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Assault vs Battery New York: What’s the Difference? 2024

Assault vs Battery New York: What’s the Difference? 2024

New York City is the largest city in the United States, boasting a population of 8.8 million, which is more than double the size of Los Angeles. Because instances of crime, particularly violent crime, tend to be higher in areas with large populations, New York City frequently sees many of these offenses. If you are facing such charges that involve a violent crime, it is important to talk to a New York assault defense attorney who can represent your case.

There are many types of violent crimes that New Yorkers can be charged for. Unfortunately, it is not always clear what these allegations mean and what implications may come with them, especially if you have little legal experience. Understanding the difference between battery and assault crimes in New York can help individuals facing violent crime charges better understand how to move forward with their cases. The following blog clears up the differences between the two.

How New York Criminal Law Defines Assault Offenses

Under New York penal law, there is no mention of battery. All crimes that could be legally defined as battery fall under the umbrella of assault in New York. This includes crimes that involve physical violence directed at victims for a variety of reasons. What is commonly known as battery in general legal knowledge and within the New York civil court is known as assault in New York criminal court.

In New York, there are different categories of assault crimes, each of which is based on the nature of the offense that takes place. The associated penalties are more severe if the crime is more violent. Third-degree assault is the most mild type of assault crime that can be assigned and is otherwise referred to as “simple assault.” Simple assault occurs when the defendant intentionally causes physical harm or does so by reckless or criminally negligent means.

Second and first-degree assault charges are more severe and are charged based on the severity of the crime, as well as if there were any aggravating charges involved, such as the use of a deadly weapon or if the victim was a child. Attempted assault in New York is typically considered to be “aggravated harassment.”

Assault vs Battery New York

What Defense Strategies Can I Use to Fight My Assault Charges in New York?

If you are facing assault charges in New York, then there are various defense strategies that can be deployed to assist you in getting your charges reduced or even dropped. Common strategies include:

  • -Self-Defense. Many assault crime defendants who are able to prove that they were acting in self-defense are able to get their charges dropped. You must be able to demonstrate that you acted in defense of yourself or of others due to fear of imminent harm.
  • -Lack of Intent. Intent has to be proven in order to convict someone of an assault crime. Therefore, a strong defense strategy entails showing that the act was carried out unintentionally.
  • -Consent. If the defendant can show that the crime plaintiff had indeed consented to the violent actions before they were carried out, then the charges can be dropped in some cases.
  • -Mistaken Identity. In some cases, it is possible to show that the defendant who was accused of committing the crime was indeed mistaken for the person who was actually responsible.

By working with an experienced New York assault defense attorney, you can explain all of the details of your case and work towards building a defense strategy that helps you optimize the outcome of your violent crime proceedings.


Q: When Are Civil Battery Charges Brought Against Someone?

A: If a person is attacked or touched in a manner that offends them, then they may bring on a civil battery case. Civil battery cases can include offenses such as a defendant choking, kicking, or hitting a victim in a way that causes physical harm to the victim. However, because New York defines battery as a form of assault, you will most likely face assault charges if you attempt to harm someone in New York.

Q: What Does Assault Mean in New York Civil Law?

A: In New York civil law, assault is referred to as the attempt of battery, attempt to inflict physical harm upon a person, or attempt to touch them in a way that is non-consensual. The victim of an assault crime can sue the defendant in civil court in order to recover compensation for any consequent damages. In a New York civil assault case, physical harm does not have to be carried out against the victim, and there does not have to be any resulting injury.

Q: What Is the Legal Definition of Battery?

A: Battery, in legal terms, is generally defined as using force either directly or indirectly against another individual unlawfully. Such contact can involve causing harm to their body or personal property or if you offend the victim of the crime in some way. In general legal terms, assault is considered to be an attempt at battery.

Q: What Is New York’s Battery Law?

A: There are no battery crimes under New York penal law; therefore, all assault crimes are charged as different levels of assault. According to the law, assault occurs when someone intentionally hits or makes contact with another person and causes them injury. In civil cases, battery and assault are two different torts that often overlap. If you are facing assault charges and are unsure what to do next, you need to work with a New York defense lawyer.

Get Representation from a Fierce New York Assault Defense Attorney

Violent crime convictions often come with serious penalties, including thousands of dollars in fines and lengthy jail and prison sentences. If you are facing such charges, it is important to commence planning for your proceedings as soon as possible. This way, you can mount a strong defense and fight to get your charges reduced or even dropped.

An experienced New York assault defense attorney can help you fight for the optimal outcome in your unique situation. Reach out to the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC,  to secure effective representation during a criminal case in New York.

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