Paul D. Cramm

Aggravating Factors And Variations In An Assault & Battery Charge

Assault and battery charges may be construed as a combination of two different crimes.  Assault is a threat or attempt at violence whereas battery is the actual act of committing physical violence. Some states make distinctions between the two and classify them as separate offenses. In most cases, however, assault and battery are filed as one charge against a defendant especially in situations where violence is first threatened and then actually committed against another person. In order to prove these charges, prosecution must prove beyond all the required elements of assault and battery beyond a reasonable doubt. If either of the elements are not proven, it could be used as a defense to that particular charge.

The elements that must be proven are:

  • The defendant acted with the intent to induce fear or danger in the victim.
  • The victim had a reasonable fear of being harmed
  • The defendant’s conduct presented a physical threat to the defendant.

Aggravated Assault and Battery Charges

Certain aggravating factors present during the commission of the act may cause the defendant to face aggravated assault and battery charges. Although criminal laws vary by jurisdiction, aggravating factors typically include use of a deadly weapon during the commission of the alleged act.  Another common aggravating factor would be if the alleged victim is a child, woman, or police officer. An aggravated assault and battery charge is generally categorized as a felony charge thereby resulting in heavy fines and prison sentences that exceed an year in term

Assault and Battery With a Deadly Weapon

An example of aggravated assault and battery is assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Deadly weapons may include:

  • Guns
  • Knives and similar implements
  • Explosive devices
  • Poisonous or toxic materials
  • Other weapons like brass knuckles or baseball bat

In certain cases where the defendant has had special training such as martial arts, boxing etc. their hands and feet may also qualify as deadly weapons. In states where assault is classified as a separate offense it doesn’t matter if a weapon was used to intimidate the alleged victim or not.

Assault and Battery Against a Child, Woman, or Police Officer

In cases where assault and battery is alleged to have been committed against a child, woman, or police officer, the offense is considered to be aggravated because of the alleged victim’s characteristic rather than the behavior of the defendant. In addition, felony assault and battery charges may be brought against an individual in cases where there is a serious mismatch between the alleged offender and the victim. This may include circumstances where the alleged victim is incapacitated or handicapped. In such cases courts may consider factors such as weight, height, sex, and capabilities of both parties when determining a sentence.

People generally think that assault and battery is a straight-forward criminal charge whereas it is actually quite complicated. If you have been charged with an assault and battery in New York, you need the services of a competent assault and battery lawyer in Long island, NY right away to protect your freedom and your reputation.

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About the Author

This practice has been exclusively devoted to all levels of criminal defense from misdemeanor offenses in municipal court to felony matters in the Federal courts of Kansas and the Western District of Missouri. Paul D. Cramm is qualified to provide defense in Capital and Death Penalty cases.