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Whenever one person makes a willful attempt or threat to injure someone else, and also has an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat such as by flourishing or pointing a dangerous weapon or device at the other. An "assault" may be committed without actually striking or injuring another person. (same as forcible assault)
An assault is any unlawful attempt or offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another, whether from malice or wantonness; for example, by striking at him or even holding up the fist at him in a threatening or insulting manner, or with other circumstances as denote at the time. an intention, coupled with a present ability, of actual violence against his person, as by pointing a weapon at him when he is within reach of it. When the injury is actually inflicted, it amounts to a battery.
Assaults are either simple or aggravated.
1. A simple assault is limited to the use of physical force and result in little or no injury to the victim. Where there is no intention to do any other injury. This is punished at common law by fine and imprisonment.
2. An aggravated assault is one that has in addition to the bare intention to commit it, another object which is also criminal; for example, if a man should fire a pistol at another and miss him, the former would be guilty of an assault with intent to murder; so an assault with intent to rob a man, or with intent to spoil his clothes, and the like, are aggravated assaults, and they are more severely punished than simple assaults.