Assault and violence offences

Affray

The maximum penalty in NSW for affray is 10 years imprisonment under section 93CV of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Affray is the use or threat of unlawful violence towards another person, and which would cause a person of reasonable firmness to fear his or her personal safety.

Examples of some acts which constitute affray include:

  • Participating in a riot

  • Getting into a fight in front of other people

A charge of affray may be dealt with in the Local Court or in the District Court. If the matter is heard in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

Kingston Fox Lawyers are specialised in criminal law and as former prosecutors, know both sides of the legal system. If you have been charged with affray or any other offence or believe that you are being investigated, contact Kingston Fox Lawyers to discuss your matter.

Common assault

The offence of common assault is committed when a person does something intentionally or recklessly which causes another person to fear immediate and unlawful violence. The maximum penalty in NSW under section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is 2 years imprisonment. It is one of the most common crimes in NSW.

The types of actions that might result in a charge of common assault include:

  • Hitting, punching or kicking a person without causing actual bodily harm

  • Spitting on a person

  • Threatening immediate violence against another person.

In order to be found guilty of common assault the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You struck, touched or applied force to another person or threatened a person with immediate violence

  • You intended to do that or were reckless

  • You acted without the consent of the other person

  • You acted without lawful excuse.

A court can impose any one of the following penalties for common assault:

  • Imprisonment including home detention

  • Intensive correction order

  • Community correction order

  • Conditional release order with conviction

  • Fine

In NSW, a court can also impose a Conditional Release Order without a conviction, which used to be known as a Section 10 bond. It means that although the offence is proven, no criminal conviction is recorded. The court will take into account a range of factors including the circumstances of the offence and your personal circumstances including employment and health.

The lawyers at Kingston Fox Lawyers are experienced criminal lawyers and as former prosecutors we know the legal system from both sides. We can advise you on all aspects of your matter and ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved for you.

Talk to us about a free initial meeting with one of our partners.

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm and recklessly cause grievous bodily harm or wounding

The maximum penalty for an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm is 5 years imprisonment. If the assault is committed in the company of another person, the maximum penalty is increased to 7 years imprisonment. The matter can be heard in the Local Court or if the accused person or prosecutor elect, may be heard in the District Court. If the matter is heard in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment or a fine of $5,500 or both.

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm under section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) involves an assault that results in any hurt or injury to another person which was done with the intention to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim. The injury does not need to be permanent but does need to be more than trifling or transient. Examples includes scratching, bruising and cuts.

The courts view this as a very serious offence.

The maximum penalty for a recklessly cause grievous bodily harm or wounding under section 35 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is 10 years imprisonment and if committed in the company of another person, 14 years imprisonment. The prosecution must prove that the accused person was reckless as to the harm caused to the other person. Examples of grievous bodily harm include:

  • Jaw and skull fractures

  • Brain damage

  • Severe lacerations which require a large number of stitches

If you are charged with a serious offence like assault occasioning actual or grievous bodily harm, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer.

Contact one of our partners about a free initial meeting to discuss your case.