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What A Charge of Assault Means

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The assault lawyers The Australian Legal Practice take time to understand the individuality of your matter. 

Assault charges are often serious as the can lead to a criminal record. The implications of assault charges are wide spread in that they can affect your job prospects and ability to travel.  That’s why you need the right assault lawyers to defend your assault charges. 

What is assault?

Under NSW law, there are two main categories of assault:

  1. Common Assault
  2. Aggravated assault
What is Common Assault?

A charge of common assault is less serious than its counterpart. It is usually dealt with in the local court, although the prosecution may choose to pursue the matter in the district court. The injuries suffered from a common assault are not as significant or severe as they would be in a charge of aggravated assault.

What is Aggravated Assault?
A charge of aggravated assault is more serious and broken into categories based on the level of harm inflicted. The penalties levied reflect the severity of the harm. Below is a table with the types of assault you may be charged with and their maximum penalties.
Offence Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) Penalty
Common Assault s61 2 years imprisonment
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm s59 5 years imprisonment
Reckless wounding s35(4) 7 years imprisonment
Reckless wounding in company s35(3) 10 years imprisonment
Reckless inflict grievous bodily harm s35(2) 10 years imprisonment
Reckless inflict grievous bodily harm in company s35(1) 14 years imprisonment
Wound or inflict grievous bodily harm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm or resist arrest s33(1)-(2) 25 years imprisonment
Use or possess weapon to resist arrest s33B(1) 12 years imprisonment
Attempt to choke s37 25 years imprisonment
Administer intoxicating substance s38 25 years imprisonment
Assault causing death s25A(1) 20 years imprisonment
Assault causing death when intoxicated s25A(2) 25 years imprisonment
Assaulting a police officer in the course of duty S60 14 years imprisonment
What are defences to a charge of assault?

On a case-by-case basis, our criminal lawyers at the Australia Legal Practice may be able to defend a charge of assault if:

For example:- 

  1. Self-defence – Your actions were in the protection of yourself or another (including property), resulting in self-defence.
  2. Lawful excuse defence – If your actions were during an activity where there is an agreement to physical contact that may otherwise be perceived as violence, resulting in the lawful excuse defence. Such as, during sporting contests.
  3. Lawful correction – As a parent, your actions were in the lawful correction of your child, and the physical forced applied was only for a short period and did not harm the child’s head or neck.
Options when charged with assault

Subject to your circumstances, you may choose either to:

  1. Plead guilty – Admit to committing the offence and breaking the law
  2. Plead not guilty – Deny committing the offence and breaking the law


If you decide to plead not guilty, our experienced criminal lawyers will vehemently protect your rights so that you get the best possible defence.

The best way to get off a charge of assault is to contact our experienced criminal lawyers. Our solicitors at the Australian Legal Practice have extensive experience and specialise in assault charges. We provide tailored advice and are armed with the right knowledge to fight your case.

If your matter is urgent, call (02) 8084 9929 today to arrange a free initial consultation.


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