Friday, December 27, 2013

Battery definition and meaning in Criminal Law

Battery (criminal law) Definition and Meaning

Battery is defined as the unlawful application of force to the person of another that results in either bodily injury or an offensive touching. Simple battery is a misdemeanor.
  • Regarding state of mind, intent is not required.
A battery does not need to be intentional. It is enough that the defendant caused the application of force with criminal negligence.
  • Indirect application of force is sufficient.
The force does not need to be applied directly. Therefore, it is sufficient if the force is applied by a force or substance that is set in motion by the defendant. A battery may be committed, for example, by causing a dog to attack the victim or by causing the victim to take poison.
  • Aggravated Battery
Most statutes define certain acts as aggravated batteries and punish them as felonies instead of misdemeanors. The most common are batteries in which:

  1. A deadly weapon is used. Any ordinary object may become a deadly weapon depending on how that object is used.
  2. Serious bodily injury is caused; or
  3. The victim is a woman, child, or a police officer.

  • Consent is sometimes a defense

While the general rule is that consent of the victim is not a valid defense, some jurisdictions recognize consent as a valid defense to simple battery and/or certain specified batteries. An example is medical operations and consensual athletic contests.

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