Battery vs Assault

Battery vs Assault

Battery and assault are a combination of threat and physical harm. The severity of harm caused decides the charge of a battery and assault case. It could either be a misdemeanor or felony according to common law.

Difference between Battery and Assault

Topic   Battery  Assault
 Justification  Self-defense, defense, necessity Self-defense or defense
 Common-Law Intentional tort (Negligent tort in Australia) Intentional tort
 Important aspect Physical contact is mandatory The threat of violence is enough to constitute assault; no physical contact is necessary
 Purpose To cause harm To threaten
 Name of crime Definitely physical Not necessarily physical


Any reasonable threat to a person is assault while battery is defined as the use of force against another with the intent of causing physical harm without his consent. In other words, assault is the attempt to commit battery.


An assault can cause fear of impending violence in a person even though there is no actual violence inflicted. The battery on the other hand trespasses into the comfortable personal space of a person without his consent and causes him bodily harm.

Is battery possible without assault?

There must be an intent to harm, but the intent is not sufficient if it produces the mere possibility of harm or the threat of battery in the distant future. Rather, the intent must be evidenced by imminent danger, some overt act that threatens battery. 

Is battery considered a violent crime?

Assault and battery use are two violent crimes that involve threatening harm or causing actual harm to another person.

Thus, words or intentions alone do not constitute assault.

Is spitting a battery?

In the state of California, spitting on another person, someone's food, or similar acts such as the ones committed by Arguello could lead to battery charges. Under California Penal Code Section 242, the battery is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. Any use of force that results in actual physical contact with another person can lead to a battery charge.

You may like

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url