Assaults is an unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. It may be classified as aggravated or simple. Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category, as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges from minor threats to nearly fatal incidents. An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and Tort Law. There is, however, an additional Criminal Law category of assault consisting of an attempted but unsuccessful Battery.
In the case of assault, threatening to cause harm to a person but not carrying through on the threat would be classified as a misdemeanor. Assault that resulted in actual bodily injury, or in which a weapon was used as part of the assault, would be considered a felony.