Sometimes a situation does not end the way you planned. If you had an altercation and the police were called, you may face charges for common assault. Assault is a scary word when dealing with a legal matter.
Still, James and Jaramillo Lawyers know how these charges work and are ready to do what they can to help you.
Book your free consultation – (02) 8005 3075
What is Common Assault?
Assault charges in many countries come from a physical altercation between two or more individuals. It can be a domestic violence situation where someone hits their spouse or a large fight between multiple parties.
However, the offence of common assault does not have to include physical contact. For a common assault charge to be brought, one only has to fear being the victim of unlawful violence. It can open up the possibility of charges against people who threaten violence even if they never carry it out.
What is Common Assault in Australia
The Crimes Act 1900 sets out the state criminal offences for New South Wales. It gives a broad definition of what is common assault in Australia. This legislation could include nearly all violence that does not fall under a different assault charge.
Section 61 of the Crimes Act gives peace officers and lawmakers a lot of room for judgment regarding common assault in Australia. According to this document, any assault occasioning actual bodily harm, or an act that makes someone fear bodily harm, is considered common assault. That means if you attack or fight someone or make them afraid you will, you may be charged.
What is common assault? The types of things that can be considered common assault are:
- Causing physical injury
- Vocal threats
- Threats of violence
- Spitting on someone
- Throwing objects at someone
- Cyber harassment
Defence Against Common Assault Charges
If you get charged with what is common assault, there are generally two ways to go about it. You can plead not guilty, in which case you would have to be able to prove that the accusations against you are either untrue or that you have a valid reason for doing those things. Pleading guilty is also an option if you have no way to prove that you did not commit the offence.
Charged with common assault or any other assault charge for that matter? Our Sydney criminal lawyers offer a free consultation.
Let’s get ahead of your charge and give you the best chance at winning your case. (02) 8005 3075
If you know that you are not guilty of what is common assault, or believe you have a lawful excuse, then pleading not guilty should be your course of action. There are a few instances where you may be justified under common assault in Australia, and charges could get dropped. Discussing your case with a lawyer will give you an idea of response in the circumstances of your case if it falls into one of these categories.
- You acted in self-defence
- Your actions were an accident
- The assault offence happened more than 12 months before the charge
- There was consent
- It was an act of compulsion
If you have no defence to common assault accusations, and your lawyer has exhausted every option available to them, pleading guilty to what is common assault may be the best course of action. If you plead not guilty only to lose your case, you may get a much harsher sentence than if you cooperate with the district court. Depending on the seriousness of the charge, you may not face any time in jail, or your lawyer can argue for you not to serve the maximum penalty.
Your choice of a defence law firm will be the thing that can make or break your case. Whether you want to argue your innocence or work with the court to get a lighter sentence, you will need a lawyer who knows what common assault is and can give you sound legal advice.
The prosecution of a common assault will depend on the seriousness of the offence. The Crimes Act states that common assault in Australia is that anyone who assaults someone, even if they do not cause bodily harm, can face two years imprisonment.
However, the court has the discretion to lower that sentence or to give other punishments altogether.
Some of the penalties the court can impose in a criminal conviction include:
- Community service
- Suspended jail sentence
- Reduced term of imprisonment
What Should You Do if Charged With Common Assault
You could get charged with assault after being arrested for an altercation or after being accused after the fact. In either case, you should remember you have rights. You should know what common assault is in Australia and not be afraid to ask the police to honour your basic rights.
If you get arrested after an occurrence that leads to a common assault charge, stay calm. Do not do anything that will end with more charges. Follow these three steps to avoid additional charges being levied against you.
- Remain calm
- Ask to speak to your lawyer and then call JJ Lawyers
If you are served with an assault charge later, you may be arrested and taken to the police station to be processed. You will likely be given a court date and sent home.
What Must Prosecution Prove?
For the prosecution to build a case against you, they have to prove that you intended grievous bodily harm to the accuser. If they claim you physically assaulted them, a case has to be made that it happened with proof showing, such as bruising, bleeding, or the testimony of a witness.
The prosecution has to prove you did something that made the accuser afraid they would be harmed by you. Whether you threw things at them with intent to hit them, made threats that you were going to hurt them, or did something intentionally or recklessly that could have injured them. It is not easy to prove, and many common assault cases are won because there is not much evidence to convict with.
In Summary – Get The Best Defence For Your Common Assault Charge
With experts in family & criminal law, you will not find a better defence law firm based in Sydney, Australia, than James and Jaramillo Lawyers. Our criminal lawyers will do everything we can to build your case of defence to common assault and help you avoid prosecution.