ASSAULT & BATTERY
24/05/16 Is “ASSAULT” the same as “BATTERY”?
Battery connotes to the layman physical violence. The legal meaning, however, is “the intentional or negligent application of physical force to, or the offensive contact with, someone without their consent.”
Assault and battery.
These terms have distinct meanings in criminal and delictual contexts. Essentially, an assault is the use or threat of force upon another that causes that person to have a well-founded fear of physical injury or offensive touching. A battery is the use of force or violence on another (in the criminal sense), or any repugnant intentional contact with another (in the tortious sense).
Shooting a gun just to the side of someone, if that person reasonably fears physical injury, or shooting a blank gun directly at him, would be an assault. Hitting him with a bullet makes the act a battery, even if he never knew he was hit. In the delictual sense, an uninvited kiss by a stranger would be considered a battery.
Many experts note that the distinction is observed only by lawyers, and even by them not consistently.