The offence of assault can vary widely in seriousness and outcome. An assault is actually an unlawful display of force that creates in the mind of the victim a fear that the force is about to be applied. If that force is actually applied then technically a battery has occurred. In practical terms the aspect of assault and battery are not often separated.
If a person causes harm from an assault then that is a factor that the courts take into account. It does not necessarily have to be physical harm but can include psychological harm.
Assaults may be aggravated if the victim is greater than 60 years old or has a disability. An aggravated assault is also charged if there are two or more offenders involved or if a weapon is used.
If serious harm results from the assault then an accused person can face significant gaol terms. ‘Serious harm’ has a legal definition and at Woods & Co we have often been successful in having charges downgraded when that legal definition cannot be met.