Assault (in criminal law) (Ro.: act de violenţă, Fr.: voie(s) de fait, n.f., Gr.: επίθεση , Cz.: napadení, Alb.: goditja) (See also: act of hostility, aggressive action, attack, battery, onslaught, tort) = an intentional act carried out by one person, by means of threats, or physical violence, in order to injure or harm another person. 

An assault is less intense than battery (which refers to the actual physical action of harming someone), but it causes reasonable ground to believe that an individual has the means to accomplish the purpose of harming another person. 

An assault does not necessarily precede battery, and battery can be committed without an assault. 


Useful links

Legislation - Romanian Criminal Code, Art. 193 [Romanian] - Offences Against the Person Act1861, UK [English] - US Code- Chapter 7: Assault, USA [English] – Penal Code of California, Section 240-248, USA [English] – Michigan Penal Code, Act 328 of 1931, USA [English] - Massachusetts Laws, USA [English]

Case Law - Alfred Claggett v. State of Maryland-No. 119, 1995 Term, USA - Raess v. Doescher, 883 N.E. 2d 790, Ind. 2008, USA - Smith v. United States, 507 U.S. 197, 1993, USA

Online Publications - Assault and Battery Overview, FindLaw - What is the difference between assault and battery?, FreeAdvice - Assault, Battery, and Aggravated Assault, Nolo - Assault and Battery, Encyclopædia Britannica - Assault and Battery, National Paralegal College - What is 'assault and battery'?, Rottenstein - Baldwin, Lauren, Simple Assault Laws, Criminal Defense Lawyer


Davies, Graham M., Lloyd-Bostock, Sally, McMurran, Mary, Wilson, Clare, 1995, Psychology, Law, and Criminal Justice: International Developments in Research and Practice, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter

Harpwood, Vivienne, 2003, Modern Tort Law, 5th edition, London, Cavendish Publishing Limited

Putman, William, Albright, Jennifer, 2013, Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing, 3rd edition, New York, Cengage Learning


By Ruxandra Popescu