers, and police officers or just any threat made whilst the person was on duty.

The attacker's mental state of mind can also play a major role in categorizing an aggravated assault. For instance, if the threat was particularly made with the aim to cause fear or even severe harm if the individual was acting negligently with utter indifference to human life.

There are certain states that classify sexual assault under a different category, while in other states it can be charged as aggravated, sexual assault, assault/battery, or even rape depending on the nature of the crime itself and also the state.

When charged with a crime, knowing the difference between an aggravated assault, assault, and battery can make a big difference.

In situations like these, it is very important to have a highly experienced and skilled criminal attorney like Farkas & Crowley, at your side. Call us today on (561) 444-9529 to get the best defense possible.

About the Author

Jacqueline D. Crowley

Jacqueline D. Crowley, Esq. has made it her career to specialize in litigation and trial practices, predominantly in the field of criminal defense, as well as family law and personal injury. She started her career as a prosecutor and slowly worked her way to private practice. Today she fully embraces aggressive criminal defense helping


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