Assault and Battery

While most people have heard the term “assault and battery,” few understand its true legal meaning. Assault and battery are actually two separate acts, though they often occur together.

Defining Assault and Battery

Assault is an intentional attempt to cause harm to another person. Battery, on the other hand, is the actual use of force against another person. Put another way, assault is taking a swing at someone while battery is the punch actually making contact.

Because a person may attempt to harm someone without actually making physical contact, he or she may be charged with assault only. However, in most cases where physical contact was made, assault and battery will both be charged because the attempt (assault) generally precedes the act (battery).

Penalties for Assault and Battery

Oklahoma law distinguishes several different types of assault and battery, depending on the circumstances of the case. For instance, you may be charged with domestic assault or domestic abuse if you had a relationship with or shared a household with the victim. In other cases, assault and battery may be charged as a felony.

The two basic assault and battery charges are simple assault and misdemeanor assault and battery.

  • Simple assault (making a threat or attempting to harm someone) can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail
  • Misdemeanor assault and battery (attempting to harm and actually making physical contact) may be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail

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