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Previous blogs have explored the definition of Assault and Battery. However, just to remind you, “Assault” and “Battery” are two separate offenses but are more commonly referred together as a third crime, “Assault & Battery.” “Assault” is the attempt or threat of violence, such as a person taking a swing at another person or throwing something at the person, without making contact. “Battery” is the use of actual force against another person or any unwanted touching.  An “Assault & Battery” is a combination of an “Assault” and a “Battery,” such as punching someone else or throwing and hitting the person with some type of missile.  In many ways, a “Battery” and an “Assault & Battery” are interchangeable.  Any one of these three crimes can be aggravated by the use of a dangerous weapon, which will increase the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony and may result in a harsher penalty.



Today, “Assault And Battery” is not considered a capital crime, but that was not always the case. In England, in 1837, the Piracy Act imposed the death penalty for pirates if they committed “Assault with Intent to Murder.” On February 22,1864, five men were hung to death for this offense. In another case, James Hayler, a 34-year-old weaver, who was said by the court to have a ‘disorder in the head,’ was arrested for “Assault and Battery” after he quarreled with his roommate, kicked him and then hit him with a hammer several times. His roommate died, and the court did not accept his plea of mitigation that the ‘Devil and Gin were very strong and powerful.’ Hayler was hanged in London on October 29,1753.

Today, every lawyer know that the penalties for “Assault And Battery’ vary depending on the state in which the crime was committed and the severity of the offense. Repeat offenders can expect to be treated to a lengthy time in jail. In Massachusetts, “Assault,” ‘Battery” and “Assault And Battery’ can all be punished by up to 2 1/2 years in jail. Domestic Assault And Battery is taken far more seriously today than previously, and the fact that two people may co-habit or be married does not give one a license to assault & batter the other.

Defenses to Assault And Battery


Many defendants argue that the Assault or Battery was committed because they were protecting themselves from attack, in other words, in self-defense. In cases of Sexual Assault, the defendant may claim that the victim was a willing partner.  In other cases, the lawyer of the Defendant may claim that the Battery was strictly an accident, that there was no intent and thats why you allways should get the best boston criminal lawyer.  In addition, sometimes the victim may recant his/her testimony, sign an Accord & Satisfaction, or exercise a Fifth Amendment Right or Spousal Privilege.

On the Lighter Side


Did you know the term “Assault and Battery’ has been used by several bands, as either an album or a song title? For instance, Nuclear Assault called its 1997 compilation “Assault and Battery.” “Assault and Battery” was also used as a song title by Hawkwind in its album Warrior on the Edge of Time.  In addition, Genesis used “Robbery, Assault and Battery” as a song title.

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