You may have heard on television or read online that someone was taken into custody by Oklahoma authorities for assault and battery. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, the truth is that they are two separate charges. Therefore, you could be charged with assault but not battery or battery but not assault depending on the facts of your case.
What to know about assault charges
An assault charge may arise after taking an act that injures or intends to injure another person. In some cases, you may commit assault by taking an action that a reasonable person would know could harm another person even if you didn’t necessarily intend to do so. It’s also possible to meet the criteria for assault simply by threatening to harm someone else or causing another person to believe that they are in danger of being hurt for any reason.
What to know about battery charges
You may be charged with battery if you touch another person without the victim’s consent and that touching results in an injury. As with an assault charge, you don’t need to intend to harm someone to violate the law. However, battery is generally considered to be a type of negligent behavior as opposed to reckless behavior. For instance, shoving someone during an argument is more likely to be considered battery than assault in a criminal law proceeding.
If you’re convicted of battery or assault, you may spend time in jail, pay a fine or be subject to other penalties. However, it may be possible to get the charge reduced or dismissed by casting doubt on the contents of a police report or witness testimony. You may also be able to introduce evidence such as a recording of what happened before you were charged.