Assault Vs. Battery: What Is The Difference?

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Assault and battery are both potentially violent crimes in Monroe, and throughout Louisiana. Either can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances involved. If you have been charged with assault or battery, it is important to take the charges very seriously. Below, our Monroe violent crime lawyer outlines the differences between these two offenses.

What is Battery in Louisiana?

Simple battery occurs when one person uses force or violence against another person without their consent. Simple battery is usually charged as a misdemeanor and it is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Aggravated battery involves the use of a dangerous weapon while using force or violence against another person. Aggravated battery carries penalties of up to ten years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.

What is Assault in Louisiana?

An assault is usually an attempt to commit battery. Assault charges may also apply when you knowingly cause another person to believe you will commit battery against them and have the immediate ability to commit that battery. As with battery, if a dangerous weapon is not used, the offense is classified as simple assault. Simple assault is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $200. If a dangerous weapon is used, the offense becomes aggravated assault, which carries penalties of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 maximum fine.

Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault

Domestic abuse aggravated assault occurs when one household member assaults another household member using a dangerous weapon. Domestic abuse aggravated assault is taken very seriously. If convicted, the penalties include between one and five years in prison and a $5,000 maximum fine.

Harsher Penalties Apply in Some Cases

State law outlines some protected classes in assault and battery cases. These are specific individuals and when assault or battery is committed against them, the penalties are much harsher. The protected classes outlined in the law include members of the military and disabled veterans, police officers, utility workers, shopkeepers, and assaults and battery that involve a firearm. Drive-by shootings also carry higher fines and longer jail sentences.

Assault and Battery Charges Can Lead to Much More

It is important to note that in some cases, assault and battery charges can escalate into something much more serious. Depending on the nature of injuries and the facts of the case, an incident can result in manslaughter or homicide charges. Even when everyone survives the incident, attempted murder charges may apply under certain circumstances. To avoid these much more serious charges, it is critical to work with a lawyer who can negotiate with the prosecution to get your charges reduced.

Our Violent Crime Lawyer in Monroe Can Help with Assault and Battery Charges

If you or someone you love has been charged with assault or battery, our Monroe violent crime lawyer can help. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our seasoned attorney has a long track record of successfully helping clients beat their charges, and we can put that experience to work for you. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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