Rhode Island Simple Assault and/or Battery Statute and Penalties

Rhode Island Simple Assault and/or Battery Statute and Penalties


Today, the terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably; however, these terms actually differ in meaning. An assault is either an attempted or threatened battery. By contrast, a battery is a completed assault and involves actual contact. Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law, 11-5-3, anyone that commits an assault or battery or both may be imprisoned for up to one year, fined up to $1,000, or both. However, the penalties significantly increase if an assault and/or battery are committed upon a family or household member, involves a dangerous weapon, or results in serious bodily injury. The following section further discusses the difference between assault and battery.


Understanding Assault

In Rhode Island, an assault is an intentional act that places another individual in fear of imminent harm or danger. It is important to note that assault does not require physical contact between individuals. For example, an assault occurs if one individual throws a rock at another individual with the intent to injure the target, which places him or her in fear, but misses. Certain behaviors, however, such as telling an individual that he or she will be harmed at a future point in time does not constitute as an assault.


Understanding Battery

In Rhode Island, a battery involves the intentional touching of another individual without his or her consent that is offensive or results in bodily injury. For example, a battery occurs if one individual sneaks up behind another individual and strikes him or her. Certain behaviors, however, such as tapping another person’s shoulder to ask for the time does not constitute as a battery.


Understanding Assault and Battery

There are also situations when both an assault and battery occur. For example, if two individuals are having a quarrel and one swings a bat at the other and hits him or her, then both an assault and battery have occurred. An assault occurred when the individual swung the bat at the victim and placed him or her in fear of imminent harm, and a battery occurred when the bat hit the victim causing bodily injury.


Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.