Assault is serious business. In fact, those with numerous assault charges are likely to escalate to an even more serious crime. A guy choking his girlfriend may be charged with assault and domestic violence. If he doesn't get help or see where he did wrong, eventually the crime may escalate to rape or murder. Almost every convicted rapist or murderer has an assault charge in his or her past.
Assault charges used to be called assault and battery charges, but mostly this is just assault or in some cases, aggravated assault. In some states, aggravated assault and attempted murder are roughly the same charge. It just depends on the local laws.