by Doogue & O'Brien Criminal Defence Lawyers

How serious is Aggravated Assault? What’s the maximum penalty and which Melbourne Court hears this charge?

There is a maximum penalty of a 2-year imprisonment for anyone found guilty of an Aggravated Assault charge. It is a serious offence which could involve a prison term on a finding of guilt. Cases involving this offence are heard in the Magistrates Court.


The legislation on Aggravated Assault

Section 24 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 is the relevant law for Aggravated Assault and is as follows:


Aggravated assault


       (1)       (a)  Where a person is convicted before the Magistrates' Court of an assault or battery upon any male child whose age in the opinion of the court does not exceed fourteen years or upon any female, if in the opinion of the court the assault or battery is of such an aggravated nature that it cannot sufficiently be punished under the last preceding section, the person offending shall be liable on conviction to a penalty of 25 penalty units or to imprisonment for six months and the court may (if it thinks fit in any of the said cases) without any further or other charge adjudge any person convicted to enter into a recognizance and find sureties to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a term of not more than six months from the expiration of such sentence.


     (b)  In default of compliance with any such order to enter into a recognizance and find sureties the court may order an accused to be imprisoned until he complies with the order:


    Provided that no person shall be imprisoned for non-compliance with any such order for a longer period than twelve months.


       (2) Any person who in company with any other person or persons assaults another person shall be liable to imprisonment for twelve months and any person who by kicking or with any weapon or instrument whatsoever assaults another person shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.


Pleading guilty or not guilty to Aggravated Assault at a Melbourne Court

Deciding on whether to plead guilty or to not plead guilty to Aggravated Assault has crucial implications for you and should be done after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there could be severe consequences.


Elements of the charge of Aggravated Assault

The Prosecution must establish that the victim was either a male who is under the age of 14 or a female of any age. The assault must have caused serious physical injuries which are higher than brought by a common assault. The attacker may also, in company, have used a weapon or kicked during the assaults.

Defending the charge of Aggravated Assault at a Melbourne Court

Defending the charge of Aggravated Assault often involves self-defence and necessity. Many times, there are also disputes on the details of the case and identification by witnesses is inaccurate. Duress is also a defence used for this charge.

For more information on Aggravated Assault, you may visit the Australian Defence Lawyers Association site (click here) and also the Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).

Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne can provide you more detail about this

Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne

Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)



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