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Is someone poking you with a sharp object with no intent to harm considered assault?

Is someone poking you with a sharp object with no intent to harm considered assault?

thebleedingphoenix

I am not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that would be considered misdemeanor assault. You'd have to testify since the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. You don't necessarily have to injure someone to be charged with misdemeanor assault. If you wave a bat at someone in a threatening manner or follow someone in your car to a parking lot and get out holding a weapon, that's misdemeanor assault even if you don't injure the other person. In your case, even if he didn't mean to threaten or hurt you, you felt threatened. So yeah. Hope this helps. Edit: word


Ser_Dunk_the_tall

Right there's no damages to be sought in civil court, but that doesn't mean you can just go around assaulting/intimidating people with no recourse until your actions cause actual harm


[deleted]

Nominal damages are generally allowed for a civil tort of assault, so actual damages aren't required. The court could award a nominal damages and tack on punitive, emotional distress, etc. etc. Actual damages are not required for most intentional torts.


jmaaron84

That is not true in every jurisdiction. In Oregon, for instance, assault requires physical injury.


jupitaur9

What do you get charged with if you try but fail to hurt someone? Swing the bat but they duck?


jmaaron84

If they intended to cause physical injury, and particularly if they used a dangerous weapon, they could be charged with an attempted assault. But simply causing fear of an assault would probably be disorderly conduct at best.


sea__weed

Wouldnt that be battery then?


thedailyrant

In most places a physical contact, either causing harm or offense, would be a battery not an assault.


Lordvaldyr

I see what you did there.


jmaaron84

That's not a crime in Oregon.


sea__weed

Thank you


honestly_Im_lying

Criminal Assault in Oregon requires injury: The “physical injury” requirement of fourth-degree assault statute limits the sweep of such offense to those circumstances where some form of external violence produces a harmful effect upon the body; that is, circumstances which involve the infliction of actual physical injury, but not petty batteries not producing injury. State v. Hendricks, 273 Or. App. 1, 359 P.3d 294 (2015). Criminal assault, in whatever degree, requires infliction of actual physical injury;  petty batteries not producing injury do not constitute criminal assault.  State v. Capwell, 627 P.2d 905 Where only injury victim suffered was torn shirt, defendant could not be convicted of assault in fourth degree.  State v. Lindsey, 607, 609 P.2d 386 Civil Assault does not: To be a tortious battery, a defendant's physical contact must be harmful or offensive in nature.  Doe 1 v. Lake Oswego School Dist. (2013) 297 P.3d 1287


nmorgan123

No you are 100% wrong. There isn't a jurisdiction in the entire US that required injury for a crime to take place. Some may not call it assault but everywhere this would be 100% illegal.


jmaaron84

I didn't say there's definitely no applicable crime. I said it's not necessarily misdemeanor assault. There are definitely actions, like slapping someone in the face while not in public and without causing anything more than fleeting pain, that could not be criminal at all in some states, including Oregon.


nmorgan123

It is assault in the 4th, physical harm does include intentionally causing pain. Please check for yourself


jmaaron84

>“Physical injury” means impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_161.015 *In*substantial pain by definition is not physical injury, and 4th degree assault requires at least that physical injury occurs.


honestly_Im_lying

I was kinda curious about this, because I would've agreed. I looked up OR's caselaw on this. Criminal Assault does require injury. Civil assault does not. Criminal assault, in whatever degree, requires infliction of actual physical injury;  petty batteries not producing injury do not constitute criminal assault.  State v. Capwell, 1981, 627 P.2d 905 Where only injury victim suffered was torn shirt, defendant could not be convicted of assault in fourth degree.  State v. Lindsey, 1980, 609 P.2d 386. To be a tortious battery, a defendant's physical contact must be harmful or offensive in nature.  Doe 1 v. Lake Oswego School Dist. (2013) 297 P.3d 1287


anonadelaidian

In Australia and UK, this would be assault, yes. Definitely.


thedailyrant

Legally a battery, not assault in Australia and the UK. Assault is causing the apprehension for harm or offensive contact, battery is the actual physical contact causing harm or offense.


DrStalker

So you can avoid assault charges by sneaking up on someone to avoid causing apprehension before you attack? (though that is probably going to make the battery charges worse)


thedailyrant

Sorry I was a little incorrect. Battery isn't used in Australia for the most part any longer. But in layman's terms, people do like conflating the two and use assault as a catch all term. Most places have a few types of assault. NSW in Australia, for example, has common assault, aggravated assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. In a general sense, a battery could be done without an assault occurring in the places that still use the term.


JohnDoe_85

Respectfully, I believe you are conflating the *tort* of assault with the *crime* of assault. I believe the difference between "assault" and "battery" has all but disappeared from criminal law. And, in any event, the act constituting a battery would also be an assault.


thedailyrant

Yes you're correct and I was. Corrected myself in a different comment. Battery is no longer used in criminal law in Australia, that's my bad. The act constituting a battery (if the term was still used) would only be an assault if the victim was aware of the person's action prior to physical contact occurring. It seems in OP's case they were not aware prior to the knife making contact.


gdanning

In CA that would be assault with a deadly weapon https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/800/875/


cathbadh

Everything of course depends on where you live, but generally: >Is someone poking you with a sharp object with no intent to harm considered assault? No, unless there's a provision for reckless/negligent assault. Generally assault (or battery as it may be known in some areas) requires intent. >a man with a knife poked me with the sharp end, as he claimed to get my attention You say no intent, but any reasonable person would know that poking someone with *a knife* will cause harm, so yes, it would be assault.


gdanning

No, assault is usually a general intent crime, wherein all that is needed is the intent to do the act. There is no requirement that the defendant intend a particular result. https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/specific-and-general-intent-crimes.html


thedailyrant

Important distinction that is true in most places.


honestly_Im_lying

>"No, unless there's a provision for reckless/negligent assault. Generally assault (or battery as it may be known in some areas) requires intent." This is incorrect. The required intent is intent to do the act. Not intent to cause harm. So OP's question: poking w/ sharp object with no intent to harm considered ~~assault~~ battery? Yes. The intent by the patron was to do the act. - Former state prosecutor.


lawnerdcanada

This is a very confused reply. You said: >No, unless there's a provision for reckless/negligent assault. Generally assault (or battery as it may be known in some areas) requires intent. But then you said: >You say no intent, but any reasonable person would know that poking someone with a knife will cause harm, so yes, it would be assault. \- which is a description of *negligence*, not recklessness or intent. If an assault statute required proof of intent to cause harm, that's not satisfied by an objective inquiry into what "any reasonable person would know" - intent is a form of subjective *mens rea* that requires proof of what the accused *actually* had in their mind.


thedailyrant

To start, you don't sue someone for assault. You sue them for damages resulting from their actions that typically have to be a quantified loss. Now onto what constitutes an assault. It varies by jurisdiction but is generally defined as intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. Physical contact is not required for an assault. Physical contact you did not consent to is a battery. There's a few elements to assault, but again those depend on jurisdiction. It will usually be that a. The accused intentionally did some action. b. That action caused the plaintiff reasonable apprehension of offensive contact. In most cases an assault and battery will be concurrent, as the assault occurred leading up to the battery. But in your case the person intentionally did something that resulted in offensive contact. Quantifying damages for a civil suit is something completely different to the criminal elements of assault and battery though.


bcp38

If you were bussing tables and bumped into someone and they got poked by a knife that probably wouldn't be a crime. Poking someone with a knife to get their intention would still be battery in CA. Battery covers any willful unwanted or offensive touching.


real_talk_with_Emmy

NAL, but depending on where you live, any unwanted touching can be called assault. You don’t have to be injured to have been assaulted. I personally had to go through this ages ago when I was pregnant. A co-worker could not understand that me saying “please don’t touch me”, hiding my belly under the table (unsuccessfully), and trying to completely avoid her all meant I didn’t want her paws on my body. I eventually had to get HR involved in order for her to start. That was 22 years ago, and I actually am am HR professional myself now.


Alan_Smithee_

I’m not a violent person, but if someone poked me with a knife, I would consider putting them on the floor using the plate I was carrying. Too excessive for self-defence?


honestly_Im_lying

There is the “intent to cause harm” and the “intent to stab.” In US law, the latter is what is used in criminal law for what you described. * Battery (assault is a form of battery**) is the intentional touching of another without their consent or against their will. So, if this patron intended to poke you with a knife and did so, they likely committed battery. The resulting harm is not a factor (it would be after a determination was made of whether a battery was committed). In a criminal suit, your injury may not matter. (In theory it doesn’t, but whether the Court or Jury would convict without an injury is another story). Civil suits normally require an injury or ‘damages.’ But, what you’ve described is an intentional act (instead of negligence) which could avail you of punitive damages (money from the defendant in order to punish them for the act). Especially if they were acting with malice. *If you want to dig deeper, some batteries are ‘general intent’ and some are ‘specific intent.’ And, using a knife during the battery also amps up the potential charge / punishment. **Assault is generally the threat of an imminent battery. Eg. Scaring someone with a baseball bat. Battery is the harmful touching. The two are used interchangeably in normal conversation, but in law they are different.