Assault, Battery, GBH & ABH ChargesMeet the team
If you have been charged with assault or battery, it is vital to secure a skilled and experienced solicitor to represent you – from the initial police interview to the Crown Court and, if necessary, the Court of Appeal.
DPP Law’s team of ABH, GBH, battery and assault solicitors has been providing expert legal advice to clients in the Merseyside area for more than 35 years. If you need a criminal defence lawyer in Liverpool or beyond, we will work tirelessly to provide you with a well-researched, robust legal defence.
We are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Criminal Defence Services. Our team has the expertise and proven experience to examine all the available evidence and work closely with you to build a strong legal defence against any assault or battery charges you might be facing.
Contact DPP Law for Legal Advice
If you have been accused of any form of assault or battery, or if you have been arrested after being involved in any kind of violent encounter, contact our experienced battery and assault solicitors at DPP Law immediately.
We will support and advise you from your arrest right through to your appearance in court.
Contact us now on 0333 200 5859 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Assault and Battery: Frequently Asked Questions
What Classes as Assault?
Assault occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another person to fear immediate and unlawful force against them. In other words, physical violence is not required for a person to have committed assault, only inciting fear. There are three main types of assault: common assault, actual bodily harm (ABH) and grievous bodily harm (GBH)/wounding.
What is an example of Assault?
Assault comes in various different forms depending on the offence. A shaken fist or threatening words can be classed as common assault. ABH is any form of assault or battery that causes minor injuries, such as scratches, bruises or bite marks. GBH is an assault that inflicts “really serious harm”, such as a broken bone, a significant loss of blood or severe psychiatric injuries.
What Classes as Battery?
Battery occurs when an individual intentionally or recklessly applies unlawful force against another person. Therefore, a charge of battery requires force to have been applied, which may or may not cause injury.
What is an example of Battery?
A common example of battery is where one person hits another person during the course of an argument. However, it’s important to remember that battery doesn’t have to be a result of violence. Any physical contact can lead to a battery charge, including poking or pushing, assuming that this application of force was done with the aim of causing harm.
What are Typical Assault or Battery Charges?
You may be found guilty of battery or assault if it can be proven that you have committed any of the following acts:
- Common assault
- Aggravated assault
- Racially or religiously aggravated common assault
- Actual bodily harm (ABH)
- Premeditated ABH
- Actual bodily harm with intent
- Unlawful wounding with intent
- Grievous Bodily harm (GBH)
- Racially or religiously aggravated GBH
- Single-blow GBH
- Premeditated GBH / GBH with intent
What is Section 20 Assault?
A Section 20 Assault under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 is a charge of grievous bodily harm (GBH) or unlawful wounding whereby the victim suffers some kind of “really serious harm”. Injuries can be physical, psychiatric or an infection (such as through sexual activity). Wounding involves the breaking of the outer or inner skin.
This form of GBH or unlawful wounding is considered less serious than a Section 18 Assault and carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
What is Section 18 Assault?
A Section 18 Assault is the most serious form of grievous bodily harm (GBH) or unlawful wounding. For this offence to be committed, it must be proven that the offender intended to cause very serious harm to the victim. The prosecution must provide evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed grievous bodily harm or unlawful wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Various factors are considered when assessing culpability, including the level of planning or premeditation, the use of a highly dangerous weapon, and whether it was a prolonged or persistent assault. The maximum punishment for Section 18 Assault is life imprisonment. For more information, read our blogs about navigating Section 18 charges and safeguarding your rights and examining the element of intent.
How are Assault and Battery Proven?
Battery and Assault (in particular ABH and GBH) are primarily proven through the existence of injuries. This is because the activities which are illegal under the statutes result in injury.
What Carries a Heavier Sentence – Battery or Common Assault?
Although they are separate statutes, battery is contained within the overall definition of assault. In terms of severity, according to the Sentencing Council, battery carries a heavier sentence than common assault.
How Long Do Assault & Battery Stay On Your Criminal Record?
The amount of time a criminal conviction stays on your record depends on the level of DBS check and the length of your sentence. A basic DBS check only shows unspent criminal convictions. A standard DBS check shows spent and unspent convictions, warnings, and reprimands.
What is The Maximum Sentence For Assault or Battery?
The maximum sentence for assault, as a baseline, is 5 years’ imprisonment. If the court finds the assault was racially or religiously motivated, they will add an additional 2 years to the maximum sentence. If, however, the assault was committed with an intent to commit GBH (Section 18), the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
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