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Common Assault Lawyers Sydney

In New South Wales (NSW), common assault is a criminal offence under section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). If you've been charged with common assault, reach out to our specialist Common Assault Lawyers to protect your rights.

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Accused or Charged with Common Assault?

It's a gut-wrenching moment when you hear those words: "You're being charged with common assault." Suddenly, everything goes pear-shaped, and you're left grappling with a whirlwind of emotions. The apprehension of what lies ahead can be paralysing. But amidst the chaos, there's a beacon of hope.

At Faraj Defence Lawyers, we're more than just legal professionals. We're your advocates and your steadfast support. With a unique blend of tenacity, compassion, and legal prowess, we're here to guide you through every twist and turn, ensuring that your journey towards justice is not walked alone.

We've helped many of our clients achieve favourable results such as Section 10s and non-convictions. Your search for a Defence Lawyer who will provide you with unrivaled service ends here.

Book a free initial consultation with our expert Common Assault Lawyers

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Why Choose Faraj Defence Lawyers for your Assault Charge?

Choosing the right legal representation can make all the difference when facing common assault charges, as Faraj Defence Lawyers stands out as the optimal choice for defendants seeking expert guidance and unwavering support. So what makes us stand out?


Free initial consultation

We understand the importance of an initial assessment, which is why we offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your case.


Expert Defence Strategies

We craft meticulous defence strategies aimed at securing favourable outcomes, including aiming and securing Section 10 dismissals & non-convictions.


Unwavering Support and Guidance

Unwavering support and guidance from the beginning to the resolution of your case, ensuring you are informed and empowered throughout.


Negotiation Expertise

Our extensive knowledge on dealing with the prosecution has allowed us to develop expert negotiation strategies that will tip the scales in our favour.


Direct Access to Senior Criminal Lawyer

Direct access to a senior criminal lawyer who will oversee your case. Ensuring your matter is handled with the utmost expertise and attention it deserves.


Fixed Fees and Transparent Pricing

We believe in transparency. Our firm operates on fixed fees, providing clarity on costs from the outset. Eliminating any unexpected financial burdens.

What is the offence of Common Assault?

Common Assault is a punishable offence as outlined in Section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The section states “whosoever assaults any person, although not occasioning actual bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for 2 years” In addition to the maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, the court may impose a fine of up to $5,500. 

This offence occurs when a person is found engaging in conduct that inflicts harm or instils fear in another person. Importantly, even if the intention to cause harm or fear is not present, one can be found guilty of common assault, if the foreseeable likelihood of immediate injury or fear was disregarded or ignored. Additionally, common assault is not confined to instances of physical contact, it extends to any hostile or aggressive actions, regardless of whether or not it involves direct physical engagement with another person.

What the prosecution needs to prove for Common Assault

The prosecution are required to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that:
With physical force applied:

  • A striking, touching or application of force by the defendant to another person.

  • That such conduct of the defendant was without consent of the complainant.

  • That such conduct was intentional or reckless in the sense that the defendant realised that the complainant might be subject to immediate and unlawful violence, however slight as a result of what he or she was about to do, but yet took the risk that that might happen

  • That such conduct was without lawful excuse.

Without physical force applied:

  • An act by the defendant which intentionally, or recklessly, causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence.

  • That such conduct of the defendant was without consent of the complainant.

  • That such conduct was intentional or reckless in the sense that the defendant realised that the complainant might be subject to immediate and unlawful violence, however slight as a result of what he or she was about to do, but yet took the risk that might happen.

  • That such conduct was without lawful excuse.

For example, punching someone would be considered common assault where physical force is applied, whereas raising your fist at someone may be considered common assault without physical force being applied.

Examples of Common Assault

  • Striking at a person with a stick or a fist (even where the person striking misses),

  • Throwing an object at someone,

  • Hitting, slapping, kicking, or pushing someone,

  • Spitting at someone, 

  • Physically restraining a person without their consent,

  • Striking an animal (i.e., a horse) they are riding, causing them to fall off. 

It has also been held that a threat to strike a person even at such a distance as to make contact impossible may constitute an assault if it instils a fear of immediate violence in the mind of the complainant. However, only in certain circumstances will the mere use of words amount to an assault. 

It is important to note that physical conduct which occurs as a result of the ‘exigencies of everyday life’ (i.e., accidentally bumping into someone in a crowd, or tapping them on the shoulder to gain their attention) is deemed an exception, in that it is accepted as part of day-to-day life. 

If an injury is caused by the assault, it must be no more than ‘transient or trifling’, noting how if the injury caused is beyond this, you can face a more serious charge such as assault occasioning actual bodily harm

As the charge does not involve actual bodily harm as one of its elements, the complainant suffering a lack or minor injuries does not mitigate the seriousness of the offence. Offences of common assault are also not generally mitigated on account of there being minimal violence.

This is due to how common assault cases will usually involve moderate violence, as if the violence were more severe it would generally cause actual bodily harm or wounding and result in a more serious charge.

What are the Penalties for Common Assault

The maximum penalty for common assault in NSW is two years' imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500. However, the actual penalty imposed by the court will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history. 

In determining the appropriate penalty, the court will consider factors such as the seriousness of the assault, the harm caused to the victim, and any aggravating or mitigating factors.

If the common assault is committed in circumstances of aggravation, such as in the presence of a child or if the victim is a police officer, you may be subject to tougher penalties. 

It's worth noting that common assault can also be dealt with by way of a good behaviour bond or a section 10 dismissal, which is a finding of guilt without a criminal conviction being recorded. The court may also order the defendant to pay compensation to the victim for any harm caused.

Apart from a full-time custodial sentence, you may also be eligible for the following penalties: 

  • S10(1)(A) dismissal.

  • Conditional release order without conviction.

  • Conditional release order with conviction. 

  • Fine

  • Community corrections order.

  • Intensive corrections order.

It is important to work with your lawyer to prepare your case properly to give yourself the best chance to avoid any custodial sentence or receive a non-conviction penalty. Statistics published by the Judicial Commission reveal that the most common sentence for common assault is a Community Corrections Order, followed by a Conditional Release Order without conviction.

Common assault is practically always dealt with summarily in the Local Court, especially where it is the main offence. However, it is classified as a ‘table 2’ offence which means that it can be dealt with in the District Court if the prosecution decides to ‘elect’ it.

What are the possible defences for common assault?

  • Self defence

  • You did not assault the complainant (false allegation) 

  • You did not intend to assault the complainant, nor did you realise the possibility of inflicting any harm

  • Duress or necessity

  • Mental illness,

  • Occurred in the course of every-day life,

Recent Case Studies

Contact an Expert Common Assault Lawyer Today!

Being charged with common assault can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. The fear of a tarnished reputation, hefty fines, or even jail time can weigh heavily on your mind. At this critical juncture, making the right choice in legal representation is paramount.

Our seasoned criminal lawyers specialise in common assault cases. We understand the nuances of the law and have a proven track record of turning the tide in favour of our clients. Every case is unique and so are you, At Faraj Defence Lawyers, we tailour our defence strategies to align with your specific circumstances, ensuring the best possible outcome.

Don't let a common assault charge dictate your future. Call us now at (02) 8896 6034 for free advice or book a free initial consultation. Let's navigate this journey together.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Faraj Defence Lawyers is a Sydney based law firm specialising in criminal and traffic law matters.

What’s the difference between common assault charges and other assault charges?

Common assault differs from other assault charges in that it does not necessarily require proof of physical contact. In common assault cases, the focus is often on the intention to cause fear or the application of force, regardless of whether physical harm is actually inflicted.

On the other hand, for certain other assault charges, establishing the offence may necessitate demonstrating some form of physical damage or harm resulting from the abusive actions. This distinction underscores the unique nature of common assault, where the emphasis is on the perceived threat or the act of applying force, irrespective of whether it leads to tangible physical damage.

What’s the cost involved for hiring a lawyer for a common assault case?

At Faraj Defence Lawyers, we understand that along with the stress of being charged with an offence, it is often difficult to afford highly experienced lawyers however, we offer fair costs on a fixed fees and flexible payment arrangements to assist our clients.

What should I do if I’m being charged with Common Assault?

The first crucial step is to secure the services of an experienced Assault Lawyer who can guide you through the legal process, assess the evidence, and tailor a defence strategy to the specifics of your case. This professional support is essential for navigating the complexities of common assault allegations. Following all legal advice given by your lawyer can significantly improve the chances of receiving a favourable outcome in court as your team are specialised in deciding the best course of action based on the unique specifics of your case.  

Our team at Faraj Defence Lawyers offer specialised common assault lawyers who are committed to safeguarding your rights and providing unwavering support throughout your case. We understand the complexities of common assault cases and recognise the potential impacts a conviction can have on a person's life, which is why seeking the use of professional legal help is strongly encouraged.

What are my options in court for a Common Assault Charge?

When facing a common assault charge in court, you typically have several options to consider, and the best course of action depends on the specifics of your case. Generally you will enter a plea, this involves two options. 

Pleading Guilty
When pleading guilty, you skip the trial and go straight to sentencing where your lawyer will have use up all their strategies to get you best results, this includes aiming for non-conviction penalties where the defendant is able to walk out of the courtroom criminal record free. 

Pleading not guilty
On the other hand if you choose to plead not guilty, this means you are stating that you either did not commit the common assault offence or you have a valid defence to fully justify your actions. In this scenario, your lawyer will play a crucial role in challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution. They may scrutinise witness testimonies, question the reliability of any physical evidence, and explore legal precedents that could support your defence.

Charged with a criminal or traffic offence? First consultation free. Arrange a conference with us today

Book Here