Crimes and Tickets

Fighting, Punching, and Spitting: Assault


Grabbing someone’s wrist, spitting in someone’s face, or punching someone are examples of acts that could be considered assault. Assault is a crime even if there is no apparent injury.

What Is Assault?

Assault is a crime that involves using force against someone without that person’s consent. For example, throwing an object at someone, punching, or scratching people without their consent is a crime and can have legal consequences.

Only a Little Force

You can be accused of assault even if you didn’t hurt the other person or used very little force. For example, spitting in a person’s face can be an assault.

Important! Assault can have serious legal consequences when it puts the victim’s life in danger or when the victim is injured.

Agreeing to Fight

As a general rule, when there is consent to the use of force, there is no assault.

For example, two people agree to go to the park to fight. This is not assault because both of them agreed to hit and punch one another.

The same rule applies in some sports. For example, when you agree to play a hockey game, you also agree to being body checked by other players, as long as they follow the rules of the game.

But agreeing to a fight does not mean that you agree to everything that can happen during the fight. You cannot consent to being seriously injured or harmed in a way that leads to serious health problems.

Important! Assault includes threatening or trying to use force when you are in a position to do so. This is true even if nothing happened or the other person was not hurt.