Though cases involving assault and domestic violence are common, they still require a lawyer with extensive experience and a comprehensive knowledge of the law and the system. Our lawyers work on a broad range of cases involving violence on a daily basis, including assault, domestic violence, and intervention orders.
Our experienced team of lawyers are able to thoroughly assess the details of your case in order to advise you as to whether you have a viable defence or alternatively, to provide you with advice as to your various options, such as negotiating a resolution to a less serious charge on the basis a more serious alternative charge is withdrawn or by providing you with advice as to the plea material you can obtain and the rehabilitative courses you can undertake in pursuit of a lighter penalty.
Our legal team can assist on the full spectrum of violence charges, including:
What is assault?
As defined by the law, assault is either the application of force to another or causing another to fear / apprehend the use of force. Accordingly, a person does not necessarily have to lay a hand on another person in order to have committed an assault. They only need to have threatened to do so. If the police can prove either of these two things, a person will be charged with a summary assault. Although such a charge is the least serious of all assault charges, it still has a maximum penalty of imprisonment – 3 months for summary assault and 6 months for an aggravated summary assault (e.g. where the victim is a female or a weapon has been used to effect the assault or the assault occurs in the company of others).
More serious examples of assault always require the police to prove the actual application of force. Furthermore, they must also prove that that the alleged victim has suffered an injury or numerous injuries and that you have caused them. In circumstances, where the police allege you have assaulted a person and caused them an injury, you will be charged with either or both of intentionally causing injury or recklessly causing injury. Should the injuries to the victim be numerous or significant you may well be charged with either or both of intentionally causing serious injury or recklessly causing serious injury.
Causing injury to another is viewed seriously by the Courts and while the penalties vary significantly depending on what you have been charged with, the circumstances in which the allegations arise and whether or not you have a criminal history, once you are charged with one of these offences, in the absence of a viable defence, you are in most instances at risk of a term of imprisonment and as concerns serious injury charges, a term of imprisonment of some length.
I’ve been charged with a violent offence—what do I do?
The most important thing to do when charged with any offence is to engage an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible so that they are able to provide you with advice as to the process you are facing, how to approach your matter, whether or not you have an arguable defence, the various options available to you and what you can do while your case is progressing through the Courts so as to assist you in bettering your own position.
You can call Stary Norton Halphen at their Melbourne office on (03) 8622 8200 or reach us through our online enquiry form. For all After Hours enquiries, call 0407 410 821.
How serious is my case?
As violent crime covers a broad spectrum of incidents, the seriousness of your case and any subsequent sentencing will depend on the nature of the offence with which you are charged, any aggravating features of your offence, and your level of culpability, with regard to the circumstances of your offending and the extent of your involvement in an offence.
Some important matters our criminal lawyers will help you understand include:
Am I likely to go to jail?
Violent crimes are treated very seriously by the courts and serious injury charges can and often do carry significant sentences if you are found guilty. Whether or not you go to jail will often depend on the nature of the charge before the Court and the circumstances of the offence. These matters are often the subject of negotiation with police and prosecutors.
Accordingly, when facing a charge of assault, be it because of a fight in public or an allegation of domestic violence, it is of the utmost importance you engage an experienced law firm who can advise you on your case and inform you of the potential outcomes, negotiate with the police in a strategic way to benefit you, and advocate and defend you forcefully in Court.
What is an Intervention Order?
Intervention Orders, also known as Personal Safety Orders, Restraining Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders, Family Violence Orders and Domestic Violence Orders are court orders which restrict a person’s access to and interaction with another person or group of people.
You can find more information in our dedicated Intervention Orders section.