A “simple assault using physical contact” charge differs from a standard simple assault charge. Generally, accusations of simple assault involve either an attempt to harm another person without the actual enactment or violence or intentionally threatening another person with battery. To argue that a person engaged in simple assault, the prosecution must indicate that:
- You intended to threaten another party or otherwise insinuate fear of harm
- The target of the alleged threat must have genuinely feared for their immediate safety
- The alleged victim must have endured some manner of harm, be it physical or emotional
When you factor physical contact into simple assault charges, however, the circumstances under which you can face legal consequences grow more specific—and more severe. Simple assault using physical contact can be defined as the use of force to threaten or frighten another party. Examples of simple assault using physical contact can include:
- Shaking another person
- Using violence against your surroundings
- Coming into direct contact with an alleged victim in a threatening manner
Though the assault may not even be intentional, it can still be held against you.
Is Simple Assault Using Physical Contact the Same as Assault and Battery?
It is easy to conflate simple assault and battery, as the two charges are often seen together in court. That said, simple assault using physical contact is not the same thing as battery. Battery is specifically defined as the use of violence against another person in such a way as to do harm to that person.
Simple assault using physical contact, comparatively, is classified as the use of physical contact to impress the fear of harm into another person. While simple assault using physical contact can transform into a battery charge, the initial claim only highlights the threat of harm.