Schimizzi Law, LLC
Phone: 724-972-4524
Toll Free:866-475-0816
Text Message: 724-454-6718

Assault vs. aggravated assault vs. battery

While many people use the terms "battery" and "assault" interchangeably, there is a significant difference. This is why it is so important to learn the legal definitions of both in the state of Pennsylvania

In some cases, an attorney will attempt to reduce the charges. For example, if a person faces charges for battery, then a lawyer may attempt to reduce the charges to simple assault, which is still serious but carries less harsh penalties. Here are the ways to differentiate assault, aggravated assault and battery.


Assault occurs when a person tries to intentionally cause bodily harm to another individual. It does not actually have to entail physical harm. The intent needs to exist for assault charges to come to the table. For example, a person walking around with a pocket knife in the jacket pocket is not committing assault. However, if that same person gets into an argument with another individual and takes out the pocket knife, then the court may view that as assault and potentially aggravated assault. 

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is also commonly known as assault with a deadly weapon. An assault charge often becomes upgraded once a weapon becomes involved or when the perpetrator exhibits an extreme lack of concern for human life. For instance, a person driving a car while intoxicated may face aggravated assault charges in addition to DUI charges because he operated a motor vehicle and could have significantly hurt others. A threat can also become aggravated assault if it happened against a police officer even if a weapon did not come into play. 


Battery occurs when the person actually harms another. Therefore, a person may face both assault and battery charges if he threatened another individual first and then followed through and punched the other person. 

There are many defenses for any of these charges. An attorney may try to prove a fight was consensual instead of one-sided. Self-defense and involuntary intoxication often come up, too. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Keystone Commons
35 West Pittsburgh Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Toll Free: 866-475-0816
Phone: 724-972-4524
Phone: 724-454-6718
Fax: 724-837-7868
Map & Directions

Make payment | Visa | Master Card | Discover | American Express | Law Pay practice panther image