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The Difference Between Assault and Battery

March 15, 2020

When people are overly angry, they may ignore that little voice in their head telling them to calm down; instead, they may act on their baser instincts and take their anger and aggression out on another party – especially if said other party caused their anger and is the focus of their ire. When they resort to threat and/or violence, there is a good chance that the third party will press charges against them for assault & battery, or one without the other (for example assault, or battery). Most people only think of them as one unit, but they can be individual charges as well, giving 3 options for your record. What exactly is the difference between them and why does it matter?


When people think of assault and battery, they’re likely thinking of battery on its own. Battery is the physical act of injuring someone or imparting unwanted and offensive contact. In order to prove a battery allegation, the aggressor needs to have hit the victim (or made offensive contact) and the aggressor needed to know that what they would do would be considered offensive contact and/or and injury.

An example of battery would be a husband coming home to find their spouse with another partner, flying into a rage, and beating the unwanted guest.


When most people hear the word assault, they think of someone attacking another person, but as we noted early, that would be filed under battery. Assault, by contrast, is when an aggressor acts or threatens action, that puts a victim into a state of fear that they will be harmed. Even if you never touch, nor physically injure a victim, if you threatened them severely enough that they fear incoming damage, you will likely be convicted of assault.

There is a secondary piece to assault: aggravated assault. To boil it down simply, aggravated assault is essentially assault with a weapon. Take our example of a husband coming home early if we happened to be a gun owner and grabbed it before returning to the bedroom to point it at the unwanted guest, it could be considered aggravated assault, even if he didn’t fire the gun.

What to Do if You’ve Been the Victim of Assault And/or Battery

Immediately contact the local authorities, or if you do not feel safe involving the police yet, contact our offices to speak with a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney so we can assist you by protecting you and your rights, as well as procuring you the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us now for more information.