SPECIALIST ASSAULT DEFENCE SOLICITORS
If you have been charged with assault we can help.
An allegation of assault can cover a whole variety of offences, from common assault, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), Grevious Bodily Harm (GBH) and attempted murder.
The courts will often consider a prison sentence for assault. This can be avoided either by defending the charge if you are innocent or with expert mitigation to put the case in the best possible light.
For the most serious of offences if proved then prison is inevitable. We will tell you if this is the case, we will not lie to you to try and make you feel better. We believe in being open with our clients and preparing them for the worst case scenario whilst doing everything we can to get the best result.
This is the least serious of the offence allegations, it can only be heard in the magistrates court. It does not have to involve physical contact, merely causing another to fear immediate physical violence is enough. It carries a prison sentence of up to 6 months but this will depend on how serious the court view it. Factors that will make it more serious include injury, the vulnerability of the victim, threatened or actual use of a weapon (or for example a headbutt or kicking with shoes on).
As with all assault matters self defence is a valid defence but you will have to show that the force used was proportionate. Where you acted in self defence but went too far this is a mitigating factor.
Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
This is similar to common assault but involves an injury. ABH can be heard in the magistrates or the Crown Court. It carries 6 months imprisonment in the magistrates or up to 5 years in the Crown Court. The Prosecution will charge ABH where there are injuries and these injuries are not serious.
Assault on a police officer in the execution of his duty (Police Act 1996 Section 89)
This can be heard in the magistrates court only and carries 6 months imprisonment. This can also include a person assisting a constable in his or her duty. If there are serious injuries then ABH can be charged.
Assault with intent to resist arrest. (Offences against the Person Act 1861 – Section 38)
This can be heard in the Magistrates or Crown Court and carries up to 2 years imprisonment in the Crown Court. These cases are often simply charged as assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty so that the prosecution do not have to prove you were trying to resist arrest.
Inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm/Unlawful Wounding. (Offences against the Person Act 1861 – Section 20)
This can be heard in the Magistrates or the Crown Court and carries a maximum of 5 years in prison. Injury can include the transmission of an disease or psychological harm. Grievous Bodily Harm means “really serious injury” for example broken bones or injuries resulting in permanent disability.
Wounding/Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with intent (Offences against the Person Act 1861 – Section 18)
This can only be heard in the Crown Court and carries life imprisonment. The difference between this and the Section 20 offence is that here the Prosecution must shown that you intended to cause Grievous Bodily Harm.
We understand how serious these charges are and how worrying it is. We will go through the papers in detail and explore every avenue. We will focus on you and how this will affect you.
There are defences to these charges, and we will discuss these with you. You may be claiming mistaken identity or self defence.
Whether you are pleading guilty or not guilty we can promise you excellent client care throughout your case.
Call us now on 01623 600645 to discuss your case for free without any obligation.