Assault occurs where a person recklessly or intentionally causes another person to fear immediate violence, which may or may not be through the use of force including striking, pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, touching, poking, etc. Within this there are varying levels of severity . Assault is generally categorized into three main areas, including:

  • Common Assault
  • Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
  • Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding

Common Assault

As the least serious of the assault offences, acts of common assault are among the most common form of assault charges that come before the Courts. This offence can be committed in two ways:

  • by physical contact – the accused having physically assaulted the victim
  • by conduct – the accused person’s action have caused the victim imminent physical harm or fear

Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

The offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm is applicable where an assault has lead to an injury which usually is not permanent. In accordance to section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900, an aggravated form of the offence is where the accused assaults another person, occasioning actual bodily harm, and does so in the company of another.

Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding

Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and reckless (or malicious) wounding are severe offences. The following offences are also set our in section 35 of the Crimes Act 1900:

  • Reckless wounding
  • Reckless wounding in company of another
  • Recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm
  • Recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm in the company of another

Penalties

Offence

Maximum Penalty

General Assault Imprisonment term of 2 years

 

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm Imprisonment term of 5 years

 

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the company of another Imprisonment term of 7 years

 

Reckless wounding

Imprisonment term of 7 years

 

Reckless wounding in company Imprisonment term of 10 years

 

Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm Imprisonment term of 14 years

 


The complexity of these offences requires the extensive knowledge and meticulous attention to detail which our lawyers provide. Our team has specialised knowledge in assault offences having assisted many clients successfully defend charges or obtain lesser penalties once sentenced.

If you have been charged with these offences, our experts can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers in our office.

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