Criminal Law

Assault Charges


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Types of assault charges

There are various types of assault charges in NSW ranging from less serious to serious assaults, including:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Common Assault
  • Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
  • Assaulting a Police Officer
  • Recklessly Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) or Wounding
  • Causing Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding with Intent

Assault can range from non-physical contact with the intention to cause about the requisite fear of immediate and unlawful violence or physical contact with the use of unlawful physical force.

To be found guilty of an assault charge the prosecution must prove each of the following elements:

  1. That you caused another person to fear immediate and unlawful violence, or that you made physical contact with another person, and
  2. That the other person did not consent, and
  3. That your actions were intentional or reckless.

Defences to assault

The most common defences to Common Assault are:

  • Self-Defence – you acted to defend yourself or someone else from another person, or you were protecting property.
  • Duress – where you were forced to undertake an act under the threat of death or serious harm to justify your actions.
  • Necessity – where you acted to avoid/prevent death or serious injury to yourself or some other person.
  • Lawful Correction – by way of disciplining your child.

Penalties to assault charges

The maximum fine varies from $1,100 to $11,000 depending on the type of assault, the facts and your relevant position in your particular case. The maximum penalty ranges from 1 year to 25 years imprisonment.

Going to court and being charged with assault can be a stressful and difficult experience, our criminal defence team is here to help you. You may ask for a free first consultation and discuss costs and your legal options.

Call or email us, or you can book an appointment online.


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