If you are arrested for assault and battery, you might be wondering what your next steps are. It helps to understand what this charge is and how best to defend yourself against it before you go any further. Here are some things to know about assault and battery charges.
Assault and Battery Are Not the Same
While assault and battery charges are often combined, they don't usually mean the same thing. This is important to know, because if you assaulted someone but did not commit battery, you should not be charged with both. The difference can also help when you are working on your defense for the case. Assault is usually when there is a threat of violence or physical harm, but battery is when that harm takes place. If you had a verbal disagreement with someone and threatened to punch them, but never did, you can't be arrested for both assault and battery.
There Are Several Possible Defenses
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, you might be able to come up with any number of defenses. When you get an attorney, they will likely discuss these with you after finding out more details about what actually transpired. A common defense for an assault and battery charge is self-defense. If you were in a physical altercation with someone after they assaulted you, and you were concerned they would harm you, you might have been physical to get them away from you. While technically this could be a battery charge, you can say it was self-defense. If you were defending others or your property, that is another good defense for assault and battery charges.
The Sentencing and Fines Can Vary
You should also know that even if you are convicted of an assault and battery charge, the sentencing can vary greatly. This also depends on the circumstances, including whether self defense was involved, and the severity of the injury. If there was a dangerous weapon used, the sentencing might be more severe than if it was an assault where no weapons were used. Common sentencing includes anger management courses, paying fines and possibly being sent to jail for a short period of time.
You Should Get a Criminal Attorney
Regardless of whether you are guilty or not, and if you have a defense, you should get help from a criminal attorney. They will be able to handle the case, get the evidence needed and deal with all legal situations regarding the case so you don't have this added stress.