assault

what is an assault?

By definition, an assault is committed when one person commits an act of violence against another, or threatens such an act putting the victim in fear. An accused person does not have to touch the victim to assault them. Therefore an assault can also be committed by threatening behaviour.

threat

Usually the police will charge the accused with making threats to cause serious injury to kill.

By definition, an assault is committed when one person commits an act of violence against another, or threatens such an act putting the victim in fear. An accused person does not have to touch the victim to assault them. Therefore an assault can also be committed by threatening behaviour.

physical assault

Where there is a physical contact with the victim a range of offences are open to the police. For example a slap or even a punch that does not cause injury would be charged as an assault. Where there is an injury, even minor, the police will charge that the accused caused injury intentionally or recklessly.

serious injury

The injury may be regarded as a serious injury. That is that a single injury is a serious one - for example a broken nose or a cut or wound of significance. Further, a combination of injuries can be serious injury. In those instances, the police will charge that the accused caused injury seriously or recklessly.

If the accused causes the death of the victim, the accused may be charged with a range of offences including manslaughter and murder.

fighting in public

Fighting in public, either as an individual or in a group, will result in a charge of affray or perhaps a lesser charge of behaving in a riotous manner.

defences

Common defences include:

  • That the victim is not being truthful about what occurred.
  • That the victim is mistaken about what occurred
  • Incorrect or lack of identity of the accused
  • Lack of intension by the accused
  • Self defence or defence by another
  • In extreme cases, that the accused acted under duress

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