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What are Assault Offenses?
Assault offenses is the category of crimes that involves the application of harmful or offensive contact between persons.
An assault is generally defined as a harmful or offensive touching.
For example: One may commit an assault by actually:
- or kicking another person
What is an example of an assault?
The assault occurs where actual unwanted physical contact occurs. It may also occur where one person touched another with an object in a harmful or offensive way. The assault may also occur in the absence of physical contact, but there the aggressor causes another to suffer fear or apprehension of imminent unwanted contact.
Various jurisdictions refer to this conduct as assault, assault and battery, and assault consummated by battery.
Under the common law, assault refers to the conduct that results in apprehension of harmful or offensive contact, and the battery is where actual physical contact occurred.
What is an aggravated assault?
An assault offense may be aggravated by the use of a weapon.
The law recognizes that any physical object can be employed in some manner to do harm to others. So long as the object is used in such a manner, the conduct will suffice under the law to constitute assault with a weapon. Various jurisdictions refer to this type of offense as felony assault, assault with a dangerous weapon or aggravated assault.
Obvious examples include:
- brass knuckles,
- and shod feet.
An assault offense may further be aggravated if the alleged victim was touched in a sexual manner. This type of conduct, broadly known as sexual assault, refers to the touching by one, of another, without consent on areas of the body such as buttocks, anus, breasts, penis, vagina, and surrounding areas for purposes of sexual gratification.
This type of assault can also occur if the unwanted touching occurs by the aggressor with his or her sex organ.
Severity of Sexual Assault
Sexual assaults vary in severity depending upon where and how the victim is touched. This ranges from unwanted touching on the outside of one’s clothing up to and including forcible sexual penetration.
Sexual assault offenses can be further aggravated by the age of the alleged victim. Sexual assault offenses are viewed as among the most severe types of crimes known to the law.
Read our case results and testimonials for assault offenses.
Learn more about specific assault offenses below:
If you have been charged with an assault offense and need representation, contact the RI and MA criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.
Simple assault is a broad term that covers many different crimes such as simple battery and simple assault. Simple battery is physically touching someone else in a harmful of offensive manner without permission or consent. To be charged with simple assault, you do not even have to make contact with the victim. For example, threatening to use force on someone is enough to be charged with simple assault.
Simple Assault Penalties
In most cases, simple assault or simple battery is a misdemeanor. However, there are other factors that the courts consider, including your relationship with the victim. These crimes are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Rhode Island General Laws § 11-5-3 Simple assault or battery – (a) Except as otherwise provided in § 11-5-2, every person who shall make an assault or battery or both shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.
– Rhode Island Criminal Offenses
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 256, Section 13A: Assault or assault and battery – (a) Whoever commits an assault or an assault and battery upon another shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 21/2 years in a house of correction or by a fine of not more than $1,000.
– The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws
What is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated Assault or Felony Assault is an assault offense that is caused by an object used in a manner likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. There are two ways of committing an assault: (1) assault by battery and (2) assault by offer. Aggravated Assault by battery is where the object used to commit the assault actually comes into contact with the victim thereby causing harmful or offense contact. Aggravated Assault or Felony Assault consummated by offer does not result in actual physical contact between the object and the victim, but the object was used or displayed in a manner that caused imminent apprehension by the victim of harmful or offensive contact. Based on these two theories of the offense, actual physical harm or injury is not required for Aggravated Assault or Felony Assault offense to occur.
The weapon used to commit Aggravated Assault or Felony Assault may be a traditional deadly weapon such as a firearm, knife or another sharp object, club, spear, bow and arrow, or another traditional weapon. Alternatively, the item may also be a non-traditional weapon consisting of an otherwise harmless item used in a manner reasonably likely to inflict serious injury or bodily harm. Examples include items of furniture, tools, shod feet, electronic equipment such as a computer, kitchen ware, utensil, writing instrument, burning cigar or cigarette, telephone or any other item imaginable that may be employed in a dangerous manner to cause serious injury. Serious injury or bodily harm is defined as including disfigurement; loss or impairment of a bodily function, limb or organ; or substantial risk of death.
Aggravated Assault or Felony Assault is the type of offense for courts and prosecutors are likely to seek a jail sentence. They will look for the presence or absence of various aggravating factors to include, but are not limited to, the type of object(s) used in the assault (traditional or non-traditional weapon); if a firearm was used; if a firearm was used, whether or not it was actually fired or discharged; status and circumstances of the victim; and victim impact such as the extent of any physical injuries sustained and mental anguish suffered. This crime is called different things in different jurisdictions such as Aggravated Assault, Felony Assault, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault with a Deadly Weapon and more.
If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault or Felony Assault, it is important to seek legal representation immediately in order to protect your rights and minimize the impact that a charge of his nature may have on your life.
Aggravated Assault Penalties
Aggravated assault is a felony. Therefore, the punishments can be severe. The maximum penalty for aggravated assault is up to 20 years in prison.
Rhode Island General Laws § 11-5-2 Felony assault – (a) Every person who shall make an assault or battery, or both, with a dangerous weapon, or with acid or other dangerous substance, or by fire, or an assault or battery which results in serious bodily injury, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years.
– Rhode Island Criminal Offenses
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265, Section 15: Assault; intent to murder or maim – Whoever assaults another with intent to commit murder, or to maim or disfigure his person in any way described in the preceding section, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years.
– The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws
What is Maiming or Mutilation
Maiming means wounding or injuring someone so that part of their body is permanently damaged. Maiming includes crippling, incapacitating, disfiguring, or mutilating. In some jurisdictions, maiming is also referred to as mutilation. Anyone who commits an assault with the intent to maim the victim will face additional charges.
Maiming or Mutilation Penalties
The maximum penalty for a maiming conviction is up to ten years in prison and a fine of no more than one thousand dollars.
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265, Section 15: Assault; intent to murder or maim – Whoever assaults another with intent to commit murder, or to maim or disfigure his person in any way described in the preceding section, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years –