Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)
Under the Criminal Code (Qld) any physical contact that occurs without the recipient’s consent is taken to be an assault on that person. Assault occasioning bodily harm is a more serious offence than common assault. Section 339 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to unlawfully assault another and do them bodily harm.
Bodily harm means any injury which interferes with the health or comfort of the victim. This has been accepted to include:
The standard maximum penalty for this offence is 7 years imprisonment. However, this maximum penalty increases to 10 years where, at the time of the assault:
It is important to keep in mind that while legislation sets out and prescribes the maximum penalty for an offence, when deciding what penalty should be imposed the court will take into consideration the nature of the offence, your unique personal circumstances, and your criminal history.
There are a number of possible defenses that can be raised when charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. Some of these include:
Provocation is the most common raised defence and is relevant where the assault occurred because of some provocation by the victim that had reasonably deprived you of the power of self-control. In such instances however, the amount of force you used must have been proportionate to the provocation.
If you have been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and believe there may be a defence or are unsure of what penalties a court might impose in your case, it is necessary to contact a solicitor to discuss your chances of success. Our solicitors have extensive experience in this area and will be able to assist you in making sure you get the best result.
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