Whoever assaults any person, although not occasioning actual bodily harm shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
To prove common assault the prosecution must establish, beyond reasonable doubt, the following:
It is extremely common for an accused person to raise self defence when charged with common assault. It has been codified in s418 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), which states that if self defence is raised the burden is on the prosecution to prove, beyond reasonable doubt that:
The second part is an objective assessment and, whilst it takes into account the specifics of the situation, is not based on what the person believes. In this regard, it is often the case that a person genuinely believes that their conduct was necessary but the Court finds that it was excessive in all the circumstances.
Other offences you could raise include:
This is one of the most common offences that comes before the Local Court.
There are a range of different sentencing options for the Court to consider, such as:
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the offence it is certainly possible to have your matter dealt with without the Court imposing a conviction. You will need to ensure you are properly prepared, the facts are consistent with your version and you case is properly advocated before the sentencing Magistrate or Judge.
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