When it comes to committing a crime, there are degrees of a crime that exist in order for a commensurate and appropriate sentence to be dispensed in a court of law. In cases of battery or physical abuse, there exists a categorization based on the severity of the battery or abuse experienced. Thus, aggravated battery is a more severe form of simple battery.
Simple battery is considered to be the deliberate touching of another individual with the intention of harming said person. The harm to be done does not need to be great or severe to be considered in a case of simple battery. Touching is defined as direct contact or contact through an object or substance. Simple battery is a case of misdemeanor as compared to aggravated battery, which is a felony.
Aggravated battery is distinct from simple battery due to the presence of an aggravating factor. This factor usually causes a greater degree of harm. An aggravating factor may be in the form of involvement of a child, a woman, an elderly person, or a government official or agent. It may also mean a particular location such as school zones, public transit, or other protected places. Aggravated battery may also exist in circumstances involving a deadly weapon, a hate crime, or severe body injury, which means possibility or risk of death or unconsciousness.
An aggravated battery charge can involve more than a year of imprisonment. It is also possible that a person accused of aggravated battery may undergo probation.