Assault usually precedes battery, but not always. It requires no contact. It is actionable per se and no real injury is required. As in cases of battery, you may seek damages to compensate for emotional injury via assault as well. The act of assault should be a positive act
An assault is an act which:
- Directly and
- Intentionally causes reasonable apprehension of imminent battery
- Without lawful excuse or justification (defenses)
“Reasonable Apprehension of Imminent Battery”
Sometimes, a cause of action in assault arises even when there is only an apprehension of imminent battery. Whether the act causes reasonable apprehension of imminent battery is a question of fact. In essence, you have to show that you had reasonable expectation for battery to immediately follow after the assault and that the person who committed the assault had the means to carry out his threat. However, there is no need for you to prove fear.
You may be surprised to note that in an exceptional foreign case, the court even ruled that silent telephone calls causing its recipients to reasonably apprehend imminent violence could amount to assault where the defendant did intend for the phone call to be threat.