In legal terms, assault and battery are two widely different forms of offense. They are both punishable acts under the law, but the level of punishment that a judge gives in these cases differ slightly. It is therefore important to know the legal definition of assault if you are interested in learning about legal terms.
Assault can simply be defined as a form of threat. It occurs when a person threatens another person and it results in the victim fearing bodily harm. It is important to note that, by simply saying some threatening words, one will not be guilty of assault. It should be accompanied by some sort of indication, showing the capability of that person to carry out the threat.
Usually, if the threat was adjudged as assault by a court, and if the threat was carried out using a weapon, then it can raise the level of assault charges for which the person is tried in the court.
Use of weapons in the course of threatening someone will raise the level of assault charges, and it is referred to as aggravating circumstances. If the court feels that the aggravating circumstances are high enough, then the court can change the assault charges from a mere misdemeanor to a felony.
Is body contact necessary for assault charge?
You will have a common question if you are trying to learn about the definitions of assault, and it is about the assault charges and physical contact. It is therefore, important to note that, bodily contact is not a necessary act to confirm a person’s guilt of assault charges.
It is a common misconception, as media and other sources of news usually treats a case of battery as assault. They are not bothered about the legal implications of such misconceptions, but rather are more concerned about letting out news in sensationalist styles. So the next time you hear about a “brutal assault” on TV news, or read about it in a newspaper, just bear in mind that they might be talking about battery and not assault.
These are some details regarding the legal definition of assault. It is important that you are aware of the differences between these two forms of violence acts, battery and assault. Knowledge of these two is important if you are vying for a career as a lawyer.