Assault involves harm or potential harm to another persons body. Assault and battery is the most basic of these offenses. However, it is not the only offense that involves bodily harm. Mayhem, as well as forcible rape, or forcible sexual assault can result in bodily injury also. These offenses involve specific injury, whereas assault and battery involve injury of any kind. Homicides involve bodily injury also, but the difference between injury and homicide is that the victim must die in order for it to be a homicide.
In most states assault occurs when someone either strikes another person, or acts in a way which is physically intimidating, giving the fear of immediate physical harm. There are usually higher degrees of assault which involve either severe injury or the use of a deadly weapon. Assault and battery is included as a lesser offense to other violent crimes such a mayhem, manslaughter or rape. This is mostly due to the fact that assault is a constituent of those crimes, and the level of violence in mayhem or manslaughter can be viewed as a more serious form of assault. Violent crimes usually include assault, battery, mayhem, reckless endangerment, terrorizing, and terrorist threats.
Criminal Assault In-Depth
Assault involves an offensive physical contact with another person=s body. Someone guilty of assault requires a general or specific intent to do harm. Some degree of contact is required in order for an act of criminal assault to occur. The act can be any kind of contact with another person=s body as long as that contact is either unlawful or offensive. Physical contact can be direct or indirect. Direct physical contact requires the offender to either touch the other person=s body, or come into contact with it through a weapon. Indirect physical contact means that an assault would occur with some kind of projectile, such as a gun, or a thrown object.
The contact does not necessarily need to be violent to constitute assault, although it often is. Unlike menacing, the physical contact in assault does not have to be deemed reasonably offensive by a normal person. Any physical contact can be deemed offensive solely by the individual and it would still be criminal assault.
Another situation in which assault is possible, but unlikely is if the offender purposely infects the victim with a disease or non fatal poison. Criminal assault can sometimes occur through omission of duty. For example, if a swimming instructor were to purposely recommend dangerous activities in the swimming pool and ended up injuring a student as a result.
The reason that contact with the actual physical body of a person is not required for assault is that the rule is designed to protect people from all forms of offensive contact. However, these exceptions can be misinterpreted depending on the situation. It is important if you or someone you know is charged with criminal assault of any kind to obtain the best criminal lawyer possible. A skilled criminal attorney will elucidate the facts on a case of assault, and question the evidence of the prosecution, witnesses, and law enforcement.
Getting a Criminal Lawyer
When facing charges, or even potential charges for an assault and assault charge, the best thing to do is immediately contact a great criminal defense attorney. Being convicted of a assault charge could affect the rest of your life. Some charges of assault and assault have extremely long prison sentences, depending on the extent of the injuries to the victim. Don’t try to defend the charges yourself, or settle for a court appointed lawyer. Get the best criminal defense attorney possible.