Have you been charged with Assault?
If the answer is yes, you will need to engage the services of a law firm that specialises in criminal law.
As a common law offence, Assault is not contained in legislation. It is a broad charge, and there are many considerations to take into account when preparing for your matter. (There is a different Assault charge under section 23 of the Summary Offices act or assault police, see s31 of the Crimes Act, there is also information under “common assault” in the list to the right of this page).
Did the assault occur? Did it involve the application of force? If so, was this intentional or reckless? Did you have a reason for the assault?
All these questions, and more, must be carefully considered before you and your lawyer can ascertain how you should plead. You must be aware that, should you plead guilty, the offence carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
See below for further information on Assault.
What must the prosecution prove?
For Assault involving the application of force:
The accused applied force to the alleged victim’s body;
The application of force was intentional or reckless; and
The application of force was without lawful justification or excuse.
For Assault not involving the application of force:
The accused committed an act that caused the complainant to apprehend the immediate application of force to his or her body;
The accused intended his or her actions to cause such apprehension, or was reckless as to that outcome; and
The accused had no lawful justification or excuse for causing the complainant to apprehend the application of immediate force.
The maximum penalty
Level 6 imprisonment being a maximum of 5 years.
Where will my case be heard?
This type of common law assault charge is usually only reserved for matters proceeding in the County Court, notwithstanding the lower maximum penalty.
Questions to consider
Do you have a defence?
If you are pleading guilty, what can you do to minimise your sentence?
The offence of Assault now includes both Assault and Battery. Before proceeding further, consult a specialist criminal lawyer.
What to do next?
Consult an experienced criminal lawyer urgently.
Don’t leave preparing for your case until the last minute. Being thoroughly prepared is critical to the success of any matter.
If you have been charged with Common Law Assault arrange an appointment to see one of our experienced lawyers today.