What is Battery?
Battery is a criminal offense which involves unlawful physical contact. Based on the United States legal system, criminal battery, or simply battery, is the use of force against another individual which directly results in offensive or harmful contact.
Depending on the severity of the contact and the circumstances of the case, battery may be interpreted as a misdemeanor or a felony in the United States. Battery is governed by statute and interpreted differently based on State law. As a result, the code number attached to the crime will vary based on where the harmful contact took place.
In general, there are specific rules regarding battery. Although these rules vary depending on the relevant jurisdiction, some of the elements remain constant. Battery typically requires an offensive touching made upon a victim. The action is instigated by the assailant. The actor willingly intends or knows that his or her violent action will cause harm or damage.
At the common law level, battery is regarded as a misdemeanor. In these instances, the prosecutor must prove three distinct elements beyond a reasonable doubt to successfully convict the alleged perpetrator. As stated earlier, battery may take on two separate forms: misdemeanor battery and felony battery. For an action to qualify as felony battery, the act must have been committed with a specific intent to inflict serious harm or damage to the victim. The physical contact must be delivered in a violent manner without the victim’s consent. When this action is done with a violent weapon, the act is considered felony battery.
What to do if you are charged with Battery?
As stated earlier, states and jurisdictions will possess interpretative differences for what constitutes a battery or felony battery. Regardless of these differences, however, all individuals accused of committing battery must seek the aid of a legal professional or criminal attorney.
Similar to the act’s definition, the penalties attached to a battery charge will vary. Penalties for battery, which typically include jail time, will differ based on the circumstances of the particular case and the severity of the physical action. Severity in this regard simply quantifies how much damage was delivered to the victim as a result of the violent action. Furthermore, the penalties attached to the crime will be more severe if the assailant used a deadly weapon to precipitate their violent action.
Regardless of the situation or complexities that enshroud a case, the presence of a criminal attorney will greatly streamline your case. A criminal attorney is well-versed in the varied interpretations of a jurisdiction or locality. As a result of this knowledge, a criminal attorney will be able to review all the pertinent facts and the evidence in your case to deliver a suitable argument in the hopes of reaching a favorable settlement