Battery vs. Assault


In many states, assault and battery are grouped together as a single offense. Assault is not very different from battery; however, for purposes of law, there are a few significant differences. Assault can be defined as intentional or unintentional infliction of bodily injury, or threats and attempts to that effect on a person.

A person does not have to inflict actual physical harm on someone to be charged with assault, provided the assailant threatened the victim, who truthfully believed themselves to be in danger of impending bodily injury.

Battery on the other hand is the actual infliction of bodily injury following physical impact. Therefore, if a person was threatened or verbally abused, they can complain under assault, but not battery. Battery occurs if the victim is touched in a harmful, violent, offensive or painful way by the assailant – no matter how minor.

Charged with Battery

Battery Charges

Battery is defined as physically hitting, groping or striking another person without their consent. In New York, battery charges can give rise to two suits: criminal charges and civil liability suits. The former is litigated by the state on behalf of the complainant, who can then file a civil claim demanding payment for the injury caused, both physical and emotional.

There are two categories under battery charges, depending on the degree of injury caused to the person.

  • Simple Battery

    – the assailant strikes or touches someone else without that person’s consent. The victim doesn’t have to have been injured, provided there was intent to cause bodily harm.

  • Felony Battery

    – occurs when a person previously convicted of a felony or simple battery is charged with a second similar offense, and results in more severe penalties. Felony battery can also be charged if the victim has endured disability or permanent/long-lasting injury following the attack.

Battery Vs Assault

Battery Penalties

Convictions on battery charges result in very grave penalties, including significant terms of imprisonment, hefty fines and a permanent criminal record. This could make you lose your current job, and make it close to impossible to secure a good job in future.


Penalties exacted following battery in NY depend on the specific circumstances of the incident. In addition, there are some aggravating factors which can lead to the imposition of stiffer penalties, such as previous convictions among others.

Jail Time for Battery

Assault and battery as misdemeanor crimes carry prison sentences of up to 30 months and a fine of up to $1,000. However, in some cases, the defendant may be placed on probation instead of a prison sentence (such as for first-time offenders).

However, in addition to probation, defendants may be required to complete anger management programs or a Certified Batter’s Program. These programs require substantial time commitments and will be at your own cost, which can be in excess of $3,500 for the CBP.

Aggravated battery committed against a victim who is over 65, pregnant or seriously and/or permanently injured carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

Defense Against Battery Charges

If you are facing battery charges, contact the Law Offices of Stephan Jacob Siegal at the earliest possible moment. As qualified assault and battery defense attorneys, we are dedicated to learning the facts of your case and crafting a suitable defense that will get you the best possible outcome. Contact us for your consultation.

Battery Charges