Assault can constitute battery assault (physically hurting a person) or putting the person in fear of imminent (about to occur) physical harm.
This offence carries a full time gaol imprisonment of 2 years.
An example of common assault can simply be a slap.
Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
This offence is more serious than common assault. The injury or harm done on the victim must be more than 'transient and trifling' but it does not have to be permanent.
This offence carries a full time gaol imprisonment of 5 years if you have assaulted the victim on your own. If you have assaulted the person in company of another person, it carries a full time gaol imprisonment of 7 years.
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm occurs, generally, when you have hurt someone and it has broken/penetrated the skin. An example of this is causing a graze.
Grievous Bodily Harm
Recklessly inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm means you have caused harm of a really serious kind to another person. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years full time gaol, or if you have assaulted them in company, 14 years full time gaol.
If you have been charged with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, it carries a gaol sentence of 25 years.
DEFENCE of Self Defence
Under the Crimes Act, you can raise self defence as a defence to assault if and only if you believe the conduct is necessary to:
(a) to defend himself or herself or another person, or
(b) to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person, or
(c) to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference, or
(d) to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass,
and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them.
If you have been charged with any assault matter, please contact us for advice on (02) 9891 4200. We have more than 26 years experience in all assault matters.