Assault Lawyer Perth | Assault Charges & Violent Offences




Assault Offences 

Assault can come in many forms. The basis for any assault is the application of force by one person to another person, without their consent. Assaults are also categorised based on the seriousness of the injuries that are sustained by the victim, for example, ranging from the least serious assault of common assault, to assault occasioning bodily harm, to the most serious form of assault causing grievous bodily harm. If you are charged with an assault offence, it’s paramount you seek the legal advice of a professional and skilled assault lawyer. The lawyers at Sharleena Ramdhas Barrister & Solicitor are on hand to assist with the particulars of your case to achieve the best possible outcome.

Types of Assault Charges 

A common assault includes actions such as pushing, slapping, striking and kicking. Spitting on another person is also considered to be an assault. Technically, even a slight nudge or push from someone could constitute an assault. A common assault is dealt with summarily in the Magistrates Court.

Assault occasioning bodily harm is caused when the victim has suffered bodily harm as a result of the assault (frequently referred to as AOBH). This refers to bodily injury which interferes with health or comfort, such as bruising. Therefore, although an assault may cause an immediate discomfort, this will not in itself reach the threshold for bodily harm. This type of assault is frequently dealt with in the Magistrates Court but can also be dealt with on indictment in the District Court.

One of the most serious forms of assault is one in which grievous bodily harm is caused (frequently referred to as GBH). Grievous bodily harm is defined as an injury that endangers or is likely to endanger life or causes or is likely to cause permanent injury to health. Grievous bodily harm cannot be dealt with in the Magistrates Court and is only dealt with on indictment in the District Court. Due to the serious nature of this offence, convictions for this offence generally involve immediate terms of imprisonment. 

Aggravating factors can also cause any type of assault to be deemed more serious, for example, the age of the victim, whether the accused and the victim were in a domestic relationship, if the assault was racially motivated etc. These are common motivators that constitute aggravated assault.

Get in touch with the assault lawyers at Sharleena Ramdhas Barrister & Solicitor today

Sharleena Ramdhas Barrister & Solicitor is home to Perth’s leading criminal defence and assault lawyers. With a reputation for high-level legal service and reliability, we approach your case with care and professionalism. 
Contact us today if you’d like more information or to see how our lawyers can help with your assault case by giving us a call on 0421 215 421, or sending an email to

Assault: Frequently Asked Questions

What does the prosecution need to prove for a common assault charge? 

In order to prove an offence of common assault has been committed, the prosecution must satisfy the court beyond a reasonable doubt that the following occurred: 

  • There was an application of force from the accused to the victim 
  • The application of force was done without the victim’s consent 
  • The application of force was done so intentionally or recklessly 
  • The assault was not justified, authorised or excused by law 

What are the common defences available for a charge of common assault? 

There are various defences that can be raised against a charge of common assault which is dependent on the circumstances, including but not limited to: 

  • Identification of the offender 
  • Provocation by the victim 
  • Self defence or defence of another 
  • Accident 
  • Extraordinary Emergency 

What is aggravated assault?

 An assault is deemed to be aggravated if any of the following circumstances apply: 

  • The offender and victim are in a domestic relationship 
  • A child is present at the time of the offence 
  • The offender is subject to a violence restraining order for the benefit of the victim 
  • The victim is older than 60 years of age 
  • The circumstances of the offence are racially motivated 

What injuries can constitute “bodily harm” in relation to an assault occasioning bodily harm? 

Injuries such as broken bones, black eyes, swelling or bruising can constitute bodily harm and minor abrasions, although small, can also amount to bodily harm. 

What does the State need to prove for an offence of grievous bodily harm? 

There are three elements that the prosecution must prove in order to obtain a conviction for grievous bodily harm which are: 

  • The complainant suffered grievous bodily harm (i.e. an injury that endangers or is likely to endanger life or causes or is likely to cause permanent injury to health); 
  • The grievous bodily harm was caused by the accused; 
  • The act which caused the grievous bodily harm was done unlawfully (i.e. was not justified by any of the defences available at law). 

The prosecution does not need to prove that the accused intended to cause grievous bodily harm, the court only needs to be satisfied that the accused caused the grievous bodily harm. The issue of causation can prove to be the contentious element in a trial (i.e. whether the act, in fact, caused the result), for example, if the accused pushed the victim then the victim tripped and fell and suffered a head injury, the jury would need to consider whether the push caused the head injury. 

What are the common defences for a charge of grievous bodily harm? 

  • Defences to grievous bodily harm include but are not limited to: 
  • Identification of the offender 
  • Provocation by the victim 
  • Self defence or defence of another 
  • Accident 
  • Extraordinary Emergency 
  • The grievous bodily harm that resulted was not caused by the actions of the accused 

Will I go to jail for a conviction for grievous bodily harm? 

Ordinarily, yes. The charge is considered to be so serious that when sentencing an accused in relation to grievous bodily harm, the court usually imposes an immediate term of imprisonment.  

Will I go to jail for a conviction of common assault? 

The penalty for common assault includes a term of immediate imprisonment. However, the sentence the court imposes will take into consideration whether you are also being sentenced for other offences, as well as your criminal record, and how serious the common assault or other charges are that you are being sentenced for. If you have a limited criminal record, it was not a serious common assault and you are not being sentenced for other serious charges, ordinarily, you would not receive a term of immediate imprisonment for a charge of common assault.  

Can I get a spent conviction for a common assault? 

Spent convictions are regularly imposed for offenders being sentenced in relation to common assault charges, particularly if the conduct alleged is not serious and the offender does not have any prior criminal convictions.