Grievous Bodily Harm

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

S.320 Grievous Bodily Harm (Criminal Code Queensland)

(1) Any person who unlawfully does grievous bodily harm to another is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

In Queensland, it is an offence to assault another person and cause grievous bodily harm. Grievous Bodily Harm includes maiming, disfiguring or permanently disabling the victim. If a person is ‘maimed’, they must have suffered a permanent injury which has caused them to become mutilated or crippled. The injury must have the potential to endanger life if it is left untreated, regardless of whether medical treatment was available at the time the injury was sustained.

If a person suffers a disfigurement, an aspect of their personal appearance must have been permanently altered as a result of injury. Disfigurements include permanent scarring and burns. Lastly, a person becomes disabled if they become permanently handicapped as a result of an injury. Conduct which causes a person to become a quadriplegic may constitute Grievous Bodily Harm.

Grievous Bodily Harm charges must be heard in the District Court. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years’ imprisonment.

In Queensland, if a person is convicted of a Grievous 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 defences may be available to you:

  • Self-Defence;
  • Accident;
  • Compulsion or emergency;
  • Insanity;
  • Automatism;
  • Intoxication;
  • Diminished Responsibility.

What should I do if the police want to speak to me about a grievous bodily harm allegation or if I am charged with a grievous 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 a criminal 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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