Assault and battery is a serious and distressing violent crime that affects thousands of people every year. While often treated as a single crime, “assault” and “battery” are in reality two elements of a single criminal activity. Assault is regarded as any threatening or intimidating behavior, meant to cause the victim fear of immediate physical harm. Assault does not include physical touching. Battery, on the other hand, is the physical act of causing injury to another human being. The main differentiation between assault and battery is the existence of harmful physical touching, whether a punch, a shove, a slap or other action. Although the physical component in fact supersedes the crime of “assault,” they are commonly understood in tandem in laymen discussion.
Assault and battery, like other kinds of intentional or negligent injury, is subject to both criminal and civil law. The State of Georgia outlines rules for criminal application based on the specifics of the case, and additionally considers any special factors (such as acts of self-defense, defense of another person or property, or if the crime is perpetrated against a protected class). If one person causes injury to another in a violent and intentional way, the victim has recourse to seek remuneration for pain & suffering, medical costs, and wage losses incurred as a result of the injuries they received. In addition, they may seek damages for chronic effects of the violent crime, such as anxiety, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress.
In determining liability for assault and battery, the victim must demonstrate that the responsible person caused bodily injury, with no attached “privilege.” Privilege is the existence of specific circumstances in which the injury resulted within some protected behavior (such as participating in a sporting event, or in a police procedure). For instance, you cannot assert assault & battery against officers who use reasonable physical force in the case of an arrest. In the absence of any privileged action of the perpetrator, the victim of assault and battery is entitled to receive compensation for the harm suffered.
Each case is different, and should be discussed with a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.