Out of all the crimes against the person, assault is the crime Australians face the highest risk of victimisation from.
Assault is defined as the direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person. Males between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rate of victimisation, with female victims between 15 and 19 not far behind. Young males are most likely to be victimised by a stranger, whilst females are more likely to be victimised by a family member
It is very important that you seek legal advice if you have been charged with assault, as the penalties can be quite severe.
The circumstances surrounding an assault are usually very personal, so it is imperative that you seek legal advice if you have been charged with assault.
Assault with Intent (Aggravated Assault)
Under section 317A of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913, the circumstances that cause an assault to be classified as an aggravated assault are listed by the Australian Standard Offence Classification, and include the following circumstances:
- When the commission of the offence was carried out in company or
- When the commission of the offence was carried out using a weapon, or
- Carried out with the intent of preventing apprehension or
- Committed with intent to endanger life or to cause injury to people.
There are also other circumstances that aggravate the crime of assault, including if an offence is witnessed by a child, if the offender has domestic or family relationship with the victim, or where the victim is over the age of 60. When the conduct constitutes a breach of an order made or registered under the Restraining Orders Act 1997, it is also considered aggravated.
A person found guilty of assault in circumstances of aggravation is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
Under section 313 of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913, if an assault is an indirect and non-confrontational infliction of harm, injury or violence upon a person, then it is considered non-aggravated assault, if there are no aggravated circumstances accompanying the crime.
A person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for 18 months, or a fine of $18 000.
Deprivation of Liberty
Deprivation of liberty refers to the act of depriving a person of their freedom of movement.
This applies only if the deprivation of liberty occurs against the will of the victim, or against the will of their parents, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of the victim. This definition also encompasses the act of abducting a person against their will (or against the will of their parents or lawful guardian having legal custody of the abducted person).
A person found guilty of this offence is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. Being involved in the criminal or police process can be quite demanding, rigorous, and time consuming. Hiring the right criminal lawyers can often make a substantial difference in your case.