The Difference Between Assault and Battery

ASSAULT AND BATTERYAssault and Battery exist in two different areas of the law. Here, we will be discussing the civil, not the criminal, version of these claims. Both of these claims are common occurrences, and knowing about them can help you remain safe and empower you with the tools to seek compensation if you have been wronged.

To start off, a general way to think about the difference between the two claims is this: (1) Assault is placing someone in fear of being physically hit; (2) Battery is the actual act of physically hitting someone. So, all claims of Battery can have accompanying Assault claims but not all Assault claims can have an accompanying Battery claim. Now that we have a general understanding, let us go more in depth on the difference between the two.

Arkansas law defines Assault as an “intentional attempt by a person, by force or violence, to do an injury to the person of another [. . .] or any threatening gesture showing in itself or by words accompanying it an immediate intention, coupled with a present ability, to commit a battery.” So, there are a couple of things to take note of here if you think you may have been assaulted. First, the act must have been intentional. If someone accidently falls into you, there has been no assault because the individual did not mean to contact you. Second, there is an interesting nuance with the threatening gesture part of the definition. A threatening gesture is contextual, and could be many things. If someone shakes their fist in your face and is capable of hitting you in that moment, it could easily be that you were assaulted. Importantly, the gesture must be accompanied by an actual ability to follow through. If someone were to shake their fist at you from across a field, there is no assault.

Battery is defined as a wrongful or offensive physical contact with another through intentional contact and without the consent of the victim. This is a much simpler legal claim that does not need much unpacking. Basically, if you are physically contacted in a harmful manner it is a battery. It is important to note what “contact” means though. Battery is not confined to the human body. If some individual hits you with a weapon, projectile or vehicle it still counts as a “contact” for the purposes of this claim.

Assault and Battery can be a frightening experience that can have lifelong impacts. If you have a case that sounds similar to this kind of situation, please do not hesitate to seek help to get the compensation you deserve. At Oliver Law Firm we have years of experience litigating complex cases and representing clients who have suffered from personal injuries. With our representation, you can rest assured that we will go the extra mile to provide you the legal help you deserve. Our office is located just West of Exit 81 on I-49 in Rogers, Arkansas. Give us a call at 479-202-5200.

We serve Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale, Lowell, Bella Vista, Centerton, Decatur, Highfill, Cave Springs, Gravette, Pea Ridge, Fayetteville, Huntsville, Berryville, Eureka Springs and all of Arkansas.