as·sault 1 /ə-'sȯlt/ n [Old French assaut, literally, attack, ultimately from Latin assultus, from assilire to leap (on), attack]
1: the crime or tort of threatening or attempting to inflict immediate offensive physical contact or bodily harm that one has the present ability to inflict and that puts the victim in fear of such harm or contact compare battery
2: the crime of assault accompanied by battery; specif: sexual assault in this entry – called also assault and battery;
aggravated assault: a criminal assault accompanied by aggravating factors: as
a: a criminal assault that is committed with an intent to cause or that causes serious bodily injury esp. through the use of a dangerous weapon
b: a criminal assault accompanied by the intent to commit or the commission of a felony (as rape) compare simple assault in this entry
assault with intent: a criminal assault committed with the intent to commit another specified crime
assault with intent to rob
assault with intent to kill
civil assault: an assault considered as a tort rather than as a crime compare criminal assault in this entry
criminal assault: an assault considered as a crime rather than as a tort compare civil assault in this entry
◇ An assault may be both a criminal assault and a civil assault.
felonious assault: a criminal assault that is classified as a felony and involves the infliction of serious bodily injury by the use of a dangerous weapon
indecent assault: intentional offensive sexual contact that does not amount to sexual intercourse or involve penetration and that is committed without consent of the victim and without the intent to commit rape
sexual assault: sexual contact usu. that is forced upon a person without consent or inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (as a doctor) in a position of trust see also rape
◇ Sexual assault in its most serious forms (often classified as first degree sexual assault) involves nonconsensual sexual penetration. In its less serious forms it may be the equivalent of statutory rape.
simple assault: a criminal assault that is not accompanied by any aggravating factors (as infliction of serious injury or use of a dangerous weapon) compare aggravated assault in this entry
◇ Simple assault is usu. classified as a misdemeanor.
assault 2 vt: to make an assault on; specif: to subject to a sexual assault
vi: to make an assault
as·sault·er n
as·saul·tive /ə-'sȯl-tiv/ adj
as·saul·tive·ly adv
as·saul·tive·ness n

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun act of hostility, aggression, aggressive action, assailment, attack, besiegement, encounter, impetus, incursion, incursus, injury, intrusion, irruption, offense, onset, onset with force, onslaught, oppugnatio, siege, strike, sudden attack, violation of another's rights associated concepts: aggravated assault, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to commit a felony, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to rape, assault with intent to rob, battery, felonious assault, simple assault II verb accost, accost bellicosely, adgredi, addriri, affront hostilely, aggress, appetere, assail, assault belligerently, attack, attack physically, attempt violence to, besiege, deal a blow, harm, oppugn, set upon, set upon with force, set upon with violence, strike, thrust at III index accost, ambush, assail, attack, barrage, battery, belligerency, denounce (condemn), fight (battle), fight (battle), incursion, invade, invasion, mishandle (maltreat), mistreat, molest (subject to indecent advances), offense, oppugn, outbreak, rape, resist (oppose), resistance, violence

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

To attack physically; to threaten or attempt to cause injury to someone else. When contact occurs as well, the offense is often called assault and battery.
assault See also aggravate, battery, simple

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

1. in the law of tort, an assault is an act that causes another person to apprehend the infliction of immediate unlawful force on his person; a battery is the actual infliction of unlawful force on another person (Collins v . Wilcock [1984] 3 All ER 374). There can be assault without battery, as where the wrongdoer is restrained, but if a battery is immediately impossible then there is not assault, as where a man behind bars threatens violence. There is a conflict of authority concerning the degree to which there must be an actual gesture rather than simple words. There can be battery without an assault in any situation where there is no preceding cause of apprehension, such as a blow to a sleeping person. There does not need to be a direct blow – pulling a chair from under a person is sufficient. Any contact with a person is sufficient to be an assault in law subject to the defence of consent. The Court of Appeal is flirting with a necessity for hostility (Wilson v. Pringle [1986] 2 All ER 440), but that might not become the law: Lord Goff in F . v . West Berkshire Health Authority [1989] 2 All ER 545.
2. in English criminal law, the crime constituted broadly as stated above. When included with battery it is an offence in terms of the Offence Against the Person Act: see Fagan v . Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1969] 1 QB 439. The concept of 'informed consent' has been held to have no place in English criminal law. A dentist who having been suspended from practice treated patients without telling them this fact had his conviction quashed – the patients agreed to be treated by a dentist and were so treated: R v . Richardson [1998] TLR 221.
3. in Scots civil law, the delict of unlawful touching or an attack likely to touch, like spitting.
4. in Scots criminal law, a deliberate attack on another person. Intention to injure is essential, although it does not matter that a person other than the person aimed at is injured. There is no need to connect with the blow. Arranging for another to do the act is the same as doing it. The offence may be aggravated by using weapons or by the nature of the victim – for example, the assault of a police officer. self-defence is a defence but consent is a very limited defence, most likely to succeed in cases of medical treatment, sport played within the rules and sexual contact: Smart v . HMA 1975 JC 30.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A crime that occurs when one person tries to physically harm another in a way that makes the person under attack feel immediately threatened. Actual physical contact is not necessary; threatening gestures that would alarm any reasonable person can constitute an assault. Assault is often charged with battery, which requires intended physical contact. (See also: battery)
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 In criminal and tort law, an act, usually consisting of a threat or attempt to inflict bodily injury upon another person, coupled with the apparent present ability to succeed in carrying out the threat or the attempt if not prevented, that causes the person to have a reasonable fear or apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact. No intent to cause battery or the fear or apprehension is required so long as the victim is placed in reasonable apprehension or fear. No actual physical injury is needed to establish an assault, but if there is any physical contact, the act constitutes both an assault and a battery.
2 In criminal law, in some states, the term includes battery and attempted battery.
3 Any attack
4 v. The act of inflicting bodily injury upon another.
See also mayhem.
@ aggravated assault
A criminal assault accompanied by circumstances that make it more severe, such as the victim's suffering serious bodily injury or an assault committed with a dangerous and deadly weapon. The additional circumstances that make the act an aggravated assault are set by statute.
@ sexual assault
1 Rape.
2 Any sexual contact with another person without the other's consent or when the other lacks the capacity to give legally effective consent.
=>> assault.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

At common law, an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

At common law, an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.
II Threat to inflict injury with an apparent ability to do so. Also, any intentional display of force that would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) v. the threat or attempt to strike another, whether successful or not, provided the target is aware of the danger. The assaulter must be reasonably capable of carrying through the attack. In some states if the assault is with a deadly weapon (such as sniping with a rifle), the intended victim does not need to know of the peril. Other state laws distinguish between different degrees (first or second) of assault depending on whether there is actual hitting, injury or just a threat. "Aggravated assault" is an attack connected with the commission of another crime, such as beating a clerk during a robbery or a particularly vicious attack.
   2) n. the act of committing an assault, as in "there was an assault down on Third Avenue." Assault is both a criminal wrong, for which one may be charged and tried, and civil wrong for which the target may sue for damages due to the assault, including for mental distress.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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