An Overview of the Federal Assault Battery Charges
To supplement the State statutes on the books throughout the United States covering instances of assault and battery, Federal law provides for regulations covering cases that occur outside the geographical limits of states and other local territories or hold implications for the Federal government. These laws can be found in codified form in the United States Code, which is issued every six years by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, which is based out of the House of Representatives, with the changes that have been enacted to Federal laws in the meantime.
Title 18 of the Code addresses "Crimes and Criminal Procedures," in which Chapter 7 is devoted to "Crimes" and Chapter 7 to "Assault." Assault and battery cases of unusual significance for the country are addressed by Sections 111, 112, and 115. 111 and 115 address, respectively, acts of and attempts at interfering with or exacting retribution for the duties of present or former officials of the Government, and 112 focuses on "internationally protected persons" such as diplomats.
In regard to unusual kinds of jurisdiction, Section 113 and Section 117 focus on, respectively, basic forms of and domestic occurrences of assault in "the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States," unusual examples of which include American spacecraft in flight and the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay. Episodes of torture or maiming which occur in such vicinities are addressed by Section 114.
The ambiguity raised by the place accorded to the practice of female genital mutilation in some communities, where they are regarded as initiation rites, is intended to be dispelled by Section 116 of this part of the Code, which only allows such practices for medical purposes. Assault and battery cases falling under Federal law may be tried in Federal court and result in Federal prison terms and have their specific penalties mandated by the relevant United States Code section.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: Section 111 United States Code Title 18 ("Crimes and Criminal Procedure"), Part I ("Crimes"), Chapter 7 ("Assault"), Section 111 deals with violent acts aimed at interfering with how public officials perform their duties or acts of retaliation against them for their past performance of duties. Actions constituting simple assaults can be punished for terms of imprisonment lasting up to a year. More serious attacks, such as aggravated assaults, can lead to penalties of imprisonment of up to eight years.
Assaults resulting in serious injury may be punished with prison terms lasting for as long as two decades. All of these penalties may be replaced by or supplemented with fines. In such a case the Federal Government will prosecute the offender, rather a local court.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: Section 112 Section 112 of Chapter 7 ("Crimes") of Part I ("Crimes") of Title 18 ("Crimes and Criminal Procedures") of the United States Code deals with crimes of assault and battery committed against foreign nationals in the United States who are considered privileged guests of the American Government. A likely example of such an individual can be furnished by a diplomat.
This Federal law is intended to deal with the confusions that may arise over jurisdictional issues in such cases and also to incorporate an awareness of the larger concerns of American relations with other countries. In addition to attacks on the person of an "internationally protected" individual, Section 112 also covers attacks committed against such individuals’ vehicles and residences. Violent attacks and the abridgment of rights, as through an act of kidnapping, both fall under Section 112. In a case of "simple assault" a penalty of three years' imprisonment may be imposed. Ten years of imprisonment, on the other hand, can result from aggravated assault under Section 112.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: To supplement the state assault laws on the books throughout the United States, United States Code Section 113, Chapter 7, Part I, Title 18, addresses assaults committed in the "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States." These essentially include those areas which fall under the general control of the United States, but for a variety of reasons that may stem from such cases as not being geographically contiguous or being subject to special exemptions, are not administered by any clear-cut local authority.
Simple assaults can incur terms of imprisonment for up to six months or, when the victim is under sixteen years of age, one year. Felonious assault charges leading to more serious injuries can be punished for periods of up to ten years. Regions defined as falling within the United States' "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction" include bodies of water such as the Great Lakes or the high seas within American boundaries, islands and other small parts of land, and special American holdings in other countries, such as Guantanamo Bay or embassies.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: Section 114 of United States Code, Title 18 ("Crimes and Criminal Procedures"), Part I ("Crimes"), Chapter 7 ("Assaults") supplements the state laws on assault on the books for cases which take place outside of the normal jurisdictions under state law and are of a degree considered unusually severe. The latter include "maiming" and "torture," as defined elsewhere in the United States Code.
The special areas governed by the United States Code are defined as falling within the "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States." Such areas include the high seas, the Great Lakes, holdings in other countries, islands and other small bodies of land, and areas under the special supervision of the Federal Government. Because of the severity of the crimes covered by Section 114, the penalties imposed for them may include terms of imprisonment lasting up to twenty years. One form of assault covered by Section 114 is that committed with the use of a corrosive or caustic substance.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: Acts of assault and battery attempted for the purpose of altering the operations of public officials or exacting retribution for the prior operations of public officials are punishable not under state law but through the provisions of United States Code, Section 115, Chapter 7, Part I, Term 18, entitled “Acts”. These may fall under the terms of punishment set by Section 115, which can include murders, assaults and kidnappings of the immediate family members of such Government officials or attempts at commissioning such acts.
For the purposes of the law, "immediacy" in family relations is defined in terms of close blood relatives such as children, parents, siblings, the adoptive equivalents of such roles, and as relatives by blood or marriage living in the official's household. Another kind of assault which is covered under Section 115 is the threat to undertake the kidnapping or murder of or the assault on a Government official as motivated by his or her present or past performance of official duties.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: Section 116 in Chapter 7, Part I, Term 18 of the United States Code sets down definitions of relevant offenses and the maximum terms of punishments that may be incurred for the crime of female genital mutilation. Federally-administered rather than State-administered law addresses this offense in order to dispel any possible ambiguity relating to this practice's possible occurrence, in circumstances not necessarily viewed by either the responsible or the affected party as a violent attack, as either a medical procedure, as in the instance of childbirth, or as a culturally specific initiation ritual.
The latter such context is not allowable in any circumstances under the United States Code. The former may be a permissible justification if it can be shown to have arisen out of medical necessity and to have occurred through the actions of a trained medical professional. A penalty of up to five years imprisonment may be incurred by a conviction of this charge under Section 116.
Assault and Battery: Federal Assault/Battery Charges: Under the United States Code, Section 117 of Chapter 7 on Assaults of Part I on Crimes of Title 18 on Crimes and Criminal Procedures deals with the punishment of instances of assault and battery arising in domestic contexts in jurisdictions that do not lie inside of conventional State-administered areas, which may include Indian tribal areas or the "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States."
Domestic abuse is considered to constitute an attack committed against an "intimate partner." A term of imprisonment lasting for up to five years is a possible penalty to be incurred by offenses committed by defendants with two previous such charges on their records. When serious physical injury occurs in such cases, the maximum term of imprisonment is doubled.
The "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States" can include such areas as bodies of water under American law, including the open seas and the Great Lakes, areas under America control in other countries such as embassies or the military base Guantanamo Bay.