Intentionally Causing Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence


In Victoria the maximum penalty for Intentionally Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence is 20 years’ imprisonment. This offence is an aggravated form of Intentionally Causing Serious Injury as it has the added element of the serious injury occurring in circumstances of ‘gross violence’.

If you are convicted of this offence, you will serve a minimum of four years’ imprisonment pursuant to sections 10 and 11 of the Sentencing Act 1991, unless a special reason such as impaired mental functioning exists.

The Offence of Intentionally Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence

The offence of Intentionally Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence can be found in section 15A(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 which states: A person must not, without lawful excuse, intentionally cause serious injury to another person in circumstances of gross violence.

What is ‘serious injury’?

Section 15 of the Crimes Act 1958 states that ‘serious injury’ means an injury that:

  • Endangers life; or
  • Is substantial and protracted.

Serious injury also includes the destruction, other than in the course of a medical procedure, of the foetus of a pregnant woman, whether or not the woman suffers any other harm.

What Action Might Constitute Intentionally Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence?

Planning in advance to shoot or stab someone and then using that weapon to cause a serious injury to another person might constitute an example offence;

Continuing to kick someone to the head after they have lost consciousness might also constitute an example of this offence.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict you of Intentionally Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The complainant suffered a serious injury;
  • You caused the complainant’s serious injury;
  • You did so intentionally;
  • The serious injury was caused in circumstances of gross violence;
  • You acted without lawful justification or excuse.

Intentionally

To be convicted of this offence, the prosecution must prove an intention to cause serious injury, not merely an intention to do an act which causes the serious injury. In other words, the prosecution must prove that you had the specific intent to cause the serious injury.

Nevertheless, the intention to cause serious injury may be inferred where the physical act is a direct assault which any ordinary person would have realised was likely to cause some physical harm to the complainant. In such cases, it will be necessary for you to provide evidence that you did not realise that your actions might cause some physical harm to the complainant.

Gross Violence

Under section 15A of the Crimes Act 1958, any one of the following constitutes circumstances of gross violence:

  • The offender planned in advance to engage in conduct and at the time of planning
    • The offender intended that the conduct would cause a serious injury; or
    • The offender was reckless as to whether the conduct would cause a serious injury; or
    • A reasonable person would have foreseen that the conduct would be likely to result in a serious injury.
  • The offender in company with two or more other persons caused the serious injury;
  • The offender entered into an agreement, arrangement or understanding with two or more other persons to cause a serious injury;
  • The offender planned in advance to have with him or her and to use an offensive weapon, firearm or imitation firearm and in fact used the offensive weapon, firearm or imitation firearm to cause the serious injury;
  • The offender continued to cause injury to the other person after the other person was incapacitated;
  • The offender caused the serious injury to the other person while the other person was incapacitated.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

Intentionally causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence is a strictly indictable charge, which means that it will be heard in the County 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.

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