Assault charges in Queensland
If you need a criminal defence lawyer for an assault charge or offence of violence, then it’s critical you choose the right lawyer to represent you.
Offences of violence are usually committed in the heat of the moment, but can have significant consequences for your future. The most common charges range from least serious to most serious as follows:
- common assault (3 year maximum imprisonment)
- assault occasioning bodily harm (AOBH) (7-10 year maximum)
- serious assault police etc and serious obstruct police etc (7-14 year maximum)
- choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting (7 year maximum)
- grievous bodily harm (GBH) (14 year maximum)
- wounding (14 year maximum)
- acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and other malicious acts (life imprisonment)
The evidence in these cases usually comes from the complainant (victim), witnesses, medical records, and CCTV. You might have already put yourself at the scene, and made admissions to what happened. Or, police might only have one side of the story and charge you anyway.
Sentencing for violent offences
These types of charges are in a category where imprisonment is not a sentence of last resort. That means where you could usually expect leniency from the court because of a lack of criminal history, youth, and good character, those usually important features come second. 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. See section 9(3) of the Penalties and Sentences Act.
However, the court will still consider things such as good character, age, remorse, and any medical or psychiatric issues that you might suffer from. So if you’re planning on pleading guilty, it is critical to address those issues in as much detail as possible to avoid prison.
Defences to assaults and charges of violence
If you want to defend yourself and run a trial on this type of charge, then 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.
Self-defence is a common defence, where we argue that your actions were a reasonable reaction to a threat or perceived threat from the alleged victim.
We also 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. If you have to go to trial, we give you the best advice about defences like self-defence and provocation. If the police can’t prove your identity cleanly, or there’s an issue with who actually caused the injury, then we prepare a detailed statement from you and attack the case on those grounds.
When it comes to choking charges, we have had many of these discontinued due to contradictory statements 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.
For charges that end up in the District Court for a jury trial, careful cross-examination at a committal hearing can result in charges being downgraded, discontinued or set you up for an easy acquittal at a District Court trial.
Why you should choose George Criminal Lawyers
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 because it seems like a simple punch or assault doesn’t mean the sentencing Magistrate or Judge will see it that way.
We fully prepare for whatever you instruct us to do. If you’re pleading guilty, we use our knowledge of the most-up to date cases to your advantage, and prepare extensive material for the court to consider including reports and references.
Just like all other areas of law we practise 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.
Jury trials and Magistrates Court summary trials can be won with the right approach to the case, and with careful and precise planning from the beginning. We have connections to the best criminal barristers in Queensland, and we know exactly what needs to be done to defend you. With George Criminal Lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that your future is in the safest possible hands.
Contact us now to get started. Your future depends on it.