Likely Penalties for Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm

What Penalty am I Likely to Receive for my Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm Charge?

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a charge of reckless grievous bodily harm:

  • Section 10 – matter proven but dismissed
  • Fine
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Community Service Order
  • Suspended sentence
  • Periodic detention
  • Home detention
  • Prison sentence

You will find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

Maximum Penalties for a Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm Charge

This charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 2 years if dealt with in the Local Court and 10 years if dealt with in the District Court.

Sentencing Statistics

Penalties imposed by the Local Court for all offenders charged with reckless grievous bodily harm:

The average prison sentence imposed in the Local Court for this offence is 16 months.

Penalties imposed by the District Court for all offenders charged with reckless grievous bodily harm:

The average prison sentence imposed in the District Court for this offence is 3 years.

Click here to complete a likely penalty enquiry form.

Types of Penalties

Section 10 – avoiding a criminal record
Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction you will have a criminal record. However, if we were able to convince the court not to convict you, there would be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases a court has the discretion not to convict you but deal with you under the terms of section 10.


By far the most common penalty imposed by the Local Court is a fine. When deciding the amount of any fine the Magistrate or Judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set.

Good behaviour bonds

A good behaviour bond is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is 5 years.

Community service order

A Community Service Order (CSO) involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by Probation and Parole or attendance at a Centre to undertake a course, such as Anger Management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the Probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Certain medical conditions could exclude you from being suitable to undertake a work order.

Suspended sentence

A suspended sentence (Section 12 good behaviour bond) is a gaol sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the gaol sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to 2 years.

Periodic Detention

Periodic detention is a form of imprisonment. It involves detention in a periodic detention centre for a two day period each week for the length of the sentence set by the court. The two-day period commences at 7.00 pm on the day of the week specified (usually Friday) and ends at 4.30 pm on the second day following the day so specified (usually Sunday).


This is the most severe form of punishment and involves being locked up in a prison. Before a court imposes a gaol sentence it must be satisfied that no other penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate.


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.


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