Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

In Queensland, Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH) carries a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment, though fines and other penalties can also be imposed for the offence. Frequently, individuals are charged with Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm where a person unlawfully assaults another and causes an injury which does not amount to Grievous Bodily Harm or does not constitute a Serious Assault.

Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is a serious offence under the law and the common penalties imposed for such a charge are:

A charge of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm will likely result in a criminal conviction being recorded against your name, though this is not inevitable and Armstrong Legal’s specialist criminal law team stand ready to advise you on the ways that you might avoid a conviction being recorded.

The Offence Of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

The offence of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is contained in section 339(1) of the Queensland Criminal Code which states:

“Any person who unlawfully assaults another and thereby does the other person bodily harm is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years”

It is a circumstance of aggravation, meaning something which increases the seriousness of an offence, if an individual commits Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm in a public place while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance (for example drugs or alcohol).

What Actions Might Constitute Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm?

  • Any application of force against another, from a gentle push, through to a closed fist strike or head butt, might constitute Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm if the act causes an injury.
  • Slapping another person on the face, might amount to an Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm if it causes, for example, bruising or swelling.

What The Police Must Prove

To convict you of an Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:-

  1. You struck, touched or applied force to another
  2. You did so intentionally or recklessly
  3. You did so without consent or lawful excuse, and
  4. That action caused bodily harm to the other person (being more than a trifling injury but less than permanent damage).

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

A charge of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm will be heard in the Magistrates Court, unless you ask to be tried before a Jury in the District Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.


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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