What is the difference between assault and battery?

Dated: 2022-12-08 10:47:23

My neighbor slapped me. I reserched. Came across two offenses, battery and assault.

Answers by Lawyers

A battery is often confused with an assault which is just merely an act of threatening the battery or placing the individual in fear or in reasonable apprehension of an attack or a battery. A battery is often preceded by an assault and hence these terms are used in combination as “assault and battery.” But they are separate, distinct offenses.

In both motion is necessary, but while application of unlawful force to another is battery, an action which puts another in instant fear of unlawful force, though no force may be actually applied, would amount to an assault.

To commit an assault there must be intention followed by an act. An assault is present if the fear is reasonable.

Thus assault may be described as “inchoate battery”. Battery in fact includes assault.

Winfield, in a interesting example stated that, pulling away of a chair when a person is about to sit on it is probably an assault till the moment the person reaches the floor. But as soon as the individual comes in contact with the floor, it will be a battery. Like throwing water on a person is an assault, but when some drops fall on the person or the individual then it would also be a battery.

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