What is a Section 18 assault?

For anyone who has been accused of section 18 assault, it is necessary to understand what makes up this offence, the different factors of a section 18 assault and the penalties and punishment that could follow a guilty verdict. Here, our criminal defence solicitors help answer any questions you have regarding a section 18 charge.

What is a Section 18 assault?

Section 18 assault is otherwise known as Grievous Bodily Harm. This is an offence outlined in section 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

Both sections are marked as Grievous Bodily Harm. The distinction between these two sections is that section 18 focuses on the crime having specific intent.

The section describes the offence as “wounding with intent” or “causing grievous bodily harm with intent”.

Under UK law, section 18 assault is the most serious form of assault that can be committed.

What factors trigger a section 18 assault charge?

The seriousness of the injury does not determine the charge. However, it can provide evidence towards a conviction.

The factors that indicate a section 18 assault charge include:

· A repeat or planned attack
· A deliberate selection of weapons or adaptation of an article to cause injury (such as breaking a glass before an attack)
· Making prior threats
· Using an offensive weapon against a victim’s head
· Kicking a victim’s head

What punishment befits a section 18 assault charge?

For more serious forms of GBH with intent, a conviction could result in a life sentence. Normally, the sentences range from 3 to 16 years – but vary on circumstances and aggravating factors.

If you have been charged with a section 18 assault, it is imperative that you seek legal advice immediately. Contact our team of criminal lawyers – and you’ll receive expert help and advice straightaway.