In the Australian state of Victoria, assault is a very serious offence that can have severe consequences. If you are charged with assault and subsequently convicted, you may face up to 25 years imprisonment, depending on the severity of the case. However, if you committed an assault while acting in self-defence, there is chance that you might not face any charges for your actions. In this post, we take a closer look at the differences between assault and self-defence in Victoria and what you should do if you are charged with assault.
What is Assault?
In Victoria, assault is a criminal offence that is typically characterised by one person causing physical hurt to another person. Assault can occur in many different forms depending on the degree of hurt caused and the type of hurt caused. Some of the most common assault charges include common assault for less severe types of hurt, aggravated assault for more severe types of hurt and sexual assault for assaults that have a sexual crime element to them.
What is Self-Defence?
Self-defence is a defence that an accused individual can raise if they have been charged with assault or other similar crimes. If the defence is successfully argued, the accused individual will not face any consequences for their original act which would have otherwise been a crime.
How Dow Self-Defence Apply in Assault Cases?
Self-defence is a valid defence that can be raised in assault cases. However, to successfully raise this defence, there are two main elements that an accused individual must show under the Victorian Crimes Act which was updated in 2005.
Firstly, the accused must be able to show that they believed their conduct was necessary in self-defence. This means that if they assaulted someone, it must have been a necessary action to protect themselves from harm. Secondly, the accused must also be able to show that their conduct was a reasonable response in the given circumstances. These elements are subjective and will be determined by the court.
What to Do if You Have Been Arrested?
If you have been arrested on charges of assault, the most important thing for you to do is to engage an assault lawyer. Regardless of whether you believe that you were acting in self-defence, an assault lawyer would be in the best position to advise you on your case. They can also help you apply for bail, negotiate with prosecutors and submit any representations and defences to the court.
Assault Lawyers in Melbourne
Leanne Warren & Associates is a leading law firm in Melbourne specialising in assault law and general criminal law. We understand that the facts of each case are unique and that there is no one size fits all solution. Our criminal lawyers have decades of experience in the field and are dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcomes in their situations. Contact us today for a free consultation on all your legal needs.