Aggravated Battery Definition

January 11, 2012 by staff 

Aggravated Battery Definition, Battery is a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact, distinct from assault which is the fear of such contact.

In the United States, criminal battery, or simply battery, is the use of force against another, resulting in harmful or offensive contact. It is a specific common law misdemeanor, although the term is used more generally to refer to any unlawful offensive physical contact with another person, and may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Battery was defined at common law as “any unlawful touching of the person of another by the aggressor himself, or by a substance put in motion by him.” In most cases, battery is now governed by statute, and its severity is determined by the law of the specific jurisdiction.

Specific rules regarding battery vary among different jurisdictions, but some elements remain constant across jurisdictions. Battery generally requires that:

an offensive touching or contact is made upon the victim, instigated by the actor; and
the actor intends or knows that his action will cause the offensive touching.
Under the Model Penal Code and in some jurisdictions, there is battery when the actor acts recklessly without specific intent of causing an offensive contact. Battery is typically classified as either simple or aggravated. Although battery typically occurs in the context of physical altercations, it may also occur under other circumstances, such as in medical cases where a doctor performs a non-consented medical procedure.

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