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Definition of Assault in Australia[edit]

I believe the definition of Assault in Australia does not require actual violence (ie battery). Assault in Australia only requires the apprehension of violence/contact. Can someone else confirm this so I can change it.

Chuckye 13:35, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

How does this affect sports in Britain, like say boxing? -rmhermen

Well, while consent is not a defence, there is a long list of exceptions to the general rule: such as sports, medical procedures, tattooing... sadomasochism however isn't one of them.. --Simon J Kissane

there's a lovely term in this jurisdiction (New York State) that I've never heard before in America - "menacing". You can do it to someone by shouting at them, I deduce from reading the Police Blotter in my local paper. I suppose (and I know little about the law) it's a descendant of the assault/battery separation in common law.

An explanation of the military meaning of assault is missing. Simon A. 17:43, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

  • The solution may be to move this article to Assault (crime), and make a disambiguation page of "Assault" with a link to a comparable military article. -- BD2412 talk 18:38, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Regarding the physical assault by Ms. Baucus, it was sudden, unexpected, sustained and her punches were quite vigorous. However, she did not use any sort of weapon other than her own hands and fists. Does this help? --Limestone2 07:00, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Please explain if this is simple assault:

My neighbor put up a temporary netting-type fence along our property line to prevent leaves from my yard from entering his yard. The fence fell into my yard so I took it down. He and I got into a verbal disagreement over it and his wife, who was obvioulsy enraged about the discussion, walked into my yard, placed her hands on me and pushed be back, telling me to quit doing what I was doing.

Retrieved from ""

This article does not contradict itself. It is simply a difference in the American "common law" and "modern law".

  I agree; unless I see an objection or someone else does it first I'll add a traditional/contemporary distinction and remove the flag.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Youngjim (talkcontribs) 21:09, 24 December 2006 (UTC).

Intentional Exposure to Contagion?[edit]

I believe there are now jurisdictions which charge those who intentionally expose others to communicable diseases (HIV, etc.) as assault. I've seen several such articles, but haven't found the one I'd read using the term assault. Does anyone else know anything about similar cases? samwaltz 15:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Hrm... well, it's not quite the same, but I just found an interesting new application of the term "assault". Websearch "Brian Bruggeman assault". Bruggeman, an inmate in Lincoln County Jail, engaged in an act of flatulance on another inmate, and was subsequently charged with assault. [1] [2] samwaltz 08:56, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't stalking be here as well? stalking link.

Sexual assault[edit]

This article says that in the US and England, assault just refers to the threat, not a physical act. However, the article on sexual assault states that it is physical a physical act. This seems like a contradiction to me. Can anyone clarify this? --W00tfest99 20:03, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

In England and Wales it used to be the case that the offence of indecent assault was modelled on the offence of assault, but on 1 May 2004, the old offence was abolished and replaced by a new offence of sexual assault which can only be committed by touching. I don't know why the law was narrowed in this way, but I can confirm that both articles are correct on this point. Redjon1 (talk) 14:41, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Scottish Law[edit]

There is a sentence that says "However in Scottish Law, consent is not a defense for assault." However, this is either in the wrong section (it is not under the "consent" section, but rather the next one) or is an incorrect statement. Does anyone know what the deal here is? dantonel 23:13, 20 May 2007 (UTC)


Are there exceptions or partial defenses if the assault was aggrivated? For example, if the victim continuously called the perpetrator a cunt, dared him to stab, etc? If so what is the law in the United States (And other countries if anybody knows) federal code?

MunkyJuce69 18:12, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Wrong about US law:[edit]

The article generalizes the entire US by saying the whole country goes by common law when this is not true. It depends on the state. New York for example has the definition of assault as, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person;" This is clearly modern penal code, not common law.

alec81484Alec81484 01:46, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

In general, the U.S. section needs to be rewritten to make a clear distinction between criminal assault and the tort of assault. This is the apparent source of the common law / penal code confusion. As far as I know, no U.S. state relies on common law in criminal cases. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Also, the article clearly distinguished US definition to be the "show of force," instead of actual unwanted physical contact, which in US is called "battery." Aggravated assault should be something like, "the show of force with a deadly weapon." If that is the case, I don't get how aggravated assault would result in life sentence. Clearly it was talking about a different country? If the defendent, in US jurisdiction, really cause serious harm to his or her victim, the harsh sentencing does not originate from the aggravate assault count, but probably battery or attempted murder.

Please answer my confusion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 16 October 2008 (UTC)


"Assault is typically treated as a misdemeanor and not as a felony (unless it involves a law enforcement officer)."

Does it matter how the law enforcement officer was involved? That is to ask, is it a felony if the law enforcement officer is the accused?

--Crumbinator 00:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC

English Criminal Law[edit]

Please note that, despite the best efforts of some to amend this article to the contrary, there is no such thing as "assault occasioning grievous bodily harm." Wounds and GBH, under ss. 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861, are inflicted or caused. Assault is not an ingredient of the offences. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Assault distinguished from battery[edit]

An assault is an attempted battery or the placing of a person in "fear" of an immediate harmful or offensive touching of his person. A battery is the actual harmful or offensive touching. Unfortunately assault is often used to refer to both torts(crimes) even though they are clearly separate offenses. Thus spitting on someone would be a battery and not an assault. Spitting at somebody would be an assault (civil) if the intended victim was aware of the act. --Jgard5000 (talk) 16:23, 30 August 2010 (UTC)jgard5000

Section 20 penalties.[edit]

These sentences can't both be right, and they're right beside each other:

"An offence under section 20 carries a maximum penalty of 5 years' imprisonment, a fine, or both. An offence under section 20 carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment."

Both were introduced in the same edit:

From Grievous bodily harm it appears that the second sentence should be deleted or amended? It's the right sentence for Section 18. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)


Does anybody else think that we should have a sit down and think about what we are trying to do with this article? Obviously there are a lot of great edits and theres a lot of good information within but it seems as though the lack of any real focus kind of compromises the article.

Clearly the problem is that 'assault' means something very different in virtually every legal system, this is exacerbated by the fact that assault has a very broad colloquial meaning that is used in the legal profession, in statute books etc which includes virtually any non-fatal, non-sexual crime against the person.

It seems (to me at least) that the 'perfect' version of this article would basically be an opening paragraph which manged to elegantly and accurately sum up the essence of the term and then a list of major jurisdictions with links to detailed articles on their specific assault laws and crimes that fit other countries definitions of assault (e.g. battery). To me that sounds like the textbook function of a disambig page.

Thoughts? Bob House 884 (talk) 03:04, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I have cut some material from the article[edit]

I have removed a number of references with this edit. These sources appear to have been copied from the article Common assault. I added them to that article to support a different point, and I do not believe that they can support the point made here because (1) they relate to England and Wales, not the US (see this edit) and (2) as regards England and Wales, I do not think they say that (the gist of them was that common assault was formerly considered to include battery in addition to what is sometimes called psychic assault, not that it now consists exclusively of battery). I am not convinced that they support the definition of battery offered for England and Wales either, so I have not retained them. James500 (talk) 11:35, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Whether fear or foresight required[edit]

Regarding this edit, and this one to the article on battery, if memory serves me correctly, some of the older authorities may refer to fear, rather than foresight, of violence. James500 (talk) 11:25, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Assault laws in the US[edit]

The lede states that most US states consider assault only as the apprehension/threat/attempt with the actual contact being battery. This is not true, most states consider intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury as assault, and some states consider even unwanted offensive/provocative physical contact as assault, even if there is no bodily injury. Somebody else has complained about this above.2A02:2F0A:505F:FFFF:0:0:BC19:AA87 (talk) 19:34, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

I changed the lede because it was unsourced and untrue.2A02:2F0A:505F:FFFF:0:0:BC19:AA87 (talk) 19:45, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Added a file from Commons[edit]

Felony Sentences in State Courts, study by the United States Department of Justice.

I've added this file from Commons to this article.

Feel free to use it how you like.

I hope it's a helpful source of information.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 19:40, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

The first two sentences contradict each other[edit]

1. "In common law, assault is harmful or offensive contact with a person."

2. "An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm."

So, does an assault involve and require contact, or does a credible threat suffice? In fact, if you can believe it, it may be that both statements are wrong. At common law, statement 1 would refer to battery. Under today's statutes (which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction), the crime of assault is often defined as including contact.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:301:7745:1320:C86F:7164:43F:F52C (talk) 21:19, 13 February 2016 (UTC) 

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