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What Is Battery? And What Makes Battery a Felony (Types & Differences)

Battery is considered a violent crime in most states, and can be alternatively charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the injuries sustained by the victim and other circumstances.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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What is Battery?

Legally speaking, battery is considered the unlawful application of force directly or indirectly upon another person or their personal belongings, causing bodily injury or offensive contact. The attempt at battery is assault.

What is Simple Battery?

Simple battery occurs when a person unlawfully touches another person with force or violence. Said touching is considered "simple battery," and does not have to actually cause any harm or injury.

What is Aggravated Battery?

Battery that causes serious bodily injury is referred to as “aggravated battery.” A person commits aggravated battery when, in committing a battery, other than by the discharge of a firearm, he or she is on or about a public way, public property, a public place of accommodation or amusement, a sports venue, or a domestic violence shelter, or in a church, synagogue, or mosque.

What is Sexual Battery?

Sexual battery is the touching of someone's intimate parts, against their will, for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. Acquaintance rape is the most common type of sexual battery. More than 80% of rapes are acquaintance rapes and more than 50 % of them occur on dates.

When is Battery a Misdemeanor and When is it a Felony?

Prosecutors may charge battery as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case, the extent of the victim’s injuries, and the defendant’s criminal history. Most state laws specify that battery is a felony if it rises to the level of aggravated battery. Most jurisdictions charge simple battery as a misdemeanor.

What is the Penalty for Battery?

Simple battery may be punished by a fine of $2,000, and/or by imprisonment in jail for a maximum of six months. If you are convicted of a felony aggravated battery, the legal penalties include 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison, a fine up to $10,000, and felony formal probation.

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