According to jurisdiction, the crime of assault refers to a threat in the form of physical harm that ultimately instills fear into the victim. On the contrary, the crime of battery is an actual physical impact on other people. Undoubtedly, a clear distinction between the two extremes is manifested in the form of their effect on the physical body of the victim. When there is no physical touch but the action from an individual happens to threaten the other person, and then the crime, in this case, takes the form of assault. However, when an individual’s action causes pain, harm, violence or an offensive impact on the victim, the crime is the battery. Actually, even a minor touch is qualified as a battery if there are symptoms of pain, harm or an offensive act on the victim’s body.
Comparison between the Crime of Assault and the Crime of Battery
In some cases, there exists a close relationship between the crime of assault and the crime of battery. As such, they are at times considered as one offense in the sense that when a person commits crimes, he or she has an ultimate intent to cause harm and to threaten the victim before a physical act. However, although there may exist differences in the magnitude of a battery crime ranging from the first, second and third degrees describing the seriousness of the crime, the two types have some similarities. In some instances, the definition of an assault crime incorporates the characteristics of the battery. Outstandingly, in states that have separate implications of assault and battery, the jurisdictions consider three degrees of assault that guide the extent of sanctions that can be applied. A good example of an assault crime is rape, while physical torture represents battery.
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Essential Legal Elements of Criminal Conduct
An element of legal criminal conduct refers to a set of facts that must be proven to convict a defendant of a legal crime. As such, when presiding over a case in a court of law to claim that the defendant is guilty, the prosecution must present evidence credible and sufficient enough to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant has committed every element of the specific crime presented. Notably, four main elements of criminal conduct include the mental state, conduct, concurrence, and causation of the matter. The first implies the intention that the defendant bore in mind at the time of committing a crime. On the other hand, it refers to the unlawful omission of an act, which must have occurred and lays the basis for criminal liability. Concurrence is another element of legal conduct, whereby both the mental state and conduct must occur concurrently in the sense that the criminal intent must proceed with a criminal act. Causation represents an element of legal conduct when actual harm must take place and be proven as true. For instance, if a homicide has taken place, then killing must be inevitable. One of the fact patterns that would result in the total transformation of either assault or battery into consensual touching entails a potential move by the man to make physical bodily contact with the woman without any intention of causing harm or fear.
The Concept of Criminal Liability
The concept of criminal liability entails the legal liability of an individual for a crime when he/she has acted with criminal intent as opposed to acting accidentally or lacking the ability to act deliberately. According to the legal system, an individual may be sanctioned for a crime only if he or she has been condemned for it and is fully liable. Under romantic linkages, the attacker has the right to defend oneself. Reasonably, the court would consider the issue as a family matter, and the two parties can have the case resolved between themselves.
Application of the Concept of Criminal Responsibility
Criminal responsibility refers to a person’s capabilities to evaluate his or her conduct at the time the crime is committed. In other words, it relates to what the person thinks while committing a crime or the anticipation of the result of his or her actions. Usually, criminal responsibility is linked to the mental state element of a crime. Under the Criminal Justification Act, there are two defenses of duress that include compulsion and a common law defense. In this case, a duress defense occurs when an individual is incapable of having free will for posing a wrongful threat of death or bodily harm to one person that coerces another person to commit a crime that he/she would not have committed. The common law defense does not entail a threat of bodily harm or death. Entrapment, for instance, is a justification defense. In this situation, automatism is an example of an excuse defense that is a claim that the environment around causes the defendant to commit criminal actions involuntarily. However, criminal acts may be incapable when an actor engages in criminal conduct under the influence of a condition or circumstance. In this case, the defendant may seem to have been compelled by the circumstance to act in the manner that contravenes the law, but this may be taken as a form of self-defense.
Contrast of Crimes
Crimes against the person refer to a broad array of offenses, which usually entail bodily harm or a threat of bodily harm and other actions that are committed against the will of the individual. They include kidnapping, harassment, and stalking. Crimes against the property involve the dispossession or transfer of the ownership of property unlawfully from one individual to the other. As such, there is a sharp difference between crimes against the person and the ones against the property, as well as other types of crimes such as a crime of assault and battery. In this sense, each kind is typically different from each other regarding its implications and meanings. However, a similarity comes out in how they are punishable by the criminal law when some contain characteristics of other crime. For instance, the crime of assault contains some elements of the crime of battery.
Circumstances under Which a Crime may be Considered as an Assault
Under several circumstances, an individual’s action may be considered as an assault in regard to its effects on the victim’s body and is treated differently and considered a more serious crime leading to the jailing of the defender. The offender’s action seems to threaten the victim intentionally causing fear of immediate serious violence upon the one as well as evidence of the application of the physical force. In the case at hand, the jurisdiction should charge the man’s action as a battery, since no physical force, cause of fear or any intentional threat is instilled into the victim.
A crime of False Imprisonment
In the common law, the crime of false imprisonment refers to restraining a person in a bounded area without justification or consent, which applies to both the government and private detention, where sufficient evidence must be proven. As such, the change to consensual touching above would be sufficient to allow the court to convict the offender since in this case, he or she has made a physical move to instill fear and threat into the target victim. As such, if the court has a reasonable suspicion based on specific and articulate facts and inferences concerning the intent of criminal activity by the suspect, but has no evidence to support it, the offender can be subjected to false imprisonment.
Kidnapping and False Imprisonment
In criminal law, kidnapping implies an unlawful capture or transportation of an individual against a person’s will. It is usually accompanied by the intention of holding the person until some terms are met. On the other hand, false imprisonment is restraining an individual in a bounded place without justification or consent. In fact, kidnapping is more heinous than false imprisonment since it may also lead to the murder of the victim when terms are not adhered to by the target persons. However, situations arise that necessitate the intervention of individuals and federal, state and local government agencies in crime fighting and prosecution of criminal offenses. Accordingly, the integration of federal agents and prosecutors, as well as the state and the local law administration authorities in the examination and trial of a crime, becomes imperative.