I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
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."
Assaulting a Public Officer (WA)
The offence of assaulting a public officer is classified as a serious assault in Western Australia. The penalties which can be imposed by the court will depend on whether the matter is heard in the District Court of Western Australia or the Magistrates Court of Western Australia. The penalties imposed will also vary depending on the injuries sustained by the public officer as a result of the assault.
Summary offence of assaulting a public officer
This matter can only be heard summarily (in the Magistrates Court) if the offender was not armed with any dangerous, offensive weapon or instrument and was not in the company of another person or persons immediately before, or immediately after, the commission of the alleged offence.
When an assault public officer matter is heard in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, and the offender is found guilty, the court can impose a maximum fine of up to $36,000.00. The court may also impose a maximum term of imprisonment of up to three years.
If an offender causes a public officer, such as a police officer, to sustain any injuries which interfere with their health and comfort the court must impose a mandatory, and immediate, term of imprisonment for a period of at least six months. In the case of Scratchard v R (1987) 27 A Crim R 26, the court stated that the injuries caused to the officer must constitute more than merely pain or discomfort, experienced at the time of the assault.
Indictable offence of assaulting a public officer
Where parties do not agree for the matter to be heard summarily or where the offender is alleged to have been armed with an offensive weapon, or to have been in company with another person, the matter must be dealt with on indictment (in the District Court).
Section 318(1)(l)(i) &(ii) of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913 (the Criminal Code) sets out that where the offender immediately before, or immediately after, the commission of the offence is armed with any dangerous, offensive weapon or instrument or is in the company of another person or persons, and that offender is found guilty of the offence, the court can impose a maximum term of imprisonment for a period of up to ten years.
Section 318(1)(m) of the Criminal Code sets out that if the offender is not armed and not in the company of another person, or persons, the court can impose a maximum term of imprisonment for a period of up to seven years.
If an offender causes a public officer, such as a police officer, to sustain bodily injuries of such a nature as to endanger, or be likely to endanger life, or to cause, or be likely to cause permanent injury to their health (ie grievous bodily harm) the court must impose a mandatory, and immediate, term of imprisonment of a period of no less than twelve months.
What are the elements of assaulting a public officer?
Section 318(1)(d) of the Criminal Code states
“Any person who assaults a public officer who is performing a function of his office or employment or on account of his being such an officer or his performance is guilty of a crime”
The terms highlighted in bold constitute the elements of the offence. Where an offender pleads not guilty to the offence, the prosecution is required to establish all the elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
Section 22 of the Criminal Code defines the term assault as follows:
“A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to the person of another, either directly or indirectly, …, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without his consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect his purpose, is said to assault that other person.”
Therefore, an assault can take place where a public officer is pushed, or hit, or where any form of force is applied, or is threatened to be applied and where there is a real and likely possibility that the offender will be able to follow through with that threat of harm.
Section 1 of the Criminal Code defines who is considered, by law to be, a public officer. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- A police officer;
- A Minister of the Crown;
- A Parliamentary Secretary;
- A member of either House of Parliament;
- A person authorised under a written law to execute or serve any process of a court or tribunal;
- A Public Service Officer, or employee, within the meaning of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (WA); and
- A person who holds a permit to do high-level security work as defined in the Court Security and Custodial Services Act 1999 (WA);
Performing a function of their office or employment
This element will be satisfied by the prosecution if they can prove that the victim was working in one of the roles that are listed above at the time of the alleged commission of the offence.
Assaulting a public officer is a serious offence. The penalties imposed by the court will depend on the: classification of the offence (summary or indictable), nature and circumstances surrounding the offence and the injuries sustained by the public officer as a result of the offence.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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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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