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An assault is generally where a person either intentionally or recklessly applies force to another person, or where a person intentionally or recklessly threatens another person with the intent to commit an indictable offence.
We have extensive experience in acting for individuals alleged to have committed the following types of assault offences:
In Victoria, ‘Statutory Assault’ (Section 31 Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)) is defined as the direct application of force to the body of a person. Whereas ‘Common Law Assault’ is defined as the fear of the use of force and the actual application of force. Therefore, it is possible in some circumstances to assault another person without touching them. It is typically not necessary for the victim to have suffered physical contact from the actions of another person for an offence of assault to be proved. For example, spitting towards a victim may amount to an assault in circumstances where the spit does not make contact with the victim.
The circumstances of the particular assault offence will determine the most appropriate approach to resolve the assault charge. Examples include such things as whether a weapon was used, circumstances leading up to the incident, injuries sustained by the victim, if there was an element of provocation, or whether self-defence is applicable – these are all vital factors to consider in determining the appropriate approach.
In most circumstances, assault offences usually involve multiple charges. It is important to obtain legal advice at the first instance to avoid or reduce the combination of charges, or excessive alternative charges. Our Criminal Lawyers can assist in aggressively challenging the prosecution to avoid any offences being proven against you.
Our Criminal Lawyers will review all the evidence against you, advise you as to your prospects of defending against the charge (including whether there are any defences available to you) advise you as to whether you have a viable defence, and if so, how to begin preparing to run that particular defence. Or alternatively, if there is no viable defence, to provide you with advice as to how to achieve the lightest penalty possible. Our Criminal Lawyers will achieve this by either negotiating a resolution to a plea of guilty to a less serious charge on the basis that a more serious alternative charge is withdrawn, and depending on your particular circumstances, advise of rehabilitative courses you can undertake in support of being sentenced to the lightest penalty possible.
Assault charges can carry a variety of sentences in Victorian Courts. They vary from fines and behaviour bonds, up to the maximum penalty for Common Law Assault in Victoria, which is five (5) years’ imprisonment.
Your rights and freedom are worth too much to leave to chance.
If you have been charged with an assault offence by Victorian or Federal Police, contact one of our Criminal Lawyers immediately on (03) 8376 6209.
If you are charged with assault, in most circumstances you will likely be released on bail. Unless you have caused a serious injury, or the assault is accompanied by other serious violent offences, your matter will be heard by a Magistrate.
In Victoria, offences involving threats include:
In Victoria, threatening another person is illegal if the threat is genuine. The prosecution must prove that the person making the threat either:
Generally, the circumstances considered by a Court include: