Common Assault

Our experienced criminal law solicitors have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to common assault.

If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of common 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.

Common Assault – The Law

Section 335 of the Criminal Code of Queensland creates the offence of common assault.  The section provides:

Any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of common assault, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  1. That the accused unlawfully (that is without excuse or justification;
  2. Assaulted another person.

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 common assault is 3 years imprisonment.  This penalty can increase if particular circumstances of aggravation are made out.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of common is a summary offence.

The charge will be resolved in the Magistrates Court.

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 common assault.  Generally a conviction would not be recorded for a first offence for this type of offence, although one is likely for subsequent convictions.

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.

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