People often get confused between the terms assault and battery. However, they are not same. In this article, we’ve tried to explain the terms along with their differences.

The Definition

The definitions of assault and battery are quite similar, but the distinction is significant in the court.

What is Assault?

Assault is the act of forcing a person against their will. This criminal act can be psychological and even physical also.

The person involved in assault usually threatens physical harm to the victim. The act of an assault may seem ordinary, but the guilty could go through a lot via prosecution.


Let’s know some of the acts of assault.

  • Swinging and mission
  • Abusing and unpleasant language
  • Pointing weapon or arms at anyone
  • Threatening to kill
  • Threatening while the face is hidden

What is Battery?

When an assault causes physical harm to the victim, it is called a battery.

While at the incident of assault, police can resist and arrest the offender being self-motivated, the victim of a battery himself can charge against the evil-doer.

Examples of Battery

There are some acts of battery below.

  • Offensive physical contact
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Attempted rape
  • Restraining a person physically to harm or hurt them

Understanding the Difference between Assault and Battery

By the time you know that the fundamental difference between assault and battery is not that substantial. But there are several differences which will give you more clear ideas about them.

How to know if it is an Assault or a Battery?

The purpose of assault is to threaten only, and there is no physical contact between offender and victim.

On the other hand, the battery involves physical contact and causes harm.

So, to make the contrast more precise, we can say that battery includes assault, whereas assault doesn’t consist of a battery.


The assault charges depend on the severity. On the other hand, a battery is a composite offence. This is why the punishment for a battery is comparatively more critical than the assault. This hybrid offence brings more charges against the defendant.

More things about assault and battery

  • Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault- Touching, minor injuries, or threatening are examples of simple assault. Severe injuries or the incorporation of weapons indicate the act of aggravated assault.
  • Criminal Battery and Civil Battery– Criminal battery is an intentional act of hurting or killing a person. Civil battery means a person didn’t intend to hurt anyone, but their actions ultimately caused impaired the person. The civil battery will also go through legal procedures because of damage.

The interesting matter is that the defendant has several points to justify their action in these 2 tort acts.

How to Defend Assault and Battery Cases?

  • Self-Defence– A person has the right to self-defence in any danger. While a person feels that they have no way to escape or prevent a harmful consequence, they may involve in assault or battery. But the court will decide according to the evidence provided by the victims and defendant.
  • Defence of Property– A person may not have any other option but to carry out a tort action if they find out their property is under illegal withholding or invasion.
  • Defence of Other– Defence of others, like self-defence, can also be a justification for assault and battery.
  • Consent– If the plaintiff had voluntary consent to any act and then claimed an assault case, that might favour the accused person. Yet, upon proven, the defendant will face some penalties because of violating the law.

Is every little abuse an assault?

Not each act seeming like an act of assault will be necessarily an assault. For example, if a person threatens another person while they have no intention to do any harm, that won’t be exactly an assault.

Still, if anyone is concerned about such an act, it’s better to consult a lawyer to have no doubt left.

Last Words

No crime should be ignorable. The law may define the severity and punishment of a crime, but the victim only knows the depth of the suffering. Thus, to get justice, the case has to be represented appropriately.

This is why understanding the difference between assault and battery is essential. Because before a lawyer takes over your case, you need to know why you need a lawyer.