Assaults and Offences of Violence
Offences against the person in the form of assault is one of the more common types of crime committed in Queensland.
Assault and related charges not only encompass physical injury, but also the threat of injury, and these charges often carry heavy sentences, such as imprisonment, community service or weekend detention.
Cases of assault are usually perpetrated by one person against another; however, there are also charges for incidents that involve more than one offender.
Affray, riot and violent disorder are charges that can be brought against people who participate in group fights. These fights are usually in public places and may disturb the peace; however, they can also occur in a private residence.
If charged with any of the following offences, you should obtain legal advice immediately.
A charge of common assault occurs often in situations where violence is involved. The definition and understanding of common assault is also quite broad, meaning the charge can be laid in many different scenarios.
The law says that common assault has occurred
- if a person strikes, touches or moves or otherwise applies force of any kind
- to another person, either directly or indirectly
- without the other persons consent or
- with the other persons consent if obtained by fraud (lying) or
- if a person by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force
- to a person without consent and
- the person attempting or threatening to apply force has an actual or apparent present ability to fulfil this threat or attempt.
A charge of common assault is often laid along with other charges of violent acts. This definition of common assault is a requirement if the Police wish to charge you with the offence of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm.
Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm
If Common Assault has occurred and the person being assaulted has suffered bodily harm, then the charge of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is available.
Bodily harm is any bodily injury that interferes with the other persons health or comfort.
There are harsher penalties to be imposed if a dangerous weapon is involved with the bodily harm and if there are more then one persons involved in the assault.
Grievous Bodily Harm
The law states that any person who unlawfully does grievous bodily harm to another person is guilty of a crime.
Grievous bodily harm is defined to mean
- the loss of a distinct organ of the body; or
- serious disfigurement; or
- any bodily injury of such nature that, if left untreated, would endanger or be likely to endanger life or cause or be likely to cause permanent injury to health.
It is irrelevant in this offence as to whether medical treatment had been available or not.
What the Police Must Prove
In all of these charges of assault and violent acts, the Police must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence that these charges have been satisfied.
The Police must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault was unlawful, that is not authorised, justified or excused by law
It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.
If you have been charged with any of the above offences, call Mulcahy Ryan Lawyers on 07 3217 5511, or on our 24/7 Hotline 0402 561 650 for legal advice as soon as possible, don’t leave it till the last minute.