1902 Encyclopedia > Assault

Assault




ASSAULT, in English Law, is defined " as an attempt or offer with force or violence to do corporal hurt to another, as by striking at another with a stick or other weapon, or without a weapon, though the party misses his aim." Notwithstanding ancient opinions to the contrary, it is now settled that mere words, be they ever so provoking, will not constitute an assault. Coupled with the attempt or threat to inflict corporal injury, there must in all cases be the means of carrying the threat into effect. A battery is more than a threat or attempt to injure the person of another ; the injury must have been inflicted, but it makes no difference however small it may be, as the law does not " draw the line between degrees of violence," but " totally prohibits the first and lowest stage of it." Every battery includes an assault. A common assault is a misdemeanour, and is punishable by one year's imprisonment with hard labour, but severer penalties are provided for the various kinds of aggravated assaults.







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