Assault Offences

Generally speaking, an assault is any use of force or threatened use of force against a person that is not consented to. In Victoria, most assault offences are provided for under the Crimes Act 1958, however some are also provided for under the Summary Offences Act. Each has different maximum penalties that a Court can impose. The seriousness of an assault will usually determine which law police decide to prosecute under.

Assault convictions can have a long term impact and any assault offense should be dealt with seriously. Altius Partners Lawyers are an extremely experienced law firm dealing in defending every type of assault charge and also achieving the best possible outcome.

There are many different assault and violence charges ranging from Affray, Intentionally Causing Serious InjuryRecklessly Causing Serious InjuryIntentionally Causing Injury, and Recklessly Causing Injury to general Assault. The penalty for an assault offence can vary greatly so it is important you get expert legal advice from one of our lawyers as soon as possible. Call Altius Partners Lawyers NOW on 03 9642 2116


An affray is a display of force by at least one person against another that might cause a bystander to be terrified. A fight at a crowded shopping centre could be an example of an affray.

The maximum penalty for Affray is five years imprisonment under section 320 of the Crimes Act.

To be found guilty of Affray, the police must prove each of the following beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. That you;
  2. Used force or was somehow involved in the use of force;
  3. Against a person or persons; and
  4. That a bystander of reasonable firmness and courage might reasonably expect to be terrified by your use of force or involvement in the use of force.

Intentionally and Recklessly Causing Injury and Serious Injury

The maximum penalty for Recklessly Causing Injury under section 18 of the Crimes Act is five years imprisonment. However, if the injury was caused intentionally, the maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment.

The type of injury or the circumstances in which the injury occurred will also affect the types of penalties handed down by the Court.

The maximum penalty for Recklessly Causing Serious Injury under section 17 of the Crimes Act is 15 years imprisonment, which rises to 20 years for Intentionally Causing Serious Injury under section 16 of the Crimes Act.

If you are found guilty of committing either of these offences in circumstances of ‘Gross Violence’ under sections 15A and 15B of the Crimes Act, a Court must impose a sentence of imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of four years unless the Court finds that there are special circumstances.

Assault and Common Assault

Depending on how serious an assault is said to be, you may be charged with either Assault under the common law or the Summary Offences Act. Be sure to check your charge sheet as the proper name for Assault under the Summary Offences Act is actually ‘Common Assault’.

The maximum penalty for Assault under the common law is five years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for Common Assault under section 23 of the Summary Offences Act is three months imprisonment.

Our lawyers deal with these issues on a daily basis. We understand the law and how it applies to defending each and every different assault charge. Contact Altius Partners Lawyers today on 03 9642 2116 and let us help you fight these charges and get the best possible outcome for your case.

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