When the word ‘assault’ is used to describe an offence, it is normally used as a general term. The reason we say that is there are actually several specific offences of assault, and criminal lawyers are likely to be required to represent someone charged with any one of them.
As a general definition of assault, it is normally regarded as touching, striking, moving, or applying force to someone. This can be done indirectly or directly, and it has to occur, either without the consent of the victim, or in a situation where consent was given, but was obtained fraudulently.
One error people make when thinking about the offence of assault is that they assume that physical harm must have been caused to the victim. Merely threatening assault or being capable of carrying out assault is sufficient for a crime to occur.
In situations where assault has occurred domestically, where a child was present, the person assaulted was over 60, there is racial motivation for the assault or the assault broke the terms of a restraining order, this is classed as aggravated assault.
As we mentioned there are different categories of assault which are each classed as crimes in their own right, so let us explore them in more detail.