Assaults & Violent Offences

A person can be assaulted through the reckless or intentional actions of another, which cause fear of imminent violence. Consequently, an element of fear is essential to justify the assault charges, which may be committed in two different ways.

One is by causing fear of imminent violence and threatening an individual. The other is by inflicting violence or force against another. Bear in mind that no physical injury is required for the offence to constitute an assault. A great degree of public concern rises, as expressed by Australians, when it comes to violent crimes. Once you get involved with assaults and offences of violence, it is essential that you hire the services of a law firm to guide you through the process. The various forms of assault include the following:

  • homicide;
  • sexual offences;
  • threatening behaviour;
  • deprivation of liberty;
  • robbery;
  • dwelling burglary;
  • stealing of a motor vehicle;
  • stealing;
  • property damage;
  • arson;
  • drug offences;
  • graffiti;
  • fraud and other offences; and
  • violence restraint orders.

Although there are instances when the media have limited headlines regarding assaults and offences of violence, you can never be too careful. There are even individuals who suggest and believe that the country is acceding to a flow of numerous violent crimes outside of the control of the typical law enforcement system, although the influence of this kind of publicity about violent assaults and offences has yet to be fully justified.

Evidences of a high degree of public anxiety towards violent crimes cannot only be found plainly on the headlines of top media companies, but on the omnipresent opinion polls that influence every resident in the country. Surveys show that assault and offences of violence are the number one issue of concern among Australians.

Types of Assaults

Common Assault

The force used in this type of assault does not necessarily result in any inflicted injury. It simply results in personal discomfort or pain; thus, even threatening to inflict violence against another without employing any force upon them will constitute the crime of common assault. An example of this is when you happen to slap or punch an individual, which results in their personal discomfort or pain, even when there is no injury inflicted.

Serious Assault

This type of assault is also known as the “aggravated” common assault. There are various offences that can be considered a serious assault. For example, when the assault committed was made in the presence of or upon a police officer; the complainant appeared to be disabled, the complainant is 60 years old or more; or the assault or offence occurred within the jail premises.

Unlawful Wounding

This is defined as an offence that may be charged when circumstances warrant it — instances such as when the skin is penetrated or broken. An example is when the injury is inflicted by a knife or glass, which penetrates the skin of the victim.

Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

AOBH is somehow the opposite of Common Assault such that it involves injury. It is charged when the offender committed an assault by inflicting bodily harm against the victim. However, this type of assault does not result in a permanent disfigurement, injury, or death of the victim.

An example of this is when the injury caused by the offender resulted in fractured bones, bruises, and cuts without the need for any hospital treatment to prevent further injury. There are also instances when the crime of Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm can be aggravated:

  • When a weapon is involved in the act
  • The offender pretends to possess a weapon
  • The offender is accompanied during the assault

Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)

This type of assault or offence of violence is committed when the offender caused grievous bodily harm, which resulted in serious disfigurement and injury to the victim. It can also be committed when the attack happens to be life-threatening or if there is no immediate medical treatment. As well, GBH includes injuries that result in severe bleeding and serious bone fractures.

GBH cases are frequently subjected to a lot of arguments since medical opinions differ; hence, if you decide to charge the offender with the offence of Grievous Bodily Harm, it is best that you acquire the services of a professional forensic expert who can provide you with a precise medical opinion.


Manslaughter may be assumed in instances where an individual unlawfully inflicts death or kills another individual; however, in this case, the act of killing did not come with the intention to commit such a serious offence. Manslaughter differs from the crime of murder since the former lacks the intent to kill. Nevertheless, the act must have substantially or significantly contributed to the killing or death of another person and must be duly punished.

Penalties for Assaults

Common Assault

Common assault offences may be penalised with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment. Aside from prison sentence, the other types of penalties imposed for this offence are Section 10; fines; good behaviour bond; community service orders; suspended sentence; intensive correction order; and home detention.

Serious Assault

Serious assault offences carry a maximum penalty of seven years of imprisonment. However, if the victim is a police officer, then the sentence can be up to 14 years of imprisonment. In addition, fines and other penalties may be imposed.

Unlawful Wounding

Wounding someone unlawfully is penalised with a maximum of seven years imprisonment.

Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

This type of offence can be penalised with a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, although the maximum term is only two years if the case is handled by the Local Court. Moreover, the imprisonment term is increased to seven years if the assault was committed in the presence of another person.

Grievous Bodily Harm

This type of assault is penalised with a maximum of fourteen years.


The maximum prison term for charges of manslaughter is 25 years.

What should your next steps be?

Whether you are the victim or the accused in an assault case, FC Lawyers has the team of legal experts that can ensure that you get just outcomes.

Contact us today to discuss your legal needs.