Assault and battery are classified as crimes against a person and are often prosecuted aggressively, even for juvenile offenders. Minors who commit assault or battery, or who already have a criminal history, are statistically more likely to commit these crimes in the future. Therefore the court often pursues aggressive remedial programs for juvenile offenders to discourage them from committing these types of crimes later in life. If you have been accused of assault or battery as a minor, it may be in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense lawyer to begin preparing your defense.
What is Assault?
Assault is classified as a violent crime and is the act of attempting to inflict physical harm upon another individual. Additionally, if an offender threatens another person with violence, and the victim believes that he or she will be seriously injured, the offender can be charged with assault. It is not necessary for a person to physically hit another to be arrested for assault.
What is Battery?
Unlike assault, the law requires that the offender make physical contact with the victim in order to be charged with battery. However, the contact does not have to be violent to be considered battery. Any unlawful physical contact that is made with another person without his or her consent can lead to a battery arrest. Battery may include grabbing, hitting, simply touching the victim, or any other unwanted physical contact.
A juvenile assault or battery conviction may carry severe penalties, even for a first offense. The crime can range from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense, depending on the details of the act. Some of the penalties that may be issued upon conviction include:
- Time in a juvenile detention facility or prison
- Probation, possibly including house arrest
- Heavy fines
- Community service hours
- Enrollment in a treatment program and/or counseling
In addition, a juvenile convicted of any crime will have the burden of a criminal record. Having a criminal history can make it difficult for a minor to be accepted to an educational institution, apply for scholarships, find a job, or secure a loan, even years after a conviction. If you are a minor and you have been charged with assault or battery, or if your child is facing one or more criminal charges, consider speaking with a juvenile defense lawyer about your case.