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What Is Simple Assault?

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What Is Simple Assault?

Simple assault is the attempt to cause serious physical harm to another individual. It also refers to causing the individual to be in fear or apprehension of an imminent battery. The crime does not involve physical contact with the victim.

Is Assault the Same as Battery?

While assault and battery are often linked together when discussing criminal activity, they are actually two separate offenses. Battery occurs when a person uses unlawful and unauthorized force against someone, which results in offensive touching or physical injury.

How Is Simple Assault Proven in Court?

Simple assault has three elements:

  1. Intent: The defendant must show the intent to threaten or scare an individual into believing he was going to be physically harmed.
  2. Reasonable apprehension: Reasonable apprehension is defined as the victim perceiving a harm or threat made by the defendant as possibly happening. If the victim does not perceive the threat as real or directed towards them, then the threat has not created apprehension.
  3. Harm: the victim must be harmed in some kind of way. This varies from hearing a threat of physical injury or unwanted touching.

To be successful, a prosecutor must prove each element of the assault.

How Is Aggravated Assault Different from Simple Assault?

Aggravated assault, sometimes referred to as felony assault, is more serious than simple assault because the defendant:

  • Used a deadly weapon during the assault
  • Attempted to cause the victim serious bodily harm

Aggravated assault also includes having sexual contact with anyone under the age of 14 years old.

What Is the Punishment for Assault?

Simple assault is considered a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions, which is punishable with fines and/or jail time. Aggravated assault is typically classified by states as a felony punishable by time in prison and fines.

Should I Contact a Lawyer about My Simple Assault Charge?

Yes, it is serious and could result in jail time and fines. To understand more about your case, contact a criminal lawyer. Your lawyer will determine the best way to resolve your legal issue.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 12-19-2016 10:15 PM PST

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