Common Assault Offences
Have you been charged with the criminal law offence of common assault? It's important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Learn more about the common assault offence below.
335 Common Assault (Criminal Code Queensland)
(1) Any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, if no greater punishment is provided, to imprisonment for 3 years.
In Australia, it is an offence to assault another person. There are different types of assaults and the type of assault charge usually depends on the injuries that the victim receives. The lowest category of assault is a ‘Common Assault’. Any person who is convicted of Common Assault (Section 335 Criminal Code Qld) could expose themselves to 3 years jail in Queensland. The more serious forms of assault include assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting or obstructing a police officer.
Any person who strikes, touches, moves or applies force to another (either directly or indirectly) OR threatens to apply force could be charged by the police with an assault. An assault is unlawful unless the actions of the accused are deemed to be authorised, justified or otherwise excused by law.
There does not necessarily need to be an injury to the victim for the police to charge a person with Common Assault. A physical assault could be as simple as a push and shove or more seriously a slapping, punching, kicking or any other type of unlawful touching.
If the injuries are relatively minor (or even if there are no actual injuries) then the police could lay a charge of Common Assault. If the injuries are more severe, then the police could consider a more serious charge.
Common Assault offences are usually dealt with in the Magistrates Court, however, if you have more serious charges connected with a Common Assault offence, it may be dealt with in a higher court such as the District Court.
What is the penalty?
In Queensland, if a person is convicted of common assault then the court could impose one of the following penalties:
- Jail (suspended, parole or actual time);
- Community Service;
The exact penalty will depend on the seriousness of the circumstances.
Are there any defences available to this charge?
Yes. The defences of Provocation, Self Defence, Intoxication, Duress and Accident may apply but will depend entirely on the circumstances. There is also an option to refer the matter to Justice Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution.
What should I do if the police want to speak to me about an assault allegation or if I have been charged with an assault?
You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide the 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.