Some states distinguish between various degrees of assault depending on whether the assault resulted in actual physical contact, and the degree of violence intended, or remained only the threat of violence. Assaults are also defined as simple or aggravated.
A simple assault is limited in the use of physical force and results in little to no injury to the victim, and where there is no intention to do any other injury, such as during a fight that both parties agreed to enter into. Simple assault is punishable by common law with fines and/or jail.
Aggravated assault includes the threat of violence as well as an additional aggravating factor, such as the intent to inflict serious, severe or aggravated bodily injury or the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon, such as a knife or a firearm. It can also involve assault performed in connection with the commission of another crime, such as robbery, rape or murder. Aggravated assault is usually charged as a felony, punishable by a state prison term.
The charge of assault does not require actual contact with the intended victim, but is just the actual reasonable and immediate threat of forceful contact, and even if it turns out that the perpetrator had no actual ability to carry out the threat, the charge is still viable.
Assault is generally associated with battery, and they are often charged together against a suspect. But in many jurisdictions, they are distinct crimes, and while it is possible to be charged with only assault, anyone charged with battery must also be guilty of assault. In other states, the laws do not differentiate between assault and battery when the physical contact has occurred, and the assault becomes a lesser included offense of battery, meaning that the assault merges into battery and the suspect may be convicted of one or the other, but not both crimes.
To consult State Legislation regarding assault laws and regulations please see the Criminal Code by State page. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Assault Law – US
- Assault - Overview by the Law Digest
Assault is an intentional attempt or threat to inflict injury upon a person, coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm, which creates a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or offensive contact in another. Assault does not require actual touching or bodily harm to the victim. Assault and battery are sometimes used interchangeably, but battery is an unjustified harmful or offensive touching of another. Battery also differs from assault in that it does not require the victim to be in apprehension of harm.
- Assault and Sexual Assault - Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) - US Department of Justice
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, provides national leadership in developing the nation's capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
- Assault, Conditional Assault and Aggravated Assault
An assault is classified as either an attempted battery or an intentional frightening of another person; physical contact is not an element of the crime in either of these situations. Many states do not define assault, and some states list it under attempt rather than under assault.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics - Criminal Victimization in the United States - Aggravated Assault
BJS mission: To collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. These data are critical to Federal, State, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded.
- US Code: Title 18, Part I - Chapter 7 - Crimes - Assault
Assault Law - Europe
- Offences Against The Person - Common Assault - England and Wales
An offence of common assault is committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery: * An assault is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force. (Archbold 19-166 and 19-172) * A battery is committed when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another. (Archbold 19-166a and 19-174 to 19-175).
- Offences Against the Person Act 1861 - Assaults - UK
- Personal Safety & UK Laws
The University of Westminster is a large multicultural institution with many International students. Students should familiarize themselves with the main laws within the UK as they may differ from other countries.
- Sexual Assault Laws in the CEE/FSU Region
Several similarities and differences with regard to sexual assault legislation exist among the countries in the CEE/FSU region. Like other countries around the world, rape prevention in this region suffers from underreporting. Rapes are underreported for similar reasons as the rest of the world: self-blame, fear of being disbelieved, fear of facing the perpetrator, etc.
Assault Law - International
- Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault
ACSSA aims to improve access to current information and resources in order to assist those committed to working against sexual assault. ACSSA will help to support and develop strategies that aim to prevent, respond to, and ultimately reduce the incidence of this crime.
- Criminal Code Act - Part V - Chapter 25 - Nigeria
Assaults and violence to the person generally: Justification and Excuse
- Penal Code - Chapter XVI - Assault - Singapore
Whoever makes any gesture or any preparation, intending or knowing it to be likely that such gesture or preparation will cause any person present to apprehend that he who makes that gesture or preparation is about to use criminal force to that person, is said to commit an assault. Mere words do not amount to an assault. But the words which a person uses may give to his gestures or preparations such a meaning as may make those gestures or preparations amount to an assault.
- Section 265 to Section 272 of the Canadian Criminal Code - Assault
Similar to the United States, there are many different ways in which an assault can occur. Generally an assault occurs when a person directly or indirectly applies force intentionally to another person. An assault can also occur when a person attempts to assault another or threatens to do so without the consent of the other person. An injury need not occur for an assault to be committed. The force used must be offensive in nature with an intention to apply force. Therefore, in certain circumstances, a “tap”, “pinch”, “push”, or other minor physical action can be considered an assault. An accidental application of force is not an assault. The potential punishment for an assault in Canada varies depending on the manner in which the charge proceeds through the court system and the type of assault that is committed.
Organizations Related to Assault Law
- Advocates for Victims of Assault
Advocates for Victims of Assault, Inc. is dedicated to the promotion of non-violence through comprehensive, culturally relevant support for trauma survivors, accountability for offenders, and awareness and education in Summit County, Colorado.
- National Center for Victims of Crime
The National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Since its inception in 1985, the National Center has worked with grassroots organizations and criminal justice agencies throughout the United States serving millions of crime victims.
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at rainn.org, and publicizes the hotline's free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual assault; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual assault, improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
- Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Service (SAVAS)
SAVAS is dedicated to survivors of sexual assault, and to ending sexual assault in our community. We provide a safe environment in order to encourage survivors of rape and sexual abuse to come forward. We are pledged to return to these survivors the power of making their own decisions to helping them contribute to their own recovery. To this end, SAVAS advocates for survivors and their loved ones and works to educate the community on childhood sexual abuse and rape.
VictimLaw has been designed as a comprehensive, user-friendly, on-line database of victims’ rights statutes, tribal laws, constitutional amendments, court rules, administrative code provisions, and case summaries of related court decisions that meets the needs of a wide variety of users with different levels of substantive and technological expertise. Such ready access to information can advance the cause of crime victims’ rights by facilitating the exercise, implementation, and enforcement of those rights.
Publications Related to Assault Law
- EMedicine Health - Dealing with Sexual Assault
If you have been sexually assaulted or think you have been, first, you must overcome the stigma of reporting the event. The stigma of reporting a sexual assault or rape for both women and men is not as great as it once was, and this change works in favor of the victim. The women's movement and the media have done a great deal to remove the stigma of being a victim of sexual assault.
- Family Security Matters
Our mission is to inform all Americans, men and women, about the issues surrounding national security; to address their fears about safety and security on a personal, family, community, national and international level; to highlight the connection between individual safety and a strong national defense; to increase civic participation and political responsibility; and to empower all Americans to become proactive defenders of our national security and community safety.
- FBI - Uniform Crime Reports
The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program was conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet a need for reliable, uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics. Today, several annual statistical publications, such as the comprehensive Crime in the United States, are produced from data provided by nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States. Other annual publications, such as Hate Crime Statistics and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted address specialized facets of crime such as hate crime or the murder and assaults of law enforcement officers respectively.
- Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI)
SATI, Inc. training is essential for criminal justice professionals, including police, prosecutors, judges, probation and parole officers. Community-based advocates, social workers, military personnel, state victim/witness assistance employees, sexual assault forensic examiners and other medical staff will also greatly benefit by obtaining a clear understanding of the role of law enforcement and how collaborative efforts can improve coordinated community responses to crimes of sexual violence.
- What You Should Know About Rape And Sexual Assault
In the United States, someone is raped or sexually assaulted every two minutes. While the incidence of sexual assault has fallen by over 60 percent since 1992, rape and sexual assault are still all too common. Most victims of rape are women, but men can also be the victims of rape and sexual assault.
Articles on HG.org Related to Assault Law
- Ohio Rape Case Begs the Question: How Drunk Is Too Drunk to Consent to Sex?An August 2011 sexual assault case that brings into question the validity of drunken consent to sex, is still being debated in Steubenville, Ohio. Members of organizations that work with victims of sexual assault across the country are pleased with the national attention this particular case is receiving, and regardless of the outcome, anticipate that the publicity will deter related crimes.
- Criminal vs. Civil ChargesA cab driver was taken to the hospital after being assaulted and battered by a customer who didn’t want to pay his fare. According to reports, the driver of the cab had just finished dropping off four customers when one of the customers pulled a handgun and used it to strike the cab driver in the head.
- Sexual Assault under Texas LawSexual assault, or rape in Texas is defined as a person intentionally, knowingly and recklessly causing or threatening to cause bodily harm to another through sexual contact without the victim's consent.
- Texas DWI FAQs from a Dallas DWI LawyerIf you are facing DWI charges in Texas, or are just interested in the the drunk driving laws of the state, continue reading this article written by a DWI lawyer in Texas to learn more about this state's statutes. DWI and DUI laws differ in every state, so it's important to know the laws just in case you are charged with a DWI in Texas.
- Partygoers’ Convictions for Attempted Murder Based on “Kill Zone” Theory ReversedThe Second Appellate District, in People v. J.S. (2012 DJDAR 16323), quickly recognized that the “kill zone” theory was based on principles of transferred intent. The court pointed out the distinction between the intent in murder and that in attempted murder.
- Conviction for Attempted Criminal Threat (PC 422) Proper Although Neighbor’s Fears May Have Been UnreasonableThis article will mostly cover just the first ground of the accused's appeal. The Fourth Appellate District began its analysis by nothing that there are five elements of the crime of making a criminal threat, according to In re George T. (2004) 33 Cal. 4th 620, 630, fn. omitted.
- What is Assault (Penal Code § 240)?Assault is a crime that often seems hollow because no one is physically injured, although no prosecutor would so characterize it.
- Riot in Victoria, AustraliaCharged with a Riot offense? What is the difference between public order offences and how other violence offenses? Learn the law and know how a case is established and defended in Victorian courts.
- Recklessly Causing Serious Injury in Victoria - AustraliaDo you know the Victorian criminal law for Recklessly Causing Serious Injury? Find out how the charge is established and defended in Victorian Courts.
- Assault in Victoria - AustraliaHave you been charged with an Assault offence in Victoria? Know more about the law and find out how you can defend yourself in Court.
- All Criminal Law Articles
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