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Offences involving violence
If you have been charged with an offence involving violence or domestic violence, then you need a good assault defence lawyer or domestic violence lawyer respectively. Lawpoint can provide you with professional legal advice and representation and ensure you are heard and fiercely protected.
Common Assault is an offence under Section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900. To establish the offence, police must prove each of the following elements:
- That you caused another person to fear immediate and unlawful violence, or that you made physical contact with another person, and
- That the other person did not consent, and
- That your actions were intentional or reckless.
The central feature of assault is that your actions must have caused another person to fear some form of personal violence.
This means that no physical contact needs to occur in order for there to be an assault.
However, the threat of violence must be immediate. For example, shouting at another person and causing them to fear violence may be enough to constitute a common assault. A verbal threat of future violence will not constitute an assault.
If there is physical contact, then it must be shown to be non-consensual – that is, the other person must not have given you permission to touch them.
A common assault is an assault that results in no injury, or in injuries that do not require medical treatment.
Assault will not include situations where you accidently came into contact with another person or where you had a reasonable and lawful excuse for your conduct such as, for example, if you tackled someone whilst playing football and it was within the rules of the game.
If your actions were reckless and resulted in physical contact, the prosecution has to prove that you realised that your actions may have resulted in some form of physical contact, however slight.
Maximum penalty for common assault
In New South Wales, common assault carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment for two years or a fine of up to $2,200.00.
The penalties that the Court may impose include:
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Conditional Release Order
- Community Correction Order
- Intensive Correction Order
Some defences to Common Assault
Some of the defences to common assault include:
- Where you were acting to protect yourself, another person, or your property (self-defence)
- Where you were threatened or coerced into assaulting another person (duress)
- Where it was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
- Where physical force is applied by a parent of a child for the purpose of punishment of a child in accordance with s.61AA of the Crimes Act (lawful correction).
Domestic violence is a term used to distinguish offending that involves people in certain relationships as opposed to a random person.
The legislation governing this area is the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. This Act sets out specific processes relating to applications for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders, otherwise known as restraining orders, and the consequences of breaching them and related offences.
To constitute a “domestic violence” offence there must be a particular relationship:
- Is or has been married to the other person.
- Is or has been a de facto partner of the other person.
- Is or has been in an intimate relationship with the other person, whether or not that intimacy involves, or involved, a sexual relationship.
- Is or has lived as a long-term resident in the same residential facility as the other person.
- Is or has been in a long-term dependent relationship, paid or unpaid, in the care of the other person.
- Is or has been a relative of the other person.
For Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, is or has been part of the extended family or kin of the other person according to the Indigenous kinship system of the culture.
In limited circumstances, you may wish to explore seeking an order to protect yourself. In most cases the best and most efficient way to do this is to approach NSW Police Force who have specialist officers trained for this specific task. However, sometimes circumstances occur where you may wish to approach the matter with a domestic violence lawyer.
If you have been accused, investigated or arrested for a common assault charge or a domestic violence offence then contact Lawpoint. One of our domestic violence lawyer or assault defence lawyer can provide you with specialised legal advice. Call us on (02) 9517 1887 or email us.
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