Assault and battery charges can carry harsh consequences. Misdemeanor assault and battery cases carry up to a year in jail. Felony assault and battery cases can carry several years in the penitentiary or even a life sentence depending on the severity of the crime. Assault and battery charges are violent crimes and some of them are known as 85% crimes because 85% of the sentence must be served before a convicted person is eligible to start earning early release points or to go out on parole. Because of the nature of these crimes, it is important to hire an attorney to protect your rights.
A judge would explain to a jury that “assault” means any unlawful attempt or realistic threat backed up with action to harm another with force or violence committed on purpose. In other words, assault is either a failed attempt to harm someone or it is some kind of threat that is more than mere words. On the other hand, “Battery” means to successfully and unlawfully use force or violence on another person on purpose. Often, if a battery has been committed, an assault has also been committed. Other times, the District Attorney’s office simply charges both to see what will stick.
Aggravating factors are things that make a crime worse in the eyes of the law and therefore face stricter penalties. Loosely speaking, striking someone the same size as yourself with an open hand is toward the bottom of the scale in this family of offenses. Striking someone with a work boot is worse. Striking someone with a wrench or a baseball bat is much, much worse. And, of course, shooting and stabbing are also treated harshly by the law.
If the police investigating an assault and battery case are interested in you, they are not trying to help. They may say they are trying to help you by excluding you from the suspect list. However, they are also trying to find someone they can convict of a crime.
You should contact the Firm to better understand your situation and to arrange for a strong defense.