Being charged with Assault, Grievous Bodily Harm or Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm in Queensland.

Assault is broadly defined in Queensland, with many different behaviours held to constitute assault. These behaviours commonly include:-

  • hitting;
  • kicking;
  • pushing;
  • touching; or
  • applying force of any kind.

There are several different offences relating to assault in Queensland. The type of offence you are charged with is directly related to whether the incident resulted in:-

  • an injury to another; and
  • the severity of any injury caused.

If no injury is caused, you may be charged with common assault. However, if an injury requires medical assistance, you may be charged with a more serious offence such as:-

  • Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm; or
  • Grievous Bodily Harm.

What is bodily harm and grievous bodily harm?

Bodily harm is any injury that a person has suffered as a result of an assault. Bodily harm is broadly defined, and can include:-

  • bruising;
  • swelling;
  • cuts, scratches and scrapes; and
  • fractured bones.

Grievous bodily harm is an injury that is far more serious than bodily harm. Grievous bodily harm is defined as:-

  • serious disfigurement or maiming;
  • the loss of a body part or organ; or
  • any other injury that would endanger a person’s life or cause permanent injury if left untreated.

You may be charged with Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm, or Grievous Bodily Harm, if you have caused an injury to another person. These are very serious offences and if you have been charged with Common Assault, Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm, or Grievous Bodily Harm you should seek legal advice immediately.

You may also be charged with Serious Assault in certain circumstances. Please click here to learn more about that offence.

Will I go to jail for assault?

The likelihood that you will spend time in custody (jail) is dependent on:-

  • the injury caused; and
  • the offence you are therefore charged with.

Common Assault is a misdemeanour and is the least serious charge of this nature. The maximum penalty is a period of imprisonment of 3 years. This charge will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is a crime. The maximum penalty is a period of imprisonment of 7 years. However, the maximum penalty increases to 10 years imprisonment if you were armed or pretended to be armed during the incident, or if you were in company at the time. The charge will be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or District Court, at the discretion of the Prosecutor.

Grievous Bodily Harm is a crime. The maximum penalty is a period of imprisonment of 14 years and the charge will be dealt with in the District Court.

What do I do if I get charged with Assault, Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm or Grievous Bodily Harm?

Getting legal advice, and representation at Court, will ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour. This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed. We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history for the offence.

It is important to obtain legal advice if you have been charged with assault. You can contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form, if you would like to speak to our experienced team regarding your charge.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi
Solicitor
Criminal Law