Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm – s 59 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

An assault charge of occasioning actual bodily harm is taken very seriously, and can result in criminal convictions recorded against your name effecting your career and travel plans. It also causes a great deal of stress to you and loved one’s. Our experienced Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers are available now to discuss your case for realistic and practical advice.

See below for important tips and information on this charge.

To book a free first consultation with an experienced Assault Defence Lawyer, call us now on (02) 8606 2218.

Your Options in Court

You will be found not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm if the police are unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt each of the following:

  • You assaulted the victim
  • Your actions caused the victim to suffer any hurt or injury which has interfered with the victim’s health or comfort (Actual Bodily Harm). This includes bruising, but not fear or panic.

Your charge will be dismissed in court if any one of the above elements of the offence are not proven by the police.

Defences to this charge

You will be found NOT GUILTY if any one of the following apply to your case:

  • Self Defence: Where you believed it was necessary to do what you did to protect yourself, someone else, or property, and your response was reasonable in the circumstances perceived by you.
  • You did not intend to assault the victim, or you did not realise the possibility of that kind of harm resulting from your actions at the time.
  • Your actions did not cause the injury to the victim.
  • Mistaken identity: Where you have been mistaken for someone else.
  • Duress or necessity

Our team of senior criminal defence lawyers have fought and won countless assault charges in court.

Getting your charges dropped early

These charges can often be dropped by police by thorough negotiations with police. Our senior lawyers specialise in getting charges dropped early, saving you time and money from going through a hearing in court. This has been achieved by our team by carefully analysing the police evidence, and picking out every hole in it.

Speak to an experienced Sydney criminal lawyer before pleading guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm for some solid advice. If you then decide to plead guilty, the below is critical hints and tips on how to prepare your case to get the most lenient possible punishment for your case.

25% discount on punishment

The Judge will reduce your punishment by up to 25% if you plead guilty in court at the earliest possible opportunity. This will generally result in a more lenient outcome, such as section 10 no conviction recorded.

Pleading guilty early is also a reflection of your remorse and contrition allowing the Judge to further reduce your punishment. The later you enter the plea of guilty in court, the lesser discount on your punishment the Judge will give you. It’s critical to get experienced, realistic and practical advice quickly.

Good character references

Well written good character references, from the right people, expressing your otherwise good character, embarrassment, remorse and insight for your offence can allow the Judge to further reduce your punishment giving you a much better outcome in court.

Our senior lawyers will guide you on the best people to get references from. They will review each reference with feedback before it’s handed to the Judge to maximise it’s potential in getting you the best possible outcome in court.

Negotiate to drop charges

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm has potential to being dropped or downgraded to a less serious charge which attracts much lighter punishments, including a section 10 no conviction.

This charge can often be dropped and downgraded to common assault, by having an experienced specialist assault lawyer analyse the police evidence carefully, point out the holes in it, and tactfully approach police with reasons why the charge should be dropped. Our lawyers have decades of success in this.

Negotiate facts

The Judge will give you a punishment which significantly depends on what’s expressed in the police facts sheet for your case.

The police fact sheet is usually drafted by police and often very one sided, painting you in the worst possible light. This is why it is critical to negotiate the police facts to ensure it reflects the truth, while painting you in a better light, attracting a lighter punishment in court. This is often achieved by carefully analysing the police evidence, pointing out the holes in it, and using this knowledge to then strategically negotiate with police.

Psychologist reports

Giving the Judge a powerful psychologist or psychiatrist court report from a highly respected and experienced psychologist can allow the judge to give you a significantly lighter punishment if the report expresses your mental condition at the time of the offence, remorse, contrition, and insight into your offending conduct. It is also a great way to give an explanation for why you committed the offence.

Using a carefully selected handful of the best psychologist and psychiatrists in Australia, our lawyers regularly instruct and obtain reports from these experts knowing exactly which important issues need addressing in each report to get the full potential out of it for your case.

Maximum penalty

Maximum penalty for a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the Local Court is up to 2 years imprisonment, and up to 5 years imprisonment if dealt with in the District Court which rarely occurs.

If your charge is assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the company of others, then the maximum punishment is up to 7 years imprisonment if dealt with in the District Court, and up to 2 years if dealt with in the Local Court.

It’s important to know that these maximum punishments are rarely given, and when they are, they are reserved for only the most serious offenders, often with lengthy criminal records.

Types of penalties

For assault occasioning actual bodily harm charges, the Judge can give you any one of the following types of punishments. Which one you get, depends on the above tips and info.

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full Time Imprisonment

To ensure maximising your chances at the best possible outcome, with realistic and practical advice on your prospects of a section 10 non conviction, speak to one of our Sydney’s senior specialist criminal lawyers today for a free first consultation.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Assault Defence Lawyer.

Good Character Reference Guide for Court