Difference between revisions of "Assault"

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==Model Penal Code==
 
==Model Penal Code==
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The Model Penal Code (MPC) § 211.1 separates assault into two general categories: simple assault and aggravated assault.
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(1) Simple assault: a person is guilty of simple assault if he:
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*(a) attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
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*(b) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
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*(c) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
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Simple assault is generally a misdemeanor unless committed in a fight entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty misdemeanor.
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(2) Aggravated assault: a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:
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*(a) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or
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*(b) attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
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Aggravated assault under section (a) is categorized as a felony of the second degree whereas assault under (b) qualifies as a felony of the third degree.
  
 
==Variation by Jurisdiction==
 
==Variation by Jurisdiction==

Revision as of 19:02, 6 January 2011

Background

Black's Law dictionary defines criminal and tortious assault as "the threat or use of force on another that causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact; the act of putting another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of an immediate battery by means of an act amounting to an attempt or threat to commit a battery." Assault is a very broad crime and there are various forms of assault, including (but not limited to) civil assault, assault by contact, sexual assault, simple assault, and aggravated assault. Though nowadays it is common to use the term "assault and battery" as if it were one crime, the terms are separate and distinct legal concepts.[1] Assault refers specifically to demonstration of an unlawful intent to inflict immediate injury of offensive contact on another, whereas battery involves the actual act of contact with another. Thus, assault is the beginning of the act which, if consummated, results in battery.[2]

Model Penal Code

The Model Penal Code (MPC) § 211.1 separates assault into two general categories: simple assault and aggravated assault.

(1) Simple assault: a person is guilty of simple assault if he:

  • (a) attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
  • (b) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
  • (c) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Simple assault is generally a misdemeanor unless committed in a fight entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty misdemeanor.

(2) Aggravated assault: a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:

  • (a) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or
  • (b) attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.

Aggravated assault under section (a) is categorized as a felony of the second degree whereas assault under (b) qualifies as a felony of the third degree.

Variation by Jurisdiction

Common Defenses

There are several common defenses to an assault charge. Such defenses include a statute of limitations argument, mistake of fact, or intoxication. The length of the statute of limitations depends on the type of assault crime charged (i.e. if the crime is a felony or misdemeanor). If available, one can argue intoxication, which may negate the requisite intent of the crime. Moreover, there is the affirmative defense of reasonable provocation. The provocation must be reasonably sufficient to incite the defendant into using deadly force. [3] In general, words or gestures are not enough to constitute reasonable provocation, unless there is a statute that explicitly states otherwise in a jurisdiction.[4] Reasonable provocation, however, will not be a successful defense if the defendant still acts after a reasonable cooling time.[5]


<references>

  1. Mary G. Leary, Criminal Defense: Assault and Battery Cases, American Jurisprudence Trials Database (2010)
  2. Mary G. Leary, Criminal Defense: Assault and Battery Cases, American Jurisprudence Trials Database (2010)
  3. Mary G. Leary, Criminal Defense: Assault and Battery Cases, American Jurisprudence Trials Database (2010)
  4. Mary G. Leary, Criminal Defense: Assault and Battery Cases, American Jurisprudence Trials Database (2010)
  5. Mary G. Leary, Criminal Defense: Assault and Battery Cases, American Jurisprudence Trials Database (2010)