Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
In Victoria, the maximum penalty for Unlawful Assault (which may also be referred to as ‘Common Assault’) is a fine of 15 penalty units or three months’ imprisonment. This offence is considered the least serious of the assault offences. Generally, individuals are charged with Unlawful Assault when a person assaults another person without causing injury.
A community corrections order, fine or adjourned undertaking for this offence can all be imposed with or without a criminal conviction. The ongoing consequences of a criminal conviction can be serious as some jobs require you to have no criminal convictions on your record prior to commencing employment. A conviction for unlawful assault might jeopardise your job or make it difficult to obtain visas for overseas travel. Moreover a conviction for an offence of violence will almost certainly rule out certain career paths such as teaching and government employment options, including employment within the defence force. Violent offences may also result in sentences that include imprisonment even where an individual has no previous convictions.
Unlawful assaults can be complicated if there are aggravating factors. It is important to get legal advice at an early stage to ascertain precisely what the consequences of a conviction may be and whether you have a defence to the charge.
The Offence of Unlawful Assault
The offence of Unlawful Assault is contained in section 23 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 which states:
Any person who unlawfully assaults or beats another person shall be guilty of an offence.
What Actions Might Constitute Unlawful Assault?
- Whilst the slightest touch might constitute Unlawful Assault, usually police would not charge a person with Unlawful Assault unless there is a significant degree of force applied or there is evidence that threats of violence have been made.
- Punching, hitting or kicking another person without causing bodily harm might well lead to a charge of Unlawful Assault.
- Spitting upon another person. Spitting is treated as a fairly serious form of the offence. Firstly it is seen as a heinous thing to do to another person, secondly there is the possibility of the transfer of some sort of infection.
- Threatening to hurt another person.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of Unlawful Assault, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You struck/touched/applied force to another person, or threatened another with immediate violence;
- You did so intentionally or recklessly;
- The actions were not consented to by the victim;
- There is no other lawful justification or excuse.
Possible Defences for the Charge of Unlawful Assault
Possible defences to a charge of unlawful assault include but are not limited to:
- The accused has a lawful justification or excuse;
- The accused acted in self-defence or in defence of another
- The complainant consented to the assault
- The assault was not intentional or foreseeable.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Unlawful Assault is a summary offence and will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court.
Diversion for Unlawful Assault – Case Study
Our client was charged with one count of Unlawful Assault following a road rage incident.
Victoria Police alleged that our client beeped his horn at a female driver when she pulled her car in front of him. It was alleged he then left his vehicle and walked to her car while shouting at her. Following this, he proceeded to bang his fist on the roof of her car and direct offensive language toward her. It was not stated by Victoria Police that he physically attacked or assaulted her in any way.
Victoria Police offered our client a Diversion Notice and asked him to attend the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a Diversion Hearing. On arrival, it was made known to us that our client had a prior criminal record, including a prior offence of Recklessly Causing Injury.
Generally, Diversion is only granted to first-time offenders.
The Diversion Coordinator at the court advised our client would almost certainly be refused Diversion and that the Magistrate may not even be willing to hear submissions by our legal team.
Eventually, we appeared before the Magistrate who explained they were not minded to accept Diversion for our client given his serious prior record. After lengthy submissions and the tendering of substantial material to support our client, the Magistrate asked to hear from our client personally. The client gave verbal evidence to the Magistrate with our assistance and was ultimately deemed suitable for a Diversion Plan.
DISCLAIMER: This is a case study of an actual matter where the client was represented by Armstrong Legal. Details relating to the client have been changed to protect their confidentiality. The outcome, charges and facts have not been altered.
Our case studies are published to show real outcomes and give an indication of possible results. We cannot, and do not, guarantee a matter involving similar charges will get an identical outcome.
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.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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