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Assault

Offences of assault can have serious implications for the defendant as well as their family. A guilty verdict can impact on your personal life and it may also make it more difficult to find a job. In some assault cases there is also the very real risk of a defendant receiving a custodial sentence.

At the most serious end, Unlawful Wounding or Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) falls into two categories – a section 18 assault and a section 20 assault, both offences having been created by virtue of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. A section 20 assault is considered the less serious of the 2 and means that the defendant did not intend to cause the specific level of injury that they did. This carries a maximum 5 year prison term. A section 18 assault has the added aggravation of “intent”, in so much that the defendant meant to cause the level of harm to the victim.

The offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm is created by section 47 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861. It sits between the offences of Unlawful Wounding or Grievous Bodily Harm and common assault. In order for a section 47 assault to be proved there has to be evidence that the victim has indeed been injured but not to the extent of those offences under section 20 and 18 of the same Act.

A common assault charge is the least serious of the three charges. Typically, there will be no visible injuries and custodial sentences are unusual for a person without any previous convictions, unless the attack is believed to be racially motivated or part of domestic violence.

Freeman & Co Solicitors are experienced in dealing with offences of assault and other serious crime cases. We will discuss your case with you, determine the best route to take, and fight your corner throughout the pending case to ensure that you receive a fair verdict and the most appropriate sentence.

COMMON ASSAULT

Maximum: Level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody

S47 ASSAULT

Maximum when tried summarily: Level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody

Maximum when tried on indictment: 5 years custody

S20 ASSAULT

Maximum when tried summarily: Level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody

Maximum when tried on indictment: 5 years custody

S18 ASSAULT

Maximum: Life imprisonment

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