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Assault is a broad category encompassing offences such as common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm or recklessly causing grievous bodily harm or wounding. The severity of the assault and the injuries sustained determine the charge and likely penalty. All forms of assault, including common assault are considered very serious by the courts and have the possibility of imprisonment.

Assault can include acts of physical violence against others, for example touching or striking someone. It can also include threats of violence if those threats put the victim in fear of immediate physical harm. There does not necessarily have to be an intention to assault, but recklessness, meaning that you recognise the possibility of harm and ignored the risk, is sufficient in finding assault.

In terms of defence, the most common defence to an assault is self defence. In order to successfully raise the defence, it must be established that the accused believed that their conduct was necessary to defend themselves or another and that what the accused did was a reasonable response in the circumstances as perceived by the accused.

It is important to note that with any offence, even after a finding of guilt, the court can still decide not to record a conviction under section 10 of theCrimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This is up to the court’s discretion and considers a number of factors including first time offences.

Legal First Solicitors Barristers are experience in criminal law and have dealt with many assault charges with a proven track record of the successful outcomes for our clients. For advice about your matter, the likely penalty and the best approach to your problem, contact us today.