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Fights and brawls happen all the time. Two tough guys may square off in a bar. One person cuts another off in traffic and they both pull over and get into an altercation. A boyfriend and girlfriend may get into an argument that quickly escalates with one laying a hand on the other. Assault and battery cases are among the most common violent crimes that take place in Colorado. While there are many variations of the crime, all can lead to potentially serious fines, jail time and prison sentences if you do not take every possible action to legally defend yourself.
The difference between assault and battery
Assault is defined as an intentional act that causes a person to fear that they are about to suffer harm. It recognizes that placing another person in fear of being physically harmed is an act that deserves to be punished, even if the potential victim is not actually harmed.
Battery was once considered a separate crime from assault and was defined as the actual physical act of completing an assault on another person. However, over time, the laws defining the two crimes have tended to merge together so that now “assault and battery” are considered a single act that may just be referred to as assault when an actual case of physical violence takes place.
Unfortunately, when police officers arrive on the scene of an assault, the person who won the fight many times gets stuck with the assault charge. The scene is usually chaotic and witnesses will probably be friends or associates of the persons who are still at the scene, which is many times the one who is the most injured. As a result, officers can get a highly biased account of what actually happened. Even when both sides give their versions, it’s up to the officer to decide which side to believe. When someone looks like more of a victim, they may end up being the winner, even though they may have been the instigator.
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