Assault can be defined as an intentional attempt by a person, by force or violence, to do an injury to the person of another, or as any attempt to commit a battery, or any threatening gesture showing in itself or by words accompanying it an immediate intention, coupled with a present ability to commit a battery. The primary element of the offense of assault is that the wrong doer had substantial knowledge that his or her act would bring about harm to the other by such offensive contact. In simpler terms, assault is the threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force.
Specific types of assaults –
Assault by a prisoner:
Assault by a prisoner does not require bodily harm. It requires that an inmate put an employee, visitor or another inmate of the institution in apprehension of a battery that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
The elements of intent-to-frighten assault are that 1) defendant commits a threatening act that reasonably would create in another person a fear of immediate injury; 2) when s/he commits the act, defendant has the present ability to injure another person; and 3) defendant has the intent to perform the act.
Assault with the intent to intimidate:
This is the commission of an assault with the intent to intimidate because of a person’s race, color, religion, or national origin.
Assault of a law enforcement officer:
A person commits the crime of assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, or probation and parole officer if such person knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause physical injury by means other than a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
Assault to prevent lawful apprehension:
This offense requires resistance to a lawful arrest made by an officer in the performance of his official duties.
Domestic violence assault:
This type of assault includes a pattern of abusive behaviors such as physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation by one or both partners sharing an intimate relationship by marriage, dating, family, friendship or cohabitation.
Assault during the commission of a felony:
If any person in the commission of, or attempt to commit a felony, unlawfully shoots, stab, cut or wound another person, s/he shall be guilty of assault during the commission of a felony.
Assault of a federal officer:
A person is guilty of this offence if s/he knowingly and willfully assaults a federal officer while such officer is engaged in the performance of his official duties.