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    Q142: I've been hit in the face at the pub, I wasn't marked, is that an assault?

    An assault is any act intentionally or recklessly causing the victim to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal injury or violence. If violence is threatened, there must be the ability to carry out the threat at the time.

    In law an assault does not have to involve physical contact. An assault may involve a threat alone. However, there must be the prospect of the threat being carried out immediately and for the victim to fear that the threat will be carried out immediately. If physical contact is made, the offence is actually a 'battery'.

    Most people who describe an assault, are actually describing a battery - see Q479 for more information on this.

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