Criminal offences are ones committed against the state. When a person gets charged with a criminal offence they may be arrested and detained or in some cases be bailed out of jail and summonsed to appear in court at a later date to face the criminal offences and assault charges.
Criminal offences fall into 3 categories:
Summary Offences – Which are finalised in Magistrate Court or Children’s Court.
Indictable Offences – Which can be finalised in Magistrate Court, District Court, Or The Supreme Court.
Strictly Indictable Offences – This must be finalised in District Court or The Supreme Court.
A person charged with a criminal offence will be given the opportunity to enter a plea of Guilty or Not guilty. If a guilty plea is entered the accused will go directly to sentencing. However, if a not guilty plea is entered then the accused will be assigned a date and face either a contested hearing or a trial.
When a person is found guilty of criminal offences, they will face sentencing according to their crimes. In order to decide the appropriate sentence, the court will consider the minimum and maximum penalties available for each crime as well as the circumstances involved.
Affray – In NSW Affray falls under the Crimes Act of 1900 and can be charged if the accused uses the threat of violence or actual violence towards another person. A conviction of Affray can carry up to 10 years in prison. Conviction and sentencing for this charge rely heavily on the degree to which these threats or actions occurred and the impact it has had on their victims. A main factor in an Affray charge is the amount of fear that others have that they may be physically hurt.
Common examples of Affray include but are not limited to:
- Getting into a fight in front of one or more people.
- Making threats and yelling about enacting violence against another person.
- Acting In violent protests or participating in a riot.
- Road rage or violent behaviour when frustrated or in a heated exchange.
Assault – In NSW Assault charges can be hurting somebody without a lawful purpose. These charges are divided into two main categories:
Common Assault: An assault that results in minimal injury that does not require medical attention or may not result in any injury at all. This charge can also be applied at the threat of violence if there is an immediate possibility for the threatened act to occur.
Common Assault can carry a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison or a fine of up to $2,200.00.
Aggravated Assault: An assault that results in actual bodily harm. These charges are applied according to the degree of injury. The sentencing and penalties can vary greatly depending on which category the accused is charged with.
Assault causing Actual Bodily Harm: An Assault that causes hurt or injury in a degree that it interferes with a victim’s health or quality of life. This can include mental health results as well. This charge can be handled in the District Court and can carry a maximum sentence of up to 7 years in prison.
Assault Causing Grievous Bodily Harm: An Assault resulting in serious injury to the victim. These can include things like Violence that results in the loss of a woman’s fetus. An injury that results in permanent or serious disfigurement or a disease.
Wounding: Wounding is defined as an injury that breaks the skin. If an assault results in more than 1 layer of skin breaking it is considered an assault resulting in a wound.
If found guilty in both an assault resulting in a wound and an assault resulting in grievous bodily harm the accused will almost always be sentenced to some amount of jail time. The maximum penalties for these can range from 10 years to 25 years imprisonment. This level of assault charge is considered a strictly indictable offence and must be heard in District or Supreme Courts.
If you or someone you know is facing Criminal Assault Charges in NSW it must be taken very seriously. Depending on the charge penalties can range from thousands of dollars to up to 25 years in prison. CM Lawyers has years of handling these cases and getting the best outcomes for our clients. Contact Us today and let our team of legal professionals get to work on your behalf.