Assault Offences

Lenz Legal will provide you with expert advice and representation to help you with any assault related charge.

As specialist criminal lawyers we ensure you receive accurate and timely advice in order to maximise your legal position in relation to the assault charges laid.

There are two types of 'Common Assault' covered by section 61 of the Crimes Act.

1. (Battery) Assault

(Battery) Assault is intentional or reckless appli¬cation of unlawful force, for example, hitting someone.

The application of force is unlawful unless the victim has consented (eg boxing). A person cannot consent to actual bodily harm or more, unless the defendant’s actions were within lawfully recognised exceptions such as surgery, boxing, contact sports, lawful corrections and manly pastimes.  Mere touching can amount to an assault.  Touching and spitting can amount to an assault, provided it is intentional unlawful contact.  

2. (Psychic) Assault

Psychic assault is intentionally or recklessly creating the fear of imminent unlawful contact in the victim.  A threat of immediate physical violence is enough, so long as it is a real rather than a fanciful or impossible threat. The accused does not need to have the ability or the intention to carry out the threat (eg threatening with a plastic gun). The essence of psychic assault is that the victim felt fear.

The Crimes Act distinguishes between different types of assault, and each offence carries its own penalty.  For example:

  • common assault (maximum penalty two years’ imprisonment (Crimes Act s.61))
  • assault occasioning actual bodily harm (maximum penalty five years (s.59))
  • assaults on victims with special status eg. assaults on police carry higher penalties, regardless of whether the accused knew the victim was a police officer (s. 58).

The prosecution must prove:

  1. You applied force or threatened immediate violence.
  2. The act was done intentionally or recklessly.
  3. Without consent.
  4. Without lawful excuse.
  5. Bodily harm (for AOABH)

Lenz Legal will provide you with expert advice and representation to help build your defence against a charge of assault.  Call us now to see just what is possible.