Assault Offences


Assaults are a class of offences which involve the intentional or reckless use or threat of physical force against another person. Assault charges are treated seriously by the courts in New South Wales. A conviction is usually recorded, and for many assault offences, full-time custody is the most common penalty.

This page contains information about assault in New South Wales, including the maximum penalties which apply to them and potential defences which are available.

Definitions of assault

In The Queen v Phillips (1971) 45 ALJR 467 at 472 assault is described as either the infliction of physical force or the causing of “…the apprehension of injury or the instillation of fear or fright.” In other words, physical contact is not required. All that is required is that the victim be put in fear of physical contact.

Assault (as defined above) is unlawful where it is committed without a lawful justification or excuse (such as, for example, self-defence).

This definition applies to all assault offences in New South Wales.

Assault offence in New South Wales

Related Offences

Other Assault Offences

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