Have you, or someone you know, been charged with a violent offence? Are you facing the risk of a substantial fine or even worse, imprisonment?
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers’ expert criminal lawyers can defend you against all violent offence charges, including:
- common assault,
- assault occasioning bodily harm,
- negligent acts causing harm,
- affray (fighting in public/privately),
- assault or obstruct a police officer,
- serious assaults (including a police or public officer),
- grievous bodily harm,
- attempted murder,
- manslaughter, and
- any other offence of violence.
Violent Offences Team
Section 245 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) (“the Code“) provides that anyone who ‘strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent, or with the other person’s consent if obtained by fraud’ or threatens a person with the before mentioned is liable for assault.
To be guilty of assault, it must be proven that a person has applied force of any nature to a person, directly or indirectly without their consent.
For a charge of common assault, it does not need to be shown that any bodily harm or injury was caused.
The maximum penalty for common assault is 3 years imprisonment.
Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm
For a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm, it must be shown that a person was assaulted, and that the person has suffered an injury that has affected their health or comfort.
The maximum penalty for assault occasioning bodily harm is 7 years imprisonment.
Negligent Acts Causing Harm
Negligent acts causing harm are addressed in sections 328 of the Code. This provides: “Any person who unlawfully does any act, or omits to do any act which is a person’s duty to do, by which act or omission bodily harm is actually caused to any person is guilty of a misdemeanour.”
To be liable for negligent acts causing harm it must be proven that a person performed an unlawful act or intended to do a negligent act which resulted in the bodily harm of another.
The maximum penalty for negligent acts causing harm is 2 years imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for manslaughter is life imprisonment.
Affray (Fighting in Public/Privately)
A person who takes place in a fight that occurs in a private or public space, where people may be present, or alarms the public is liable for affray, as per section 72 of the Code.
To be liable for affray it must be proven that a person has been violent or threatened to be violent with another person and caused that person to fear for their safety.
The maximum penalty for affray is one year imprisonment.
Assault or Obstruct a Police Officer
If a person obstructs, hinders or interferes with a police officer while he or she is trying to execute his or her duty they are liable for assault or obstruct on a police officer. In order to be liable for assault on a police officer, in addition to the above criteria for assault, it must be proven that a person acted towards a police officer who was, at the time of the incident, executing his or her role as a police officer.
It is not a defence that you were unaware that the person was a police officer.
The maximum penalties are as follows:
- for assaulting or obstructing a police officer, 6 months imprisonment or 40 penalty units,
- for assaulting or obstructing a police officer whilst you are in or in the vicinity of a licensed premises, 12 months imprisonment or 60 penalty units, and
- for assaulting or obstructing a public officer whilst you are adversely affected by drugs or alcohol in a public place, either of the above maximum penalties apply, in addition to a minimum of 40 hours of community service.
Serious Assaults (Including a Police or Public Officer)
Section 340 of the Code provides that any person who:
- assaults another with the intent to commit a crime or resist arrest,
- assaults or wilfully obstructs a police officer or person performing a duty under law, or
- assaults a person over the age of 60 years,
is liable for a charge of serious assault.
Serious assault includes situations where a person has caused bodily harm to, spat on, bitten or pretended to be armed towards police or a public officer,
The maximum penalties for serious assault are:
- 7 years imprisonment, or
- for serious assault by biting or spitting , causing bodily injury or pretending to be armed, 14 years imprisonment.
Grievous Bodily Harm
To cause grievous bodily harm to another person means to seriously disfigure a person, cause injury that could endanger or is likely to endanger life, cause permanent injury to health, or cause the loss of a distinct organ.
Section 339 of the Code provides that if you cause grievous bodily harm to another person that was unlawful, you are liable for this offence. The maximum penalty for grievous bodily harm is 14 years imprisonment.
Attempted murder is outlined in section 306 of the Code.
Attempted murder is defined as attempting to unlawfully kill another human being or conspiring to kill another human being. It includes failed attempts to murder with intent.
For a person to be liable of attempted murder if must be proven that they had intention to kill at the time in question and those intentions to kill were put into action.
The maximum penalty for attempted murder is life imprisonment.
Murder is dealt with under section 302 of the Code. Murder is defined as unlawfully killing another person under the following circumstances:
- the offender intents to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to the person killed or some other person, and
- the offender intends to stop the life of another through wilfully stopping the breathing of a person.
To be liable for murder it must be proven that the person in question is deceased, the accused is responsible for the death and intended to kill or grievously harm the deceased person. It must also be proven that there are no defences available.
The maximum penalty for murder is life imprisonment.
Manslaughter is addressed in sections 303 of the Code.
A person is guilty of manslaughter if they have unlawfully killed another person in circumstances without intent, and it is shown there are no defences applicable.
Serious Times. Strong Defence.
Our expert criminal lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of clients across all courts. Find out more about our successful outcomes here.
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers are preferred suppliers of Legal Aid for criminal law, traffic law and youth justice matters only. We provide our Legal Aid clients with outstanding service, and are committed to providing legal assistance to those unable to afford private representation.
If you require detailed information on the Legal Aid process, eligibility requirements or would like to make an application visit Legal Aid Queensland’s website or access the Factsheet ‘Can I get Legal Aid‘.
What to Do If You Have Been Charged?
You should seek expert legal advice and representation as soon as possible.
Defending your criminal charge/s with an experienced criminal lawyer at your side can mean the difference between securing the best or an unfavourable outcome, regardless of the charges.
How We Can Help
Our criminal lawyers can expertly navigate criminal laws complexities, advise you on the likelihood of being found guilty of a criminal offence, advise you on your prospects of success if you decide to plead not guilty, provide extensive support in the lead up to court appearances, respond to your questions in a timely manner, and let you know the potential penalties that may apply if found guilty by the court.
Our offices are conveniently located nearby the courts which allow us to accept instructions to act and appear in court, or to file urgent documents at short notice.