Remember the old saying, "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me?" Striking someone because you are provoked by another's words or deeds (unless you are protecting yourself against life threatening violence) isn't self-defense -- it's assault and battery. "The Devil might make you do it," but the law says you can be arrested. So, think long and hard before you throw that punch, threaten a person with bodily injury, shove or slap someone. Being arrested, hauled off to jail, fined and taken to court is a learning experience we hope you will never endure.
- Assault: An unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury upon another person. Simple assault can occur where there is no battery at all, only the threat of bodily injury.
- Battery: The successful accomplishment of such an attempt.
Penalty for Simple Assault and Battery is a $200 fine and up to 30 days in jail. It is important to note that simple assault and battery does not require an injury. Offensive touching can constitute simple assault and battery.
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature: an unlawful act of violent injury to another person accompanied by any circumstances of aggravation. Typical types of aggravating circumstances which would suffice for a conviction on assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature are:
- use of a deadly weapon (gun, knife, baseball bat, garden tool, etc.) that inflict serious bodily injury;
- infliction of serious bodily injury such as painful gashes or serious injuries to the face;
- disparity between the sizes, ages and physical conditions of the parties, or impaired health on the part of the victim;
- resistance of lawful authority accompanied by an unlawful act against the arresting officer, even though no bodily harm may be inflicted;
- indecent liberties or familiarities with a female.
Penalty: Charged as a felony offense. Up to 10 years imprisonment.
Assault and battery with intent to kill: The most serious of assault offenses. Felony charge with up to 20 years imprisonment if convicted.
The best defense against becoming a victim of or being arrested for assault and battery is common sense.
And, stay in control.