Battery (crime)

From Academic Kids

In many common law jurisdictions, the crime of battery involves an injury or other contact upon the person of another in a manner likely to cause bodily harm.

Battery is often broken down into gradations for the purposes of determining the severity of punishment. For example:

  • Simple battery may include any form of non-consensual, harmful or insulting contact, regardless of the injury caused
  • Sexual battery may be defined as non-consensual touching of the intimate parts of another
  • Family violence battery may be limited in its scope between persons within a certain degree of relationship: statutes with respect to this offense have been enacted in response to increasing awareness of the problem of domestic violence
  • Aggravated battery is generally regarded as a serious offense of felony grade, involving the loss of the victim's limb or some other type of permanent disfigurement of the victim. As successor to the common law crime of mayhem, this is sometimes subsumed in the definition of aggravated assault.

In some jurisdictions, battery has recently been constructed to include directing bodily secretions at another person without their permission. In some jurisdictions this automatically is considered aggravated battery.

As a first approximation to the distinction between battery and assault:

  • the overt behavior of an assault might be A advancing upon B by chasing after him and swinging a fist at his head, while
  • that of an act of battery might be A actually striking B.

Within United States law, in most jurisdictions, the charge of criminal battery requires evidence of a mental state (mens rea).

See also

battery (tort) Grevious bodily harm Actual bodily harm

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