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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm


In Queensland, Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, though fines and other penalties can also be imposed for the offence. Frequently, individuals are charged with Aggravated 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.

A charge of Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm will likely result in a criminal conviction being recorded against your name.

The Offence Of Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

The offence of Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is contained in section 339(3) of the Criminal Code Act 1899 which states:

“If the offender does bodily harm, and is or pretends to be armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument or is in company with 1 or more other person or persons, the offender is liable to imprisonment for 10 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 Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm?

The following actions, if perpetrated while a person is either armed (or pretending to be armed) with a weapon or in a group with 1 or more other people, might constitute Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm:

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

What The Police Must Prove

To convict you of an Aggravated 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); and
  5. You were armed or pretending to be armed at the time of the act; or
  6. You were in the company of another person, or more than 1 person, at the time of the act.

Possible Defences For Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

Possible defences to a charge of Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm include, but are not limited to:

  • self-defence, defence of another person, or defence of property;
  • accident (meaning an absence of criminal intent);
  • compulsion;
  • prevention of violence, a breach of the peace, or other crime

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

A charge of Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is a serious criminal charge and will be heard in the District Court.

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

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