Common Grievous Assault

Assault Charges

I found a very useful content in Queensland Court’s website. You can read it HERE

What is Grievous Bodily Harm and Common Assault

Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) stats,

Grievous bodily harm

According to Definitions of Section 1

“grievous bodily harm” means—

(a) the loss of a distinct part or an organ of the body; or

(b) serious disfigurement; or

(c) any bodily injury of such a nature that, if left untreated, would endanger or be likely to endanger life, or cause or be likely to cause permanent injury to health;

Section 320 Grievous bodily harm

(1) Any person who unlawfully does grievous bodily harm to another is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

(3A) The Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 sections 108B and 161Q state a circumstance of aggravation for an offence against this section.

(4) An indictment charging an offence against this section with the circumstance of aggravation stated in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 section 161Q may not be presented without the consent of a Crown Law Officer.


Section 245 states,

(1) A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent, or with the other person’s consent if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the other person’s consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the person’s purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an
“assault” .

(2) In this section—

“applies force” includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any other substance or thing whatever if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort.


For instance, if you were to threaten someone by holding a pencil and indicating that you would harm them with it, this action could be considered as an assault. Therefore, it’s possible to face charges of assault without physically making contact with the other individual.


Section 348 of Criminal Code states about what is consent.


You might assume that the process works like this: initially, the prosecution must demonstrate that an assault occurred and that it was carried out by the defendant. Subsequently, they must establish that the assault was severe enough to qualify as grievous bodily harm. If you successfully contest the assault charge, you might assume that the defence against the grievous bodily harm charge becomes unnecessary. However, this isn’t accurate. A charge of grievous bodily harm can result in a successful case even if assault charges are absent altogether.


Grievous bodily harm heavily relies on medical evidence, making it challenging to contest. It’s not a straightforward, clear-cut matter. Moreover, the concept isn’t strictly binary. When it comes to grievous bodily harm charges, two potential defences are provocation and self-defence.


In R v BDZ [2023] QCA 59, it was stated –

As was explained in R v Free; Ex parte Attorney-General (Qld) (2020) 4 QR 80, 99 at [55] there is no requirement that a sentencing judge must impose an early parole eligibility date in response to mitigating considerations such as a plea of guilty.


Possible sentence can be upto 14 years and what the above paragraph states is, that there a selection of early parole date is not mandatory. In that case you will have to serve 80% of the sentenced terms before the person can be eligible for parole. 


Possible Defence to Assault Charges 

The most common defence to assault charges is denying that you have ever did any act which would constitute an Assault. If you believe that there are no proof which means it is not possible to find you guilty, that could be a wrong expectation. 

The other common defence is provocation. Section 269 of Criminal Code states, 

269 Defence of provocation

(1) A person is not criminally responsible for an assault committed upon a person who gives the person provocation for the assault, if the person is in fact deprived by the provocation of the power of self-control, and acts upon it on the sudden and before there is time for the person’s passion to cool, and if the force used is not disproportionate to the provocation and is not intended, and is not such as is likely, to cause death or grievous bodily harm.

(2) Whether any particular act or insult is such as to be likely to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control and to induce the ordinary person to assault the person by whom the act or insult is done or offered, and whether, in any particular case, the person provoked was actually deprived by the provocation of the power of self-control, and whether any force used is or is not disproportionate to the provocation, are questions of fact.

The difficulty lies in the fact that the burden of proving provocation falls on the defendant. If you’re facing an assault charge and believe that you were provoked, it becomes your responsibility to provide evidence to support this claim. Demonstrating provocation is not a simple task; it necessitates extensive research into a significant number of case laws to ascertain if your narrative is sufficiently robust to establish a case of provocation.

Need Legal Advice?

You may have arguable defence to challenge your charges but it might be best if you seek legal advice before that. This article contains only the crux, there are more important information you need to know if you proceed to challenge. Failing to prove your point in the court may result harsher sentence and will have to pay Offender Levy.

AJ Faisal criminal lawyer Brisbane for corporate fraud or white collar fraud Charges

About AJ Faisal

Every case is unique, I possess a distinct talent for uncovering often-overlooked facts, an open mind that allows for creative problem-solving, and a strong ability to think outside the box. I empathize with individuals facing police charges, and I consider it my duty to secure the best possible outcome for the defendant.

I am A J Faisal and I have completed my law degree at the University of Southern Queensland. I am passionate about criminal defence and I gained valuable experience by working as a Law Clerk and shadowing Mr Mackenzie for more than 3 years. Ken is an accredited criminal defence lawyer with more than 23 years of experience in practice. I am a solicitor in the State of Queensland. Retain me for your criminal matter

These are blog posts and are not advice and please do not consider any of my blog posts as legal advice. These are merely to get basic and general ideas.

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