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."
In the ACT, the maximum penalty for common assault is two years’ imprisonment. Frequently, individuals are charged where a person assaults another person but does not cause an injury amounting to actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.
The Offence of Common Assault
The offence of Common Assault is contained in Section 26 of the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT), which states: “A person who assaults another person is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 2 years.”
Will I Get A Criminal Record for Common Assault?
Yes. A criminal conviction is very likely unless the Court is convinced that it should exercise its discretion not to convict you of the offence.
The ACT sentencing database reveals that for the period 1 July 2012 to 30 April 2016 around only one in 20 assault charges resulted in no conviction. Almost a third of those found guilty were sentenced to prison (with half of those sentences suspended) while the overwhelming bulk of people (55.8 per cent) were placed on Good Behaviour Orders with only 7.5 per cent being fined.
What Actions Might Constitute Common Assault?
Whilst the slightest touch might constitute Common Assault usually police would not charge a person with Common Assault unless there was a significant degree of force applied or there was evidence that threats of violence had been made.
Punching, hitting or kicking another person without causing bodily harm might well lead to a charge of Common Assault.
Spitting upon another person. Spitting is treated as a serious form of the offence. Firstly it is seen as a somewhat disgusting thing to do to another person. Secondly, there is the possibility of the transfer of some sort of infection.
Threatening to hurt another person.
Can I Pay A Greater Fine to Avoid Being Convicted?
No, it is not possible to bargain with the court that you would pay a larger fine to avoid a criminal conviction. If the court deals with you by way of Non-Conviction Order, there will be no fine, but there may be court costs (currently $78).
What must be proven
To find a person guilty of common assault, the court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- They struck, touched or applied force to another, or threatened another with immediate violence;
- They did so intentionally, or recklessly;
- They did so without the person’s consent;
- They did so without lawful excuse.
Possible Defences for Common Assault
A person charged with common assault may rely on one of the following defences:
- They were acting in self-defence;
- The assault was an accident;
- The offence was committed under duress
Which Court Will Hear the Matter?
Common Assault is a summary matter and will be heard in the ACT Magistrates Court.
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?
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000