Assault is a crime of violence against another person. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more limited sense of a threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force.
Assault in some jurisdictions is defined more broadly still as any intentional physical contact with another person without their consent; but in some common law jurisdictions, this is defined instead as battery.
Some jurisdictions have incorporated the definition of civil assault into the definition of the crime making it a criminal assault to intentionally place another person in “fear” of a harmful or offensive contact. “Fear” means merely apprehension – awareness rather than any emotional state.
Types of Assaults
Simple assault is a misdemeanor and defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. This means that no injury or even contact has to have taken place for this offense to have occurred.
Simple battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, a determination that is made by the judge. It is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.
Assault with a deadly weapon, other than a firearm, is considered a felony in the states of California. It is punishable by up to 4 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.
Assault with a Firearm
Unlike “assault with a deadly weapon”, assault with a firearm does not have to be committed “in a manner likely to produce bodily harm”. The mere possession of the firearm in the commission of an assault is enough to elevate the potential sentence in this crime.
Being charged with an assault is a serious crime. If you have been charged with an assault you will need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights. Contact me for a free evaluation.