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“Assault” is used as an umbrella term to refer to a variety of charges, all of which involve attempting or threatening to harm or injure someone. More specifically, assault involves intentionally making someone fearful or apprehensive that you are going to inflict them with “imminent harmful or offensive contact”.
This definition can be confusing, since people usually use the word “assault” to mean physically hurting someone. However, the legal definition of assault does not require any physical contact.
What Is Battery? Is It A Separate Charge From Assault?
Like the term “assault”, the term “battery” is also used as an umbrella to refer to several different types of charges. While assault charges involve the attempt or threat to hurt someone, battery charges involve actually making physical contact with someone’s body in an attempt to hurt them. More specifically, battery is defined as the forceful, violent, or offensive touching of a person or something physically close to a person in an attempt to physically harm them,
“Assault and battery” are often used together as one phrase, and are often used together as joint charges. However, Michigan does consider battery a separate charge from assault. It is possible to commit assault, for instance, without committing battery.