ASSAULTS & VIOLENT OFFENCES
If you have been charged with an assault or an offence of violence in Brisbane or Ipswich it is imperative you get advice from a criminal law expert. Our expert criminal lawyers regularly assist clients who have been charged with assaults and offences of violence.
Assaults can include a wide variety of circumstances ranging from a simple push in the chest to a punch in the face causing significant injuries.
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ASSAULTS AND VIOLENT OFFENCES OUR LAWYERS HELP CLIENTS WITH
It is an offence under section 335 of the Criminal Code (Qld) to unlawfully assault a person. An assault includes striking, touching, moving or otherwise applying force of any kind to a person either directly or indirectly without the other person’s consent.
The assault must have been “unlawful”, this means that it was not authorised, justified or excused by the law.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 3 years imprisonment.
ASSAULT OCCASIONING BODILY HARM
It is a crime to unlawfully assault someone and cause them bodily harm under section 339 of the Criminal Code (Qld).
An assault includes striking, touching, moving or otherwise applying force of any kind to a person either directly or indirectly without the other person’s consent.
To cause someone bodily harm, the injury must interfere with the health or comfort of the victim. Some identifiable bodily injury (for example a bruise, broken lip, cuts etc) must be proven. A sensation of pain alone will not be sufficient.
The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment. However, the maximum penalty increases to 14 years imprisonment if the defendant was or pretended to be armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, or was in company with 1 or more other person or persons.
Section 340 of the Criminal Code (Qld) makes it a crime to commit what are defined as “serious assaults”.
The following are deemed to be serious assaults under the Criminal Code: –
- If the person assaults another person with the intent to commit a crime or with the intent to resist or prevent them from being lawfully arrested or detained.
- If the person assaults, resists or wilfully obstructs a police officer who is performing their duty or any person who is aiding a police officer perform their duty.
- If the person unlawfully assaults a person while the person is performing a duty imposed on the person by law.
- If the person assaults any person because the person performed a duty imposed on them by law.
- If the person assaults a person while pursuing an unlawful conspiracy respecting any manufacture, trade, business, or occupation, or respecting any person or persons concerned or employed in any manufacture, trade, business, or occupation, or the wages of any such person or persons.
- If the person unlawfully assaults another person who is 60 years or older.
- If the person unlawfully assaults a person who relies on a guide,hearing or assistance dog, wheelchair or other remedial device;
The maximum penalty for this crime is 7 years. However, the maximum penalty increases to 14 years imprisonment where the victim is a public officer and the offender:
- bites or spits on the public officer or throws at, or in any way applies to, the public officer a bodily fluid or faeces; or
- the offender causes bodily harm to the public officer; or
- the offender is, or pretends to be, armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument.
GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM (a.k.a “GBH”)
It is a crime under s320 of the Criminal Code (Qld) to do “grievous bodily harm” to someone.
The Criminal Code (Qld) provides a definition of what is grievous bodily harm, and it is defined as:
(a) the loss of a distinct part or an organ of the body; or
(b) serious disfigurement; or
(c) any bodily injury of such a nature that, if left untreated, would endanger or be likely to endanger life, or cause or be likely to cause permanent injury to health;
whether or not treatment is or could have been available.
To prove this offence the prosecution need a medical statement from a doctor proving that GBH has been caused.
If you are convicted of an offence of grievous bodily harm the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
If you commit the offence in a public place while you are adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, the Court must impose a community service order as part of your penalty.
Section 411 of the Criminal Code (Qld) makes it a crime to commit a “robbery”.
What is a robbery?
For the prosecution to prove that a robbery has occurred they must prove that: –
- You stole something; and
- At the time you stole the thing or immediately before or immediately after the time you stole the thing;
- You used or threatened to use actual violence to any person or property in order to
- obtain the thing stolen or
- to prevent or overcome resistance to it being stolen.
The maximum penalty for an offence of robbery is 14 years imprisonment. However, the maximum penalty increases to life imprisonment if:
- you were armed or pretended to be armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument; or
- you were in company with another person/s at the time of the robbery; or
- if, at or immediately before or immediately after the time of the robbery, you wounded or used any other personal violence to any person.
It is a crime under s320A of the Criminal Code (Qld) to torture another person. The maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
Torture is the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering on a person by an act or series of acts done on 1 or more than 1 occasion.
The Criminal Code states that “pain or suffering includes:
“physical, mental, psychological or emotional pain or suffering, whether temporary or permanent”.
Section 323 of the Criminal Code (Qld) makes it an offence to unlawfully wound another person. If you are convicted of this offence, the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.
For an offence of wounding to be proven, the prosecution must be able to show that the “true skin” of the complainant was broken. This means that not only the cuticle or upper skin must be broken, but the continuity of the whole skin must be broken or penetrated.
Wounding offences are generally left for offences involving a cutting instrument such as a knife.
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