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Assault | Harm To Another
Assault is an act, criminal or tortious, that threatens physical harm to a person, whether or not actual harm is done.
Although assault is a crime that appears in many forms, the simplest explanation is ‘an attack on another person with the intent of causing serious bodily harm to that person.’ It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in criminal prosecution, civil liability, or both. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and tort law.
Legal systems generally acknowledge that assaults can vary greatly in severity. In the United States, an assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Assault may also overlap with an ‘attempted’ crime. For example, an assault may be charged as an attempted murder under certain circumstance’s if it was done with an intent to kill.
Aggravated assault is a crime that carries a more serious charge and subjects the offender to more serious punishments. Factors that raise or elevate an assault charge to an aggravated assault charge can vary from state to state.
An aggravated assault would be when a person attempts to:
- cause serious bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon
- have sexual relations with a person who is under the age of consent
- cause bodily harm by recklessly operating a vehicle during, for example, road rage.
- attempted harm against police officers or other public servants.
Aggrivated assult encompasses:
- Assault With a Deadly Weapon
- Assault With a Special Victim
- Assault With Deadly or Cruel Intent
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