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Common Assault

Assaults / Violence Offences – NSW

Welcome to the NSW Common assault article page. Everything you need to know about Common assault according to NSW law – Dated: 01/01/2011

What the Law States according to NSW Law for Common assault

According to NSW Law for the charge of Common assault:

On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
64782 Common assault (DV)-T2
244 Common assault-T2

The Maximum Penalty – Common assault

According to NSW Law for the charge of Common assault:

The maximum penalty for the charge of common assault (Section 61 of the Crimes Act) is 2 years imprisonment.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for an common assault charge.

  • Section 10: common assault proven but dismissed
  • Fine
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Community service order (CSO)
  • Suspended sentence
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention)
  • Home detention
  • Prison sentence

You’ll find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

Likely Penalty

Local Court

Based on our experience and statistics from the Judicial Commission of New South Wales we believe that the penalty in a case that is within the mid range of seriousness for the offence of common assault, if heard in the Local Court, is likely to be a good behavior bond under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act for a period of 12 months.

For first time offenders the likely penalty is a fine of $500.

District Court

If the matter is finalised in the District Court the likely penalty is a good behavior bond with supervision under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act for a period of 2 years.

For first time offenders the likely penalty is a good behavior bond under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act for a period of 18 months.

What the Police must prove according to NSW Law for Common assault

To convict you of a common assault charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You struck, touched or applied force, or threatened another person with immediate violence.
  2. The act was done intentionally or recklessly.
  3. Without consent.
  4. Without lawful excuse.

They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the common assault offence.

Possible Defences under NSW Law – Common assault

Possible defences to an common assault charge include but are not limited to:

  • Duress
  • Necessity
  • Self Defence

In NSW which court will hear the matter – Common assault

This matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Section 10 for a common assault charge: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead.

Fines for a common assault charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a possession of data with intent charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set.

Good behaviour bond for a common assault charge: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years.

Community service order for a common assault charge (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order.

Suspended sentence for a common assault charge: This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years.

Periodic detention for a common assault charge (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.

Intensive correction order for a common assault charge (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service.

Jail for a common assault charge: This is the most serious penalty for the charge of common assault and involves full time detention in a correctional facility.

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