Assault, Battery & Intentional Torts Law in Kansas City

Guiding You through Assault, Battery & Intentional Torts

Personal injury law is filled with cases concerning accidents, slip and falls, and car collisions. There are times, however, when the damage done was not negligence or operator error, but intentional. One person has injured another in some way or fashion, and it falls to a court of law to discover the root causes of the incidents and hold responsible parties accountable.

A Dedicated Firm for Your Defense

Whether in a civil or criminal court setting in Kansas City, Saxton Law Firm seeks justice and compensation for the injured in these types of cases – assault, battery, and intentional torts – and censures for those in the wrong. We use our legal knowledge and experience to prepare the best defense possible for you under the law, and help you make the right legal decisions for your future and your freedom.

Defining Assault

Assault is defined under the law as “an intentional act meant to cause reasonable apprehension of imminent or harmful contact.” Translation: the actions perpetrated by an offender made the victim expect hurt or injury, or at least harmful contact. In most courts, even the reasonable apprehension or fear of being injured is all that is required for the offense to be considered assault.

Types of Assault

Different states have varying definitions of assault. However, there are some universal scenarios from which a lawsuit for assault can arise:

  • Threat of Force: An offender makes a verbal threat of force or harm. This could be any person approaching another with threatening body language (a cocked fist) or speaking aggressively.
  • Real or Imagined Force: An offender points a fake weapon or makes threatening moves, even in jest, towards another person. That person perceives they are in imminent danger (whether they are or not).
  • Endangerment: The victim crosses the offender’s path, such as in a crosswalk, and the offender ALMOST strikes the victim (with a car). That near collision could be considered assault. 

What is Battery?

By definition, the battery is different from assault because actual physical contact is made with the victim – not just the threat of contact. This contact is considered to be harmful, intentional, and offensive. The victim does NOT even need to be physically harmed to be considered battery in civil battery cases. In most civil courts, all that is required for the battery designation is for the contact to be offensive, inappropriate, and intentional.

Civil Vs. Criminal Battery

The two types of battery, civil and criminal, are alike in many aspects according to their legal definitions. They do, however, have unique, important distinctions which help define the nature of their cases and determine the severity of punishment:

  • Civil Battery: Civil battery is an intentional tort, not one that stems from negligence. In civil battery cases there must be intent to commit the act, non-consensual touching or contact between two individuals, and the infliction of physical, mental, or emotional harm.
  • Criminal Battery: Criminal Battery, by contrast to Civil Battery, requires the presence of “Mens rea,” or criminal intent to do wrong by offensive or harmful contact. Defendants can be sued in civil court for identical offenses and repeat criminal battery offenses warrant much more severe censures.

Exploring Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are defined as wrongful acts done on purpose. They do not need to cause harm with forethought, however, the harm is done (such as pranks), or the harm involved can be intentional, such as domestic abuse. This definition covers a broad array of actions and can be split up into a variety of subcategories including assault, battery, false imprisonment, emotional distress, and others.

Damages in Assault, Battery & Tort Cases

Injuries in civil cases can have varying levels of severity, state by state. No actual physical harm is required in most instances, so the damage awards and punishments are at the discretion of the courts. When there is no harm done, technically the assault did take place, but it may not be worth the plaintiff pursuing it. When the assault or battery requires medical treatment or hospitalization, however, lawsuits and legal action are the best ways to recoup expenses for medical bills, pain, and suffering.

Defenses in Assault and Battery Tort Cases

If you are the defendant in a personal injury case involving assault, battery, or intentional torts, the keys to winning your case rely on several common factors your legal team must employ:

  • Consent: Did the victim agree to the potential of being injured? If you can prove the plaintiff consented to physical contact, their case will be very difficult to prove.
  • Privilege: In certain professions, law enforcement, for instance, there exists a degree of privilege that is laid out as an expectation. However, the use of force must be reasonable and appropriate to stand as a defense.
  • Self Defense or Defense of Others: If a defendant was defending themselves or others, then a charge of assault or battery most likely will not stand up in court. Again, the response must be reasonable and fit the situation and circumstances.

Contact Saxton Law Firm for Strong Defense

Saxton Law Firm has a deep understanding of the definitions of assault under the law and serves to guide all of our clients through those interpretations. Call us today for your free legal consultation.

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