Nov 6, 2019 in Analysis

Assault, Battery, and Crimes against Persons

Crimes of Battery and Crimes of Assault

Crimes of battery will arise when an individual touches another person offensively and without his or her consent. Usually offenders have intent of carrying out these crimes and harming the victims. On the other hand crimes of assault result from intentional threats towards other people and use of violence or force to harm them. While no contact is necessary for an act to be ruled as assault, an offensive contact must occur in a battery. In this light even verbal attacks will result to assault. Major differences and similarities between these two crimes will be explained in terms of act and intent requirements.

Act Requirements

In crimes of assault although bodily contact will not be necessary, the offense must constitute a criminal act. The act must be directed to an individual hence causing him or her to fear for his or her safety.

In crimes of battery offensive or harmful contact must occur. Criminal acts under this category will range from physical attack to very minimal bodily contact. However, it is not a must for an individual to be physical injured for an offence to be ruled as a crime of battery. The major determinant is that an offensive contact did occur. For example, in a night club ( D ) who is a man, sexually touches ladies without their consent.

Intent Requirements

For any charges to be ruled out as assault there must be a perceived general intent. This means that if an individual acts in a way which endangers others, assault will still be ruled even if such dangerous behaviors are not directed towards a certain person. Assault charges will even be presented in acts of scaring or frightening others.

In crimes of battery, an individual does not require intent to harm although in many cases such intent exists. Instead, intent to contact or cause contact with an individual will be used to determine if charges fall in this category or not. 

For example ( C ) bumps into a lady on a street. While bumping into a person causes offensive body contact, this can only be ruled as a crime of assault since ( C ) had no intent to cause contact with the lady.

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Ruling the man’s actions as Assault

The major constitutes of acts of assault include intentional attempt, by use of force or violence and harm caused to a victim. In this case, the attacker used force to drag ( A ) into the alley. Moreover, the attacker had an intentional attempt to cause harm to ( A ) mostly through rape had she not run to safety. Under these circumstances, the attacker’s actions could be ruled as assault since constitutes of the same form the basis of the case.

Are the man’s actions punishable as Battery?

The main constitutes of acts of battery include intentional, offensive touching and no consent from the victim. In this case, through dragging ( A ) into an alley, the man’s actions resulted to intentional and offensive touching. The fact that ( A ) hit the attacker with a rock and ran to safety confirms that such contact was not consensual. In this light, the jurisdiction is justified to punish the man’s actions as battery.

Change of Scenario to Consensual Touching

( A ) is walking alone late at night when a man suddenly jumps in front of her. At first she is scared but looking closely she realizes that it is her ex boyfriend. Hand in hand they walk into an alley. The ex boyfriend then strikes A and rips her clothes. In this case, it would be difficult to rule out the actions as battery. This is because of perceived consent that the victim portrayed when she walked hand in hand with the attacker. Moreover, the case cannot be ruled as assault since no violence or force was used when the two walked into the alley. Additionally, the attacker does not show any intentional attempt to attack A.

Crime of False Imprisonment

 False imprisonment constitutes the act of detaining a person within a bounded area without his or her consent. It can be either private or governmental. Such detention is in most cases attained through physical barriers and often violates fundamental human rights (US National Commission on Causes and Prevention of Violence). This can be explained by the fact that free movement for the victim is restrained hence personal liberty being violated. An individual may seek jurisdiction under crime of false imprisonment when faced with a threat of force, threat of arrest or when he or she believes that his or her personal liberty will be violated.

In most cases damages caused by false imprisonment are analyzed in terms of physical injuries, mental suffering and loss of earnings throughout the imprisonment period.

This crime will be punishable in terms of fines, imprisonment or both.

Since false imprisonment can be private or governmental, law enforcement institutions such as police departments and courts need to be careful while making arrests and convictions. In this light, the court will; be allowed to convict the attacker in order to aid in investigations and not as a punishment. This is because such a person is at liberty to obtain a writ of habeas corpus if he proves false imprisonment. This may lead to loss of confidence in these institutions by the citizens.

Differences between False Imprisonment and Kidnapping

While false imprisonment is detaining and individual without his or her consent, kidnapping can be defined as false imprisonment with intent of carrying out a felony. In most cases kidnapping will involve moving a person from one place to another while false imprisonment primarily deals with detainment.

Although kidnapping has been regarded as a more heinous act than false imprisonment, the results from these criminal acts lead to equal suffering especially by the victims. Such suffering will be explained in terms of physical injuries, mental suffering and loss of earnings. Since both act result to violation of personal liberty and human rights, victims are likely to suffer mentally. In addition, since both acts are carried out with a criminal intent, attackers are likely to instill physical injuries on the victims. Such physical injuries will be in terms of battery, rape or even homicides. The last effect of these acts will be in monetary terms where the victim loses earnings since he or she cannot work throughout the detention period. This will cause constraints such as payment of bills on the individual or families whose members have been victims of these acts.

Personal Defense

Under common and tort law, an individual is allowed to apply personal defense in the cases of homicide, assault and battery. In a court of law an attacked individual must prove that resulting to self defense was justified. In this scenario, although ( A’s ) actions may result to battery, the attacker’s choice for self defense will be dependent on whether he feels attacked and at risk. Moreover, since the two individuals are arguing in an open place, it would be easier for the attacker to retreat because an exit is possible.

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