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What Is an Assault & Battery in Virginia?

Jan. 23, 2017

In Virginia an assault and battery is any offensive touching of another person. As you can see, the definition of assault and battery is very broad. It doesn't have to be a punch and the victim of the assault and battery does not have to be injured. It's enough for the prosecutor to prove that you touched someone in an offensive way.

What Is an Offensive Touching?

An offensive touching is what a reasonable person would consider offensive under the circumstances. It's important to know that it doesn't matter what you think is offensive. It matters whether a person in those circumstances would consider the touching to be reasonable.

What if I Don't Physically Touch Someone, Can that Still Be Assault and Battery?

Yes. For example, if you throw something at someone, and the object that you threw touches them in an offensive manner, that can be assault and battery. If you spit on someone in an offensive manner, that will almost certainly be assault and battery. If you hit something out of someone's hand or head or other body part in an offensive manner, that can be assault and battery. Even if you don't actually physically touch the other person.