If you’ve been charged with an assault charge or offence of violence, you’ve come to the right place. We are experts in offences of violence and assaults.
Offences of violence are usually committed in the heat of the moment, but can have significant consequences for your future. The charges range from least serious to most serious as follows:
- common assault (3 year maximum imprisonment)
- assaults occasioning bodily harm (AOBH) (7-10 year max.)
- serious assault/obstruct (7-14 year max.)
- grievous bodily harm (GBH) (14 year max.)
- wounding (14 year max.)
A fairly new charge in this area is choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic relationship (7 year max.) which almost always results in actual jail time.
Sentencing for violent offences
Just like sexual and CEM offences, these types of charges are in a category where imprisonment is not a sentence of last resort for a court. That means all the usual considerations of rehabilitation and keeping first time offenders out of jail take a back seat to other considerations. That also means that a conviction is much more likely to be recorded, even if it’s your first offence.
One of the primary features the court will consider in sentencing you is the level of violence used and the injuries caused, together with your age and whether you have a criminal history involving offences of violence. Depending on the circumstances, the court will also look at factors such as whether there was premeditation or any provocation that led to the assault.
Trials for violent offences
If you want a trial on this type of charge, it is vital that all evidence is gathered and carefully examined. Quite often a medical report can be interpreted differently, or CCTV footage or witness statements used to your advantage. We use our expert skills and analysis of the evidence to negotiate hard for you, and to have charges dropped before they have to go to trial.
Careful cross-examination at a committal hearing can result in charges being downgraded, discontinued or result in acquittal at a District Court trial. When it comes to choking charges, we have had many of these discontinued due to contradictory or insufficient evidence — which has meant clients facing a definite jail term were able to put that future to one side and get on with their lives.
Why use a specialist criminal defence lawyer?
Many lawyers approach these sorts of charges with little experience or without enough care, which can not only mean the difference to whether or not a conviction is recorded, but whether or not you go to jail.
Just like all other areas of law we specialise in, the right connections to specialists in areas such as anger management, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and forensic psychologists and psychiatrists can significantly reduce your sentence. We don’t just blindly send you off for assessment — we make sure that you see the right specialists, and complete the right programs to get the best result.
Trials can be won with the right approach to the case, and with careful and precise planning from the beginning. With George Criminal Lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that your future is in the safest possible hands.