Should I Plead Guilty To Assault, GBH, or Wounding?
Offences against the person such as assault, grievous bodily harm and wounding are serious charges. If you are being charged with any of these offences, you must seek specialist legal advice immediately.
This post aims to explain what these broad terms mean.
Grievous Bodily Harm
Charges of GBH, otherwise known as Section 18 assaults, are very serious charges that are always dealt with by the Crown Court and carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
You should only plead guilty to a charge of GBH if the injuries caused were sufficiently serious and, crucially, if your intent was to cause grievous bodily harm.
Wounding Without Intent
Wounding without intent, or Section 20 assault, is the appropriate charge where grievous bodily harm was caused but the intention was only to cause some harm or pain. This charge can be heard in the magistrates’ court or the Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, so you can start to appreciate how important it is to make sure you are facing the appropriate charge and do not plead guilty to a charge that is too serious.
Actual Bodily Harm
Actual bodily harm, or Section 47 assault, is appropriate where bodily harm has been caused but the intention was only to assault them.
These charges can be heard in the magistrates’ court or Crown Court and carry a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment.
Common assault, or Section 39, is appropriate where unlawful force is applied against another person or where that person fears that immediate force will be used against them.
Common assault can only be dealt with in the magistrates’ court and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment, although more lenient sentences such as community orders can be imposed at the court’s discretion.
If you are being investigated for or charged with an assault charge, contact us now for a free consultation on 01623 397200.