Assault Charges

In Queensland, assault is defined in legislation to mean any strike, touch, movement, or force that is applied to another person, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent.

Assault offences vary in terms of seriousness, and are commonly classified as any of the following:

  • Common assault
  • Assault occasioning bodily harm
  • Serious assault
  • Grievous bodily harm
  • Wounding

Some assault type charges are classified as “summary offences”, meaning that they can be finalised in the Magistrates Court.  Other assault charges are “indictable offences”.  This means that due to the level of seriousness of the charge, they will need to be committed to a higher Court to be dealt with.  

What is the likely penalty for an assault charge?

Penalties will vary from case to case.  It depends which offence was alleged to have been committed, the nature of any harm or injury caused to another person, and the background circumstances of the offence and accused person.  For offences of common assault, sentencing options can include a good behaviour bond, a fine, or a period of probation.  For more serious charges such as grievous bodily harm, sentencing statistics show that a period of imprisonment is a common penalty.   Each case is determined on its own factors however, so it is important to speak with a criminal defence lawyer to discuss the process, your options and likely outcomes. 

 If you are facing a charge of assault, it is imperative that you obtain experienced legal representation as soon as possible, given the penalties that can follow.

Assault charges are serious in nature, given there is usually a victim involved who has sustained some sort of injury.  It is crucial to engaged an experienced solicitor at an early stage who can guide you through the process, and ensure that your rights are protected. 


Do any defences apply to me?

If you have been charged with an assault type offence, our criminal defence lawyers will be able to discuss the circumstances specific to your case to determine whether any defences to the charge may apply.   Depending on the charge and merits of the case, the following defences may be considered:


  • Self-defence from a provoked assault
  • Self-defence from an unproved assault
  • Provocation
  • Accident
  • Prevention of repetition of insult


These defences do not apply to every assault charge.  For example, the defence of provocation does not apply to offences of grievous bodily harm.  Our lawyers will speak with you about your charge and the circumstances surrounding the offence to assist you in understanding your options. 


To obtain an assessment of your matter, call our experienced Queensland solicitors.

telephone us on 07 3180 0180 or

contact us at [email protected]

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