Common assault is the least serious form of assault. Threats of violence alone can sometimes amount to an assault. Despite these assaults being assaults not requiring injury to the victim, courts can often find them to be very serious.
However, if it is your first offence, you may very often be able to avoid conviction and a criminal record.
Plead not guilty
If you deny that you assaulted the victim, or say you acted in self defence, we will fight hard to get you acquitted.
In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You applied force to another person (usually by striking or touching), or threatened another person with immediate violence;
- The act was done either intentionally or recklessly;
- Without the consent of the person whom the common assault occurred against; and
- Without lawful excuse.
If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.
If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:
Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.
If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence.
What is the penalty for common assault?
The offence of common assault carries a maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment in the Local Court and 2 years imprisonment in the District Court.
However, common assault is an offence frequently dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record.
Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are: