Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm
The maximum penalty for the offence of Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm is five years’ imprisonment. However, if the offence is charged as being “aggravated” (that is, committed against a pregnant woman), it carries seven years’ imprisonment.
The Offence of Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm
The offence of Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm is contained in Section 23(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) which states:
“A person who intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on another person is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 5 years.”
However, for an “aggravated” version of the offence (Section 23(2) of the Crimes Act), the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 7 years.
Section 48A of the Crimes Act provides that the offence is an aggravated offence if it was committed against a pregnant woman; and the commission of the offence caused the loss of, or serious harm to, the pregnancy; or the death of, or serious harm to, a child born alive as a result of the pregnancy.
However, the offence is not an aggravated offence if the defendant proves, on the balance of probabilities that the defendant did not know, and could not reasonably have known, that the woman was pregnant.
If the prosecution intends to prove that the offence is an aggravated offence, the relevant factors of aggravation must be stated in the charge.
What Actions Might Constitute Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm?
A visible injury needs to be shown to prove actual bodily harm. For example, a bruise or a cut would be sufficient to meet those criteria.
In addition, the Dictionary in the Crimes Act states that actual bodily harm includes, in respect to a pregnant woman, harm to the pregnancy, unless that is inflicted in a medical procedure.
The Police must show that actual bodily harm was inflicted on the other person. This means that a visible injury needs to be present to show that bodily harm occurred. For example, a bruise or a scratch would be sufficient in meeting those criteria.
There is also case law that defines the term “actual bodily harm”. This would include any injury that would interfere with another individual’s health or comfort. The case of R v Donovan  2 KB 498 at 509 states that the injury does not need to be permanent, but “must be more than merely transient or trifling.”
There are two ways that this offence can be committed, either intentionally or recklessly.
To commit this offence “recklessly” means that the Court has found that you turned your mind to the fact that an injury could be caused by your action, but you still went ahead with the action. For example, you were aware that if you hit a person with a piece of wood an injury was likely, and that injury did occur, and it amounted to actual bodily harm. Recklessness can be evidenced by what you say or what and how you do something.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of inflicting actual bodily harm, the police must prove each element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the accused either intentionally or recklessly;
- Caused an injury or injuries to a person or persons;
- The injury amounted to actual bodily harm.
Possible Defences to A Charge Of Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm
A person may defend a charge of inflicting actual bodily harm by arguing that:
- They were acting in self- defence;
- The act was an accident.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Because Inflicting Actual Bodily Harm carries a maximum penalty of a prison sentence of not longer than five years, the Prosecution has the ability to unilaterally elect to keep it in the Magistrates Court, where the maximum penalty that can be imposed is two years.
If the Prosecution does not make such an election, the Defence can still consent to the matter being dealt with in the Magistrates Court, rather than having to be committed to the Supreme Court where the matter would be before a judge and jury, if contested.
Your lawyer can negotiate with the Prosecution about the correct charges that should be brought, and the correct court for them to be heard in.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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