Assault With Intent

Definition - What does Assault With Intent mean?

An assault is any action that causes bodily harm or the threat to commit bodily harm; however, to rise to the level of assault, the law generally requires the ability to induce harm and an apprehension or fear in the potential victim that the harm will or could be committed. Individuals may be charged with assault, however, even if actual harm or contact does not occur.

Some states also allow for a charge of assault with intent, which is defined as a charge less than murder, but one in which the offender had the intention to cause a “serious injury of an aggravated nature.”

Assault is an intentional tort, as opposed to a tort of negligence, and offenders can be charged with a criminal offense. Offenders can, however, also be sued in civil court for injuries caused by their criminal actions, even if they are not ultimately convicted of assault with intent.

Justipedia explains Assault With Intent

Common examples of assault with intent can include threatening to shoot or shooting someone; striking someone and threatening additional violence while robbing them; or threatening to cut someone’s throat while committing a sexual offense.

State laws vary, but offenders charged with assault with intent can be charged with a felony. Convicted offenders will also be forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines, to make restitution, and to spend three or more years in prison.

Offenders who commit an assault with intent against certain protected persons (e.g. healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, the elderly, handicapped persons, police officers or school employees) may also be assessed additional charges.

Persons charged with assault with intent should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer. Assuming that the victim was not seriously injured, defenses against assault with intent charges may include the following:

  • The alleged offender was defending themselves (i.e. self-defense)
  • The alleged offender did not intend to injure the other person and did not create an apprehension of fear or injury
  • The alleged offender was not the offender but rather mistakenly identified
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