Assault crimes can range from a threat that poses imminent harm, to physical battery which is an act of violence and can also include sexual contact (sexual assault). When a deadly weapon is involved it may be an aggravated assault. Intent needs to be proven in a court of law.
"Self-defense is probably the most common defense used in assault and battery cases. In order to establish self-defense, an accused must generally show:
a threat of unlawful force or harm against them;
a real, honest perceived fear of harm to themselves (there must be a reasonable basis for this perceived fear);
no harm or provocation on their part; and
there was no reasonable chance of retreating or escaping the situation."
" Reference: FindLaw
When death occurs as a result of the actions of a defendant being charged, the case involves the intent and circumstances. Was it accidental? Was there intent to do bodily harm? Was it self-defense? Was there "malice aforethought"? . In Oregon criminal homocide includes the following: (1)
A person commits criminal homicide if, without justification or excuse, the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence causes the death of another human being.
(2)Criminal homicide is murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide.
reference: Oregon Public Law Statutes
A woman accused of killing a motorcyclist was later found to be innocent due to an epilectic seizure that occurred at the time of the accident. "This case was originally charged as a vehicular homicide under the driving under the influence of intoxicants prong. This was based on the initial probable cause affidavit and reports available at the time of charging. Subsequent toxicology lab testing showed that Ms. Milam, in fact, did not have any alcohol or controlled substances in her system. Additional investigation revealed that Ms. Milam suffered from a previously undiagnosed medical condition, and the state is now convinced that this medical condition was the cause of the accident that killed Mr. Harig. This incident was tragic, but the evidence no longer supports a criminal prosecution."" reference:Columbian