What is Assault?
What is Assault?
Crime has long been a problem by the authorities. One of the most common crimes is the assault. What exactly is an assault? Assault is defined as an act of violence against another individual. However, different jurisdictions have different requisites for a crime to be considered as an assault. In New Zealand and Australia, assault is considered as an act that brings about another person to apprehend direct violence. On the other hand, United States considers assault as a violent threat that brings about direct demonstration of force.
Assault is often mistaken to be the same as battery. In fact, assault and battery are two different crimes of violence. However, there are some instances that an attempted battery is considered as an assault. It really depends on how a jurisdiction defines the crime. Common law requires some elements for a crime to be considered as battery.
One element of battery is that the act must be volitional or the act was done at will. The second element is that the act must be done for the intentionally to cause a contact to another person that is considered to be offensive or harmful, and that such act or contact is considerably definite to happen. To better understand the elements of battery, a good example to be cited is a person throwing a stone to another individual.
If person A throws a stone at person B, which person A purposely does it, but the stone misses person B, then it is not considered battery. The act is considered attempted battery, which is not an actual battery but assault. However, if person B was hit by the stone, then it is considered battery. On the other hand, if the rock misses person B and he has been unaware that someone throws a stone at him, then it is not considered assault. Some jurisdictions require that an act must cause fear to another person before an act of violence is considered to be an assault.
In simple words, assault is usually defined as an intention to commit battery that did not result to any serious physical injury. Simple assault is often charged with misdemeanor and aggravated assault – felony. Felony is a more serious crime and may involve the use of deadly weapons such as guns, and other sharp and pointed objects. Being charged of aggravated assault of felony may put a person to face a considerable amount of time in jail.
Being charged of aggravated assault or felony may be defended as self-defense. There are three legal excuses for aggravated assault or battery. And these three legal excuses may absolve the charged person. Self defense is the most common legal excuse for aggravated assault. When a person acts on a self defense, then he gets away being charged for felony. Another legal excuse is if such act was done accidental, though the defense must prove that the act was certainly accidental. The third legal excuse is when there is an element of consent. If an involvement of consent is proven, then the charged gets absolved.