Domestic Battery


The law surrounding battery can be extremely difficult to understand, especially when it is accompanied by other issues commonly found in domestic situations. If a person and their significant other get into an argument, they have created a situation where it unfortunately is not uncommon for the disagreement to become physical. In doing so, the aggressor has simply made a bad situation worse, and in the long run nothing good will come out of it.

Battery, a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, is the unlawful striking or application of force to another. Battery encompasses numerous scenarios including situations that are what many people mistakenly think of when they say they have been “assaulted”. The difference between simple assault and battery is that for battery, fear is not a factor; only contact is required. If someone knocks over your plate, kicks you, pushes you, punches you, scratches you, or bites you, among other things, an assault and battery has occurred even if you were not scared. Going back to the argument example from before, even if you do not know that your significant other is about to hit you, as long as they do an assault and battery has occurred.

In any statute that requires actual physical contact, what is really required is a battery to have occurred, even if the charge itself uses the word assault. What this means is that if there is no physical contact, then arguably no crime has occurred. Some examples of these include:

  1. Assault Inflicting Serious Injury, a Class A1 misdemeanor;
  2. Assault by Strangulation, a Class H Felony;
  3. Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury, a Class F Felony;
  4. Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury, a Class E Felony; and
  5. Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, a Class C Felony.

There are also assaults that do not require battery to have occurred, meaning that even if there is no actual contact, the facts may fit the elements required for the crime. Some examples of these include:

  1. Assault by Pointing a Gun, a Class A1 misdemeanor;
  2. Assault on a Female, a Class A1 misdemeanor; and
  3. Assault on a Child under 12, a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  4. Assault with a Deadly Weapon, a Class A1 misdemeanor;
  5. Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill, a Class E Felony;

There are even crimes that require both an assault and a battery, such as secret assault, which is a Class E felony.

The discussion above is not inclusive by any means. In every situation, it is possible for multiple charges to fit or none to fit at all, and the impact of one fact could be the determining factor. Even if no criminal charges are ever taken out for allegedly criminal conduct, the impact on your family is clear. Any time there are allegations of violence, the landscape of the home is changed.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of an assault and battery, contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a consultation. Not only do we have former prosecutors among our ranks of criminal defense attorneys, but we also have Board Certified Family Law Specialists among our family law attorneys. Acting in concert with one another, we have the background and experience required to help you make the best out of a bad situation.