Crime rate in the US has fairly increased as a result of poverty, homelessness, increasing debt and terrorism. Even though guns have been banned from being owned by civilians, the crime rate and assault rate doesn’t seem to decline, because people still own illegal weapons and often commit crimes and harm the innocent.
The punishment for assault needs to be severe, and an example must be set amongst violators as to how they will be punished if they crossed the line.
Table of Contents
Legal Definition of Assault
The legal definition of assault is the intentional physical harm caused by one person to another. Causing intentional threat to another person, so much that they fear for their life is called an assault. There is a thin line though; even if the person didn’t manage to physically harm the other person because they escaped, but attempted to harm them will also be considered an example of assault.
For example, Doug is walking down the street with a glass bottle of soda in his hand. From the other side Judy crosses him- she does fear for her life because of Doug’s criminal reputation- but they simply walk by without Doug attempting to do anything to her. That’s NOT assault. However, if while passing by, Doug swings the bottle and attempts to hit on her head, but Judy escapes, that will be an assault. Even though Judy escaped and didn’t get physically harmed, Doug INTENDED to harm her, therefore it’s an assault.
Aggravated Assault Meaning
Aggravated assault is an extreme version of assault as discussed above. Factors that raise an assault to the aggravated level typically include the use of a weapon, the status of the victim, the intent of the perpetrator, and the degree of injury caused.
There are two types of aggravated assault:
First degree aggravated assault is when an intentional attempt is done to cause bodily injury to a person, or the person has actually been harmed.
Second degree aggravated assault is when there is not a deliberate attempt to harm someone, however a mental recklessness caused the action. This thin line causes the aggravated assault to come a degree lower.
Types of Assault
An assault isn’t always harming the other person out of spite or rebellion, there are different types of physical assaults that are charged differently in the court of law.
This is when a person deliberately harms a person, with or without a weapon, and whether the victim is physically harmed or not. The deliberate attempt of causing harm to someone is called simple assault.
This is when an extreme version of the simple assault is carried out, usually with a weapon, and the degree of harming the victim is extreme. The weapon has to have the capability of taking a life such as a gun or a dagger; other objects like bricks or rocks are only considered as a deadly weapon if used in such a manner.
A sexual assault makes a person fear that they will be violated sexually or be a victim of rape, molestation, sodomy or other sex crimes. The highest form of sexual assault is raping a person.
As opposed to all other assaults that are done physically, verbal assault is harming a person through oral words that may later on affect their emotional health.
Definition of Assault and Battery
For the longest time, assault and battery were considered separate crimes, however, most states now consider it as one. Where assault is intending to harm the other person or creating fear in their eyes, battery is actually harming the other person. Assault and battery is referred to as threatening AND making harmful physical contact with them.
Penalties for Assault
Whether countries or states have a distinction between assault and battery, the penalties for such a crime are severe. For example, a felony assault is punishable by 10 years in prison whereas a misdemeanor is punishable by one year imprisonment. The basic rule is that minor misdemeanors are punishable by less than a year, whereas an actual felony assault is punishable by more than a year.
An aggravated first degree assault which included the use of a deadly weapon has the perpetrator imprisoned for at least 25 years and up to $5,000 in fines.
The penalties for battery range from misdemeanor charges with less than 30 days in jail to substantial lifetime imprisonment. States usually describe the possible range of sentences in their laws.
The world is a criminal place, so many people have actually lost their lives as a result of assaults and battery, especially people of color. Only 2020 is full of examples of police offenders who assaulted and killed black men, for being black.
There is no check and balance in the world anymore, even if the punishment for such crimes is severe, how often do you see perpetrators being caught or influential people in prison? It rarely happens. Laws need to be strengthened and a strict check on houses and people especially when it comes to owning weapons illegally.