A person commits assault by:
(1) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
(2) intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
(3) knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
Assault does not require a defendant to physically or intentionally harm another person. Assault can be accidental (i.e., caused by reckless or careless conduct). Irresponsible actions that show a deliberate lack of respect for the victim’s safety (as with the offense of endangerment) can be construed as assault.
Assault can be threatening or intimidating conduct where the defendant intentionally causes another person to fear physical injury. Recall that threatening or intimidating conduct may involve verbal conduct only, where words alone are capable of causing the victim to fear physical injury.
Assault can occur through physical touch. Whether the physical touch is intended to injure or merely intended to provoke another person, it is assault. This means that the force of physical contact and whether the victim suffers physical injury is not relevant.
Any conduct that is considered assault, if committed by a defendant related to or in a relationship with the victim, can result in domestic violence charges.
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