Home Defenses The Consent in Assault and Battery Cases

The Consent in Assault and Battery Cases

The Consent in Assault and Battery Cases

In battery and assault cases, an important consideration to be made is that the threat or employment of acts of violence or offensive physical contact were not desired by the person toward whom they were directed. As a result, the understanding and prosecution of battery and assault cases may be altered if it can determined that to some extent the target of the threat or violence allowed them to happen.

Legal terminology refers to this aspect of battery and assault cases as the "privilege" granted to the actor by the adversely impacted individual. One potentially clear-cut form of privilege can be found in consent being give to what might otherwise be assumed to be unwanted physical interference. In cases of such applications of physical force so severe as to normally require the need for an aggravated assault defense, a degree of ambiguity may be found to exist as to whether battery and assault cases can be excused from prosecution by the presence of a form of consent.

A common form of consent can be found in the case of athletes choosing to engage in competitive and potentially dangerous sports. Injuries suffered during the course of such games are deemed less likely to give rise to battery and assault cases than comparable cases occurring outside the context of competitive sports. An aggravated assault defense is only likely to be necessary in instances of actions taken during the game deemed to be outrageous and far outside the bounds of what is normally deemed permissible in game rules and procedures.

Another form of potentially dangerous and, in a sense, inherently violent action nonetheless unlikely to result in battery and assault cases is that of surgery, so long as it proceeds within the bounds reasonably agreed to beforehand. The giving of consent under the laws governing prosecution of assault and battery is not understood as completely opening up the patient to the use of physical force, as the mistaken or intentional action of the surgeon in operating on a part of the body that was neither agreed to beforehand nor justified by the circumstances can lead to the filing of charges.

In mounting a simple or aggravated assault defense in assault cases, defense attorneys may address the issue that violent actions, which coincided with the granting of consent for some form of "violence" but went beyond the bounds they established, can carry with them legal consequences. In such cases, the granting of consent was contingent on some kind of "reasonable" limit being observed, opening up culpability on the part of the granter of consent to a certain extent to the various consequences which an action might have, but only within certain boundaries.

An aggravated assault defense case may also have to contend with the limits which some legal systems may place on the degree of harm to which adult individuals may permissibly consent, even with great specificity, to be made subject to by other adult individuals.