Assault encompasses a variety of different offences of violence ranging from common assault to more serious offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Common assault is the least serious of the offences of violence. It is an offence that can usually only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court (there are rare exceptions) and carries a maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment. GBH with intent (section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861) is one of the most serious offences of violence. It can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and a conviction for GBH with intent carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The decision as to what offence a person is to be prosecuted for is based on the level of injuries that have resulted from the assault and the likely sentence that the court will pass. In the most serious cases of GBH with intent or attempted murder, the intention of the accused will also be a key determining factor.
The law in relation to offences of violence is complex and the consequences of conviction can be serious. If you find yourself accused of assault of any type, then you should seek legal advice at your earliest opportunity. Our expertise could prevent your charge, conviction or imprisonment.
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Our police station team are available 24-hours a day for police station representation either immediately upon arrest or if you are asked to attend an interview voluntarily.