Criminal offenses are usually ranked according to the degree of their severity. A third degree assault is a criminal charge brought against an individual who has brought physical or bodily harm against another individual, whether accidental or deliberate. The exact elements of this criminal offense depend on the jurisdiction wherein it occurred.
Various jurisdictions define the circumstances of third degree assault differently. Some consider a threat as basis for filing criminal charges of this nature, as long as the individual who made the threat is capable of carrying out. However, it is essential that the individual who claims a third degree assault against another must have felt an immediate attack. An immediate attack can be illustrated by an individual threatening harm and already has a weapon or is in close proximity to one to fulfill this threat.
Third degree assault is considered a misdemeanor, the only assault charge to be considered a minor offense as compared to the other assault charges. However, some jurisdictions can classify a third degree assault as an extraordinary risk crime. This categorization refers to the nature of the crime as bringing about an extraordinary risk of harm. This can make the penalty for the crime more severe, such as increasing imprisonment to 6 months.
In proving a third degree assault occurred, it is not necessary to show obvious physical harm. A statement from a litigant that informs the court of a form of maltreatment or abuse is enough cause for a third degree assault charge to be claimed.