Criminal Law – Serious Assault

Our experienced criminal law solicitors have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to serious assault.  If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of serious assault, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on 55800120 for advice.

For more information on other criminal charges, visit our CRIMINAL LAW HOMEPAGE.

Serious Assault – The Law

Section 320(1) of the Criminal Code of Queensland creates the offence of serious assault.  The section provides:

Any person who—

(a) assaults another with intent to commit a crime, or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of himself or herself or of any other person; or

(b) assaults, resists, or wilfully obstructs, a police officer while acting in the execution of the officer’s duty, or any person acting in aid of a police officer while so acting; or

(c) unlawfully assaults any person while the person is performing a duty imposed on the person by law; or

(d) assaults any person because the person has performed a duty imposed on the person by law; or

(f) assaults any person in pursuance of any 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; or

(g) unlawfully assaults any person who is 60 years or more; or

(h) unlawfully assaults any person who relies on a guide, hearing or assistance dog, wheelchair or other remedial device;

is guilty of a crime.

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of serious assault, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the elements of the offence are satisfied. The Queensland Criminal Code makes out 7 separate circumstances where a serious assault is committed. For each circumstance, the element of ‘assault’ is required to be proved.

Assault is defined in section 245 of the Queensland Criminal Code and means:

A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent, or with the other person’s consent if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the other person’s consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the person’s purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an “assault”

“applies force” includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any other substance or thing whatever if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the an allegation of serious assault is 7 years imprisonment.

However, if the charge is serious assault on a police officer, the maximum imprisonment is 14 years.

 

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of serious assault is an indictable offence.

The charge will initially be commenced in the Magistrates Court, and will ultimately  proceed on Indictment and be finalised in the District Court of Queensland.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The sentencing Court has a discretion whether or not to record a conviction against you for the offence of serious assault.  Generally a conviction would be recorded for this type of offence, although one is not inevitable.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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