Assault, GBH, Wounding
This is the overall term for Assault, Wounding, Grievous Bodily Harm and other offences against the person. All of these offences are governed by laws which are over 150 years old but are still used today. Self defence is the defence that is most commonly put forward but to succeed, the defendant needs to show that he has done everything possible to avoid having to defend himself and that his assault is the last resort. Self defence cannot be a retaliation, only enough force to defend oneself, a family member or a close friend. Provocation() is no defence at all to any assault but might in murder or as mitigation to explain conduct if found guilty.
Advice at the interview stage is essential to best defend these cases.
GBH & Wounding
Grievously Bodily Harm, Section 18 and Section 20 Assault, means 'really serious bodily harm'.
To be found guilty of a section 18 GBH offence the defendant must have had intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Section 18 assaults are always dealt with by the Crown Court and can carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
If the attacker only intended to cause 'some harm or pain' rather than 'really serious bodily harm', the offence is classed as a section 20 assault also known as 'wounding without intent'. Section 20 still falls under the GBH section but is a less serious offence than a section 18 GBH assault. A section 20 assault can be tried in either the Magistrates' Court or the Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.
ABH, Section 47 Assault, is when the defendant has caused actual bodily harm to a person but their only intention was to assault them.
A section 47 assault can be tried in either the Magistrates' Court or the Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.
Common assault, Section 39, occurs when unlawful force is applied on another person or makes them afraid that immediate force will be used against them.
A section 39 assault can only be tried in the Magistrates' Court and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment however the sentence is usually dealt with by a fine or a community penalty unless the assault involves characteristics which make the incident more serious
Affray and Public Order Act offences
Affray is where more than more than two people behave so as to put other in fear alarm or distress and this a very specific offence which is often misunderstood not only at police station stage but also at the Court sometimes.
Specialist advice is required as to this offence from a lawyer as it is serious and often can be heard before the Crown Court and can result in a prison sentence. Lesser offences are other public order act offences which can be committed by one person alone. For comparison, a more serious offence in the category is riot which rarely is charged as is it an admission that public order has deteriorated so that the police cannot control it.
MJP solicitors provide advice and representation on money laundering matters throughout England and Wales particularly in Liverpool (including The Wirral) and the North West.
Specialist advice for any investigation into Assault, GBH, ABH and Affray matters can be given by one of our experienced assault solicitors.
For free advice call now on 0333 011 0515 or use the contact us page.