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Common Assault

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Best Common Assault Lawyers for Common Assault Charges

Our common assault lawyers appear in Courts on a daily basis defending assault charges. We have an exceptional track record of having our clients found ‘not guilty’ as well as avoiding criminal records (eg. Section 10 dismissals or Section 32 Mental Health applications).

Contact us now to speak to one of Australia’s best criminal lawyers for common assault charges. We have an accredited specialist in criminal law who can quickly analyse your case and work out the best way for you to avoid a conviction. You can also see our recent results for Common Assault charges.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  • PLEADING NOT GUILTY

    What is Common Assault?

    Section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out the definition of Common assault as an act whereby a person intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence.

     

    How to Beat a Common Assault Charge?

    To establish a common assault charge, the prosecution must prove the following:

    1. You committed an act; and
    2. This act caused immediate and unlawful violence to the alleged victim, OR caused the alleged victim to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence; and
    3. You had the requisite intent (recklessness is sufficient)

     

    If they are unable to prove any of the above three points, you will be found ‘not guilty’ and the charge dismissed. Even if the Police are able to establish the above elements, there are defences available.

     

    What are the Defences to Common Assault?

    The following defences can be relied on to defend a charge of common assault:

    1. Self defence: Your actions were a reasonable response in the circumstances as you perceived them.
    2. No hostility:You did not have the intent to cause immediate and unlawful violence. This could be if your touching of the alleged victim was an accident or socially acceptable/necessary contact (eg. touching someone to get their attention).
    3. Consent: The alleged victim consented to the touching
    4. Duress: You were forced to commit the assault
    5. Necessity: Your actions were necessary in the circumstances

     

    If you believe you may have a defence to common assault or are unsure, our common assault solicitors can give you immediate advice on all of the possible defences open to you and which defence(s) is/are best suited to your case.

    We will also determine what evidence can be used or needs to be obtained to make out the defence and identify and exploit holes in the Police case against you.

    We can immediately begin preparing your defence and put your mind at ease. If you contact us at an early stage in your case, we may even be able to get your charge(s) dropped before you have to go to Court.

  • PLEADING GUILTY

    If after receiving advice from an experienced common assault lawyer, you decide that you want to enter a plea of guilty, there are a number of steps you can take in order to obtain the best sentencing outcome. Our guide will provide some general hints. If you wish to obtain a more thorough list and one that is tailored to your specific case, you can speak to one of our specialist criminal lawyers by contacting us now.

     

    What is the Penalty for Common Assault?

    Common assault is a type of assault charge that carries a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment.

     

    What are the Possible Sentences for Common Assault?

    The following are potential sentencing options for common assault:

    1. Section 10 dismissal
    2. Conditional release order without conviction (previously known as Section 10 good behaviour bond)
    3. Fine
    4. Conditional release order with conviction (previously known as Section 9 good behaviour bond)
    5. Community Corrections Order (previously known as Community Service Order)
    6. Intensive Corrections Order
    7. Home Detention Order (no longer used in NSW)
    8. Full Time Imprisonment

     

    Will You Go To Jail for Common Assault?

    While it is ultimately up to the Magistrate or Judge as to what punishment you will receive, there are sentencing statistics for common assault that can be helpful in providing some guidance. We have obtained a list of 27,618 cases in the Local Court which provide a range:

    1. Section 10 dismissal: 27%
    2. Fine: 15%
    3. Section 9 good behaviour bond: 41%
    4. Community Service Order: 3%
    5. Section 12 suspended sentence (no longer used for NSW offences): 5%
    6. Intensive Corrections Order: 1%
    7. Home Detention: 0%
    8. Full Time Imprisonment: 6%

     

    While jail is a possibility, only 6% of offenders are sentenced to full-time imprisonment. More significantly, the overwhelming majority of offenders received convictions for this offence. The rate of convictions is significantly higher for domestic violence assaults.

    Contact us now so that we can help you avoid a criminal conviction.

FAQ

Common Assault sentencing for a first offence?

If this is your first offence, you will generally be dealt with more leniently by the Court. A list of 10,728 first offence Common Assault sentencing cases in the Local Court suggests that you will be far more likely to receive a Section 10 dismissal if you have no prior record. However, there are still a large amount of individuals who are convicted despite it being their first offence. That is why it is important that you contact one of our experienced senior criminal lawyers so that they can prepare your case in such a way that you will be in the best position possible to receive a Section 10.

 

Is it OK to hit your child?

There is a defence of ‘Lawful correction’ if you hit your child to discipline them. However, your actions must be reasonable. Hitting your child lightly with minimal pain would likely fall into this defence. However, if your child suffers marks or bruising, this would likely not be considered reasonable.

Hitting your child with an object, such as a wooden spoon may not be reasonable if it causes significant pain and/or any lasting marks.

 

Common Assault Domestic Violence

Common Assault is a very common charge in a domestic violence context. Police and the Courts deal with domestic violence cases differently to other charges. For example, if you are pleading not guilty, your case will be listed for Hearing even if you have not received a brief of evidence from the Police.

As such, it is important that you speak to one of our specialist domestic violence lawyers who can guide you through the process. Contact us now to discuss your case with a specialist domestic violence lawyer.

 

Can Police Charge You If the Victim Doesn’t Want Them To?

It is very common in domestic violence situations for an alleged victim no to want their partner to be charged. However, it is ultimately up to the Police as to whether they want to charge a person or not. Once someone speaks to the Police and alleges a domestic violence assault, Police will usually charge you.

If at a later date the alleged victim wants to retract their statement or have the charges withdrawn, Police will usually not do this and compel the alleged victim (by subpoena) to attend Court. If you have been charged with a domestic violence assault, you should contact our team now so we can begin working on your case to have the charges dismissed.

 

Can Charges Be Dropped if the Victim Doesn’t Attend Court?

Generally, if the only witness to a crime is not available to give evidence in Court, then the prosecution will not have any evidence to rely on. However, there are ways that they can get around this.

Most commonly the prosecution will seek and adjournment to bring the alleged victim to Court. Many Judges and Magistrates will agree to adjourn the case unless there are powerful reasons why this should not be done. If the alleged victim participated in a video interview, the prosecutor can also seek to play this.

That is why it is important that you have an accredited specialist criminal lawyer representing you. We will be able to object to the playing of a video interview and prepare beforehand to prevent an adjournment being granted. Contact us now to speak to our friendly team.