Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

Have you been charged with the criminal law offence of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm? It's important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Learn more about this offence below.

S.339 Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm (Criminal Code Queensland)

(1) Any person who unlawfully assaults another and thereby does the other person bodily harm is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

(3) If the offender does bodily harm, and is or pretends to be armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument or is in company with 1 or more other person or persons, the offender is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

In Queensland, it is an offence to assault another person. One category of assault is an Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm, which occurs when a person strikes, touches, moves or otherwise applies force (either directly or indirectly) to another person without their consent, which causes them to suffer some kind of bodily harm or injury. An application of force to another person, whether it is a light push or a punch to the face, might constitute Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm. 

For example, police can charge you with Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm if you headbutt, slap or punch another person which causes them injury. Injuries constituting bodily harm can include bruising, swelling, cuts, scratches or broken bones.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 7 years’ imprisonment, however, if the offender pretends to be or is actually armed with any dangerous weapon or is in the company of at least one other person, the maximum penalty increases to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm offences are ordinarily heard in the Magistrates Court. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, and the existence of other offences connected to the Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm offence, the matter may also be heard in the District Court.

In Queensland, if a person is convicted of an Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm offence, then the court could impose one of the following penalties:

  • Jail (suspended, parole or actual time);
  • Intensive Corrections Order;
  • Probation;
  • Community Service Order;

The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant.

Are there any defences available to this charge?

Yes. The following offences may be available to you:

  • Necessity;
  • Self defence or defence of another person;
  • Intoxication;
  • Provocation;
  • Accident;

What should I do if the police want to speak to me about an assault occasioning bodily harm allegation or if I am charged with an assault occasioning bodily harm offence?

You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer.

Call an Expert

If you are charged with an assault offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over the phone advice. We have a solid reputation as expert Criminal Lawyers and can represent you in court.

Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court.

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