The crime of battery is often coupled with assault charges. They are two different crimes, but battery cannot happen without assault. Battery is when you physically strike, hit, and/or (sometimes) grope a person without their consent. This is a serious charge that will impact your life if you are convicted. The degree of the charge, depends on the seriousness of the crime, the amount of damages that occurred, and if a weapon was used. These different factors of the crime will affect the level of the charges brought against you. We will explain the commonly used laws, but urge you to contact an assault and battery attorney if you are being charged with battery. It is not uncommon for the degree of a battery charge to morph the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Battery in the 3rd-degree

This is the sister charge to assault in the 3rd degree. If you injured someone and intended to do so, you committed battery. It does not matter if the pain was minimal (like a slap in the face) or if the person did not seek medical attention. If you strike them or strike someone other than them while trying to strike them, you can be charged with battery. This carries fines and up to 1-year in jail.

Battery in the 2nd-degree

This is the next step up in battery charges, and the penalties are harsher. If you assault someone, and intended to hurt them, (even if you do not seriously hurt them), and caused some harm to come to them, it could be battery in the 2nd-degree.

As you see the difference between 3rd-degree and 2nd-degree depends on various factors in each case. Of course, your attorney will be working to get the charge reduced to the 3rd-degree misdemeanor charge. If you caused significant bodily harm (such as a broken bone) the charge is usually 2nd-degree battery, which carries a mandatory jail sentence of up to 5 years in jail.

The difference in these charges can be due to how you assaulted them. If you used a deadly weapon or hurt them with complete disregard of what could happen to them or others, then your punishment will be more severe.

Battery in the 1st-degree

While there are various factors that could affect the weight of the charges, the next big step is battery in the 1st-degree. This is when you used a deadly weapon and hurt someone. You intended to hurt them, and they were harmed significantly. A deadly weapon can be anything from a gun or knife to an automobile or baseball bat. If it was used as a weapon to hurt someone and they were hurt, the charge becomes 1st-degree battery, and the sentence can range from 5-years in jail to 25-years in jail. There are also significant fines, and you could also be charged in civil court for damages.

The justice system will do everything within their power to maximize the charges. There are so many factors that can directly affect this type of case. Only experienced assault and battery attorneys will do. If you are facing charges of this nature, understand they can quickly grow. Contact an attorney right away.