An “assault,”or “simple assault,” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. Thus, the statute requires proof of three elements: (1) an intentional, unlawful threat; (2) an apparent ability to carry it out; and (3) creation of a well-founded fear that the violence is imminent.

Caution: An assault is not committed merely by the breach of another person’s rights, and a finding that a defendant committed an unnatural act is not equivalent to a finding that a defendant assaulted the victim. Thus, instructing the jury that the State must merely prove that an “act” occurred is not equivalent to instructing the jury that the State must prove assault, which requires proof of intent to threaten violence, ability to carry out the threat, and well-founded fear. When the jury is not instructed on the requisite elements of proof, the defendant’s due process rights are violated.

William Moore

William Moore is a well respected Criminal Defense Lawyer in Broward County, Florida. who has focused his legal career exclusively on criminal defense. Attorney Moore has litigated over 200 criminal jury trials in Broward County of all degrees and severities with great success.In addition to practicing criminal litigation, William Moore regularly lectures on criminal defense tactics in Broward. William Moore has also authored over one thousand works outlining and explaining criminal defense tactics and strategies. Most of William Moore's work is available upon request. William Moore is the founder of the criminal defense firm William Moore Criminal Defense in Fort Lauderdale.