Albuquerque Assault & Battery Defense Attorney
Battery and assault are often used simultaneously to refer to the same event. Each state has different definitions for the two, leading to much of the confusion as the media and pop culture often use the two terms to refer to the same offense. However, assault and battery are both serious offenses and quite distinct in New Mexico. Contact the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices assault and battery lawyers in Albuquerque if you or a loved one is seeking legal defense.
Assault is defined under New Mexico law as one of the following offenses:
- Attempting to commit a battery on another person;
- Threatening or displaying conduct that another person interprets as believing a battery will occur; or
- Using assaulting language to another which might harm their honor or reputation;
- Assault is generally considered a petty misdemeanor with a punishment range of up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 fine.
However, aggravated assault is much more serious and involves one of the following offenses:
- Unlawfully assaulting or striking at someone with a deadly weapon;
- Committing an assault while wearing a mask or otherwise disguised; or
- Willfully and intentionally assaulting someone with the intent to commit a felony (e.g. robbery, burglary, murder).
Aggravated assault can lead to a fourth degree felony charge, with a punishment range of up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Battery is quite different from assault in New Mexico because it involves actual touching. Assault typically involves only the attempt to commit a battery or the threatening of a battery. Battery is defined under New Mexico law as the “unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to another in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.” Battery is classified as a petty misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $500.
Aggravated battery is also quite different from both assault and ordinary battery because it is the touching of a person with the intent to injure. If you do commit aggravated battery and it results in great bodily harm or you commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon or in a way that could cause bodily harm, you could face up to a third degree felony charge. If you commit aggravated battery that does not cause death or great bodily injury but does result in painful temporary disfigurement or loss or impairment, it is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense.
Defense of Assault and Battery Charges
The key to most assault and battery charges lies on the intent to commit the alleged offense. Battery can often be alleged by the simple accidental touching of another person. This happens on a near daily basis in crowded bus stops, concerts, and elevators. It simply takes an offended person to contact the authorities. Assault works in much the same way and a person can simply take a mock “threat” to heart, contacting authorities. It is important that you contact an experienced Albuquerque criminal defense attorney immediately after charges are filed in order to protect your criminal record. Do not think that you can fight petty misdemeanor charges on your own – if you are convicted with such an offense multiple times, it can heighten a later charge to a misdemeanor or even a felony charge.
Albuquerque Assault and Battery Defense Law Firm
If you have been arrested on suspicion of assault and battery, contact our offices to set up your initial free consultation. Call 505-200-2982. Our Albuquerque assault and battery attorneys are experienced in handling assault and battery cases and understand that charges are often blown out of proportion, without much relevance to the facts of the case. Our attorneys can pick through the facts of the case and develop an argument based on your specific set of circumstances.