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An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in criminal prosecution, civil liability, or both. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and tort law.
Traditionally, common law legal systems had separate definitions for assault and battery. When this distinction is observed, battery refers to the actual bodily contact, whereas assault refers to a credible threat or attempt to cause battery. Some jurisdictions combined the two offences into assault and battery, which then became widely referred to as "assault". The result is that in many of these jurisdictions, assault has taken on a definition that is more in line with the traditional definition of battery. The legal systems of civil law and Scots law have never distinguished assault from battery.
Legal systems generally acknowledge that assaults can vary greatly in severity. In the United States, an assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In England and Wales and Australia, it can be charged as either common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) or grievous bodily harm (GBH). Canada also has a three-tier system: assault, assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault. Separate charges typically exist for sexual assaults, affray and assaulting a police officer. Assault may overlap with an attempted crime; for example an assault may be charged as an attempted murder if it was done with intent to kill.

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  1. Dpj

    VIC Does assault on a child matter to parenting/custody

    Hi, My ex has just been charged with 2 counts of assult against myself and my daughter (2yo at the time). The assult occurred during a handover. It was captured on video. In addition, there are numerous other incidents involving police which go in my favour (falsee accusations made by ex. ex...
  2. kim8hughes

    NSW Assault causing death but without an intent to kill - murder or manslaughter???

    If I hit/push someone (not intending to kill them) and they fall, hit their head on a coffee table and die, can this by manslaughter or murder
  3. kim8hughes

    NSW Assault without intent to kill and person dies

    If I hit someone without intending to kill, they fall and hit their head on a coffee table, can this be murder or manslaughter?
  4. D

    VIC False Assault charges reported to police-Report request

    Hello An alcoholic partner had reported me to police in one of his drunken rages for assault. These allegations were completely false, he staged everything after I left the house and the police seen right through the lies. They have advised that I am listed as the AFM " affected family member"...
  5. A

    WA Assault - police investigation

    A physically disabled woman was seriously assaulted by several security guards at a WA hospital. They seem to have beaten her unconscious and then left her on the footpath outside the hospital, because that's where she woke up. A short time after she woke up, she saw two police officers leaving...
  6. L

    VIC Sexual assault charges

    A family member has been charged with 4 historical assault charges, one of under 16, of which they have no memory. Those who have accused, want the accused on the sex offenders list they believe he will offend again. The lawyer has said even though the accused was asleep when these occurrences...
  7. charchar22

    QLD Assaulted in Shopping Centre on Escalator With my baby

    Hi All, I'd love some advice on what to do and what the legal requirements are for shopping centres. I was shopping with my 9 month old baby (in the trolley). Heading down the escalator toward the carpark when a man slammed into me from behind pushing me into the trolley (toward my baby). As...
  8. Y

    NSW False sexual Assault Allegation

    Hi, Some one has made a false Sexual Assualt Allegation against myself for an few months old. At the moment, this is just the allegation however what could be their next steps and what could be my next steps? Can I take any proactive step or a real legal advise would be he only option? Thanks
  9. M

    NSW Attacked while walking.

    Hi Everyone, Hoping I can get some advice on an incident that occurred a few days ago, Please? (Apologies if this is in the wrong forum) As I was walking to my child's daycare, I was approached by a person, that started saying to me" why are you laughing at me?", I told this person that I was...
  10. M

    NSW Assaulted on the way to pick up my child.

    Hi Everyone, Hoping I can get some advice on an incident that occurred a few days ago, Please? As I was walking to my child's daycare, I was approached by a person, that started saying to me" why are you laughing at me?", I told this person that I was not laughing at all, just happy. He...