Assault and Common Assault in Criminal Law
We understand how difficult it is when you are facing assault or common assault charges. There are often extenuating circumstances leading to the event that brought about the assault or common assault charges. Sometimes these events seem very unfair.
You may have a defence at law to an assault or common assault charge, or there may be mitigating factors that should be brought to a court’s attention. Our criminal defence lawyers take the time to get to know you and provide you with the guidance and legal representation to see you through the matter.
Understanding the Facts
Our criminal defence lawyers will go through the facts of your case with you to understand the background situation, to ensure the police have met their duties and to evaluate your legal defences to assault and or common assault. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty on the standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
Your Criminal Defence
Our criminal defence lawyers will review the police brief and provide you with legal advice about your prospects and about the best way to handle the situation. Our criminal defence lawyers will negotiate with the police, present relevant evidence and oppose the charges where instructed and provide your defence to the court.
There are different types of assault charges that can be brought and sometimes there may be overlapping charges. There can be common assault charges, assault charges, aggravated assault charges or a combination of these charges in addition to other charges.
Depending on the circumstances, the police may bring an aggravated assault charge. Aggravated assault is a form of assault that is considered more serious because of the circumstances. An aggravated assault has extra elements that the police need to prove and an aggravated assault usually has greater penalties.
For example, under the Summary Offences Act 1996 in Victoria (similar terms apply in other states), aggravated assault occurs where:
(1) (a) Where a person is convicted before the Magistrates’ Court of an assault or battery upon any male child whose age in the opinion of the court does not exceed fourteen years or upon any female, if in the opinion of the court the assault or battery is of such an aggravated nature that it cannot sufficiently be punished under the last preceding section, the person offending shall be liable on conviction to a penalty of 25 penalty units or to imprisonment for six months and the court may (if it thinks fit in any of the said cases) without any further or other charge adjudge any person convicted to enter into a recognizance and find sureties to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a term of not more than six months from the expiration of such sentence.
(b) In default of compliance with any such order to enter into a recognizance and find sureties the court may order an accused to be imprisoned until he complies with the order: Provided that no person shall be imprisoned for non-compliance with any such order for a longer period than twelve months.
(2) Any person who in company with any other person or persons assaults another person shall be liable to imprisonment for twelve months and any person who by kicking or with any weapon or instrument whatsoever assaults another person shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
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