Aggravated Assault in Victoria, Australia

by Doogue + George Criminal Defence Lawyers

Aggravated Assault in Victoria, Australia                                    

Aggravated Assault is used by the Police when an assault takes place in ‘aggravated’ circumstances such as when another person is present, or when kicking or a weapon is used.

Examples of Aggravated Assault

  • You get into an argument at a bar. You threateningly swing a pool cue at the other person and make contact with their leg.
  • You are confronted by two security guards in a shopping centre. You wave a knife at them to threaten them.

What are possible defences to an Aggravated Assault charge?

  • Somebody else assaulted the victim.
  • You kicked someone or used a weapon in self defence.

There are other possible defences depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this       

  • What actually happened? Was there a case of mistaken identity?
  • Assaults often happen in heated situations. Were the witnesses’ memories of the events factual?
  • How can they prove the assault and aggravated circumstances?
  • Were you acting in self defence?

Maximum penalty and court that deals with the charge       

The maximum penalty for Aggravated Assault is imprisonment for 2 years. It is a charge that is generally heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

What is the legal definition of Aggravated Assault?

There are 2 kinds of Aggravated Assault in Victoria.

The first is when either a female, or a male under the age of 14, is assaulted. If a magistrate thinks that the punishment for assault is too lenient in the circumstances, the magistrate may hold that the assault is aggravated.

The second kind of Aggravated Assault is assault done by more than one person, or by kicking or using a weapon.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 24 of the Summary Offences Act 1966.

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

A serious Aggravated Assault may mean you go to jail. Less serious incidents may mean a range of penalties from a fine to a Community Correction Order.

Sentencing Outcomes in the Higher Courts

From July 2011 to June 2016, there were a total of 129 charges of Aggravated Assault related to cases that were heard in Victoria’s higher courts.

The majority of these charges led to imprisonment (57.4%). Other sentences include: Youth Justice Centre Order (15.5%), Community Correction Order (14.0%), Wholly Suspended Sentence (6.2%), and Fine (4.6%).

Of those sentenced to imprisonment, the majority (82.4%) received a term of more than 1 but less than 2 years. The same period of time was also imposed to majority of those who were sentenced to Youth Justice Centre Order (50.0%) and Community Corrections Order (55.6%).

If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault, contact a lawyer immediately and obtain legal advice. This is an offence that can land you behind bars depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Doogue + George Defence Lawyers specialises in criminal defence against a range of assault and violence charges, especially Aggravated Assault.

To view case studies related to this offence and other relevant resources, you may visit this page where this article was originally published: https://www.criminal-lawyers.com.au/offences/aggravated-assault.



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