Assault and battery are terms describing conduct that often gives rise to criminal and civil liability. In this guide is a closer look at the definitions of assault and battery, some examples, and some information on the connection between criminal and civil court processes.
Whether it is considered a civil wrong or a criminal offense, assault is defined as an intentional action that’s designed to put another person in reasonable fear of harm. The civil assault has the same definition in every jurisdiction because it is based on common law. Acts constituting an assault may include:
•Swinging a fist at someone and missing
•Holding a gun to someone’s head, whether or not it is real or loaded
Those who are victimized by an assault can count on Vermont Personal Injury Lawyers for help and advice.
In a battery case, the defendant’s intentional act results in harmful or offensive contact to someone without his or her consent. The battery can be viewed as an assault that’s been completed, but the definition is imperfect. Examples include:
•Playing a practical joke that involves unwanted, offensive contact
•Throwing something at someone and hitting them
•Poisoning someone’s drink
An area personal injury lawyer can provide other examples, as well as case-specific legal advice.
Criminal vs. Civil Assault & Battery
As mentioned earlier, assault and battery can bring about criminal and civil cases. Both are considered to be intentional torts, which are handled by Vermont Personal Injury Lawyers. A plaintiff who hires McVeigh Skiff LLP only has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is responsible. In a criminal case, the state brings charges and tries to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person is guilty.
In criminal and civil matters, a person who commits an assault or battery may not be held liable if they use certain defenses. For instance, if a plaintiff consented to the act and the touching didn’t exceed the scope of the consent, the defendant couldn’t be held liable. People may use a reasonable amount of force to defend themselves, others and their property, without the fear of civil or criminal repercussions.