At James Jackson Criminal Defence, we are highly experienced at representing clients charged with assault, whether it is a minor assault or a serious assault involving major injuries to the complainant. Our assault lawyer Perth can assist you with a tailored defence strategy that ensures you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

Common assault & assault occasioning bodily harm (AOBH)

Both common assault and AOBH are commonly dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Bodily harm is any bodily injury which interferes with health or comfort, such as a bruise or cut.

These offences encompass a wide variety of conduct from a simple slap in the face to serious, repeated assaults causing multiple bruises and other injuries.

Penalties can range from fines all the way up to terms of imprisonment.

Unlike many other offences, provocation is a defence to both of these offences. Provocation requires that there is a wrongful act or insult of such a nature as to deprive you of the power of self-control; and which induces you to assault the person doing the act or providing the insult.

Other defences include:

  • self-defence
  • that bodily harm cannot be proved
  • consent to the assault, or
  • that someone else assaulted the complainant.

Grievous bodily harm (GBH) & GBH with intent

GBH is an offence involving the doing of an act which causes a person to suffer “GBH”, which is any bodily injury of such a nature as to cause, or be likely to cause, permanent injury to health; or to endanger, or be likely to endanger, life.

GBH with intent has the additional element of intending to cause GBH, or various other intentions, and is a very complicated offence.

Examples of GBH are punching someone causing them a broken jaw; or causing a life-threatening injury such as a bleed on the brain which would have resulted in the death of a person had there been no medical treatment.

Penalties are usually lengthy terms of imprisonment.

Defences include self-defence, identity, lack of intent, or disputing that the injury was actually GBH.

This is a complicated offence and we recommend that you contact us immediately if you have been charged with GBH or GBH with intent.

Acts with intent to harm (section 304(2) Criminal Code)

This offence is a unique offence provision which requires the doing of bodily harm, or the endangering of life, with various different intentions at the time of doing the injury or endangering life.

It is often preferred for serious assaults where the injury done was not grievous bodily harm.

A common example is driving into someone with a car but only causing relatively minor injuries.

Defending such a charge is complex and there are numerous potential ways to approach the defence. We recommend you contact us to obtain expert advice as to how to defend this charge in the particular circumstances of your case.


Wounding requires the unlawful infliction of a wound, which is an injury which cuts through all the layers of the skin.

A common example is “glassing” someone in a pub, causing a deep cut.

Penalties can range from fines to imprisonment.

Provocation is not a defence to wounding. Sometimes, in a case where an assault was provoked, prosecutors may prefer wounding so that provocation is not available as a defence.

An alternative charge is AOBH, which does not require proof that all of the layers of the skin were broken.

Assault public officer (including police)

Assaulting a public officer requires an assault, and that the complainant was a public officer performing a function of their office.

Common examples are assaulting police who are doing their job, such as arresting someone. Or assaulting a bus driver or taxi driver.

Penalties are usually towards the level of imprisonment (suspended or otherwise), but can sometimes be lower.

There is mandatory imprisonment if you assault a police officer and cause them bodily harm. It is important that you contact us if you are charged with assaulting a public officer as you may not be aware that you are facing mandatory imprisonment if convicted.

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Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free 30 minute consultation if you require representation on an assault charge.

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We offer a no obligation, free 30 minute consultation if you are charged with a criminal offence. During the consultation we will provide you with comprehensive legal advice for the charge(s) you are facing. Contact us now to ensure you get the best possible advice from the outset of your case.

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