Assault and battery Essay

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Assault and Battery: Definitions and Differences

Typically, the terms "assault" and "battery" refer to crimes that have been done or attempts to instill fear in a victim through physical contact. However, the definitions of battery and assault are different in that, despite the fact that both crimes evoke images of brawls or usual fights, the seriousness of the two offenses varies. Although the meanings of assault vary from state to state, certain key components remain constant. As a result, an act that puts the victim in a state of dread outwardly or directly qualifies as an assault. (Barker, 2017). Words that are accompanied by actions that present imminent harm to the victim and result in reasonable fear constitute assault. Assault is committed even in the absence of physical contact since the definition entails that the assault occurs when there is an intentional attempt to injure another person through force or violence.

Definition of Battery

Contrarily, battery, though, may vary by statutes and jurisdiction, it usually entails intentional harmful or offensive touching without the victim's consent. As such, for the battery to have occurred, three conditions must be fulfilled: intentional touching, the touch has to be offensive or harmful, and there is no victim's consent. Thus, where there is no physical contact, it can be concluded that the crime does not define as battery (Barker, 2017).

Classification of Weapons

A person's hands, fists, or feet can all be considered as a dangerous weapon or not, depending on the context. For instance, the United States Constitution provides that when a crime results in serious bodily injury, then the weapon used is considered dangerous. As in the case of State vs. Norberto Bolarinho, the victim is reported to have sustained a serious bodily injury while the defendant is said to have used his feet and fists to inflict the injury (Goldberg, 2017).

Definition of Dangerous Weapons

However, the fists, feet, and hands do not qualify as dangerous weapons in instances when crime committed is a simple assault. For instance, a woman who may slap a man will be committing a simple assault regardless of the bodily harm sustained. In a similar case, the statute on aggravated offense points out that when there is a serious bodily injury without the intended use of hands and fists as deadly weapons, then they do not qualify as dangerous weapons.

Aggravated Assault: Display of Dangerous Weapons

The argument by the State in the case of State v. Flemming indicates that an instance of simple assault in which in the process of its commission the defendant displays the dangerous weapon, then the crime becomes an aggravated assault (Barker, 2017). In such a case, it is imminent that the defendant's hands, feet, and fists will be displayed during the assault, therefore, becoming aggravating factors to the assault or battery.

Criteria for a Dangerous Weapon

From my perspective, an object is construed as a dangerous weapon when it poses imminent bodily harm to the victim even though the injury may not take place. For example, possession of knives and firearms implies that the latent capability of the object coupled with its manner of use could result in serious bodily harm.

Case Law: State v. Bolarinho

The State v. Bolarinho case law presents varied perspectives on the dangerous weapon and how it construes to aggravated assault (Goldberg, 2017). As such, I would employ the case in the discussion since it provides the conditions where the defender can be considered as the perpetrator in an assault.


Conclusively, the cases are relevant to the discussion since they analyze conditions under which assault and battery take place, and how the state brings such crimes to justice. Furthermore, the opinions provided indicate that the evidence of serious bodily injury forms the basis for the nature of the crime committed.


Barker, W. (2017). State v. Flemming, 19 S.W.3d 195 – CourtListener. Retrieved 24 August 2017, from flemming/?

Goldberg, M. (2017). State v. Bolarinho, 850 A.2d 907 – CourtListener. Retrieved 24 August 2017, from bolarinho/

July 15, 2023


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