Assault can cover a wide array of circumstances, ranging from minor assaults (such as pushing or spitting) through to the most serious assaults of wounding with intent.
Our specialist defence solicitors advise and represent those accused across the full spectrum of violent crimes, to help you get the best possible outcome for your situation. There are a range of offences that someone accused of assault can be charged with:
- Common assault/assault by beating
- Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH)
- Unlawful wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm (s20)
- Wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent (s18)
- Assault on an emergency worker
We can swiftly analyse the available evidence, take your account of events and identify the availability of defences to assault. Defences come in many different forms:
- Lawful consent
- Lawful sport
- Lawful correction
- Prevention of crime
- Defence of another
Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?
Our specialist team of defence lawyers defend in the most serious and high profile assaults, as well as more minor assaults in the magistrates’ court. No matter what the allegation, our lawyers are here to provide expert advice and support throughout. We understand that people can unexpectedly find themselves in extraordinary situations. Entering the criminal justice system is a stressful and daunting experience.
Our experienced solicitors take a proactive approach to each case, from the moment a police investigation arises through to trial and, if needed, appeal. We guide people through the police station and court process, ensuring they fully understand each stage and are aware of their options.
Our team has over 40 years’ experience and has built up a wealth of affiliations with expert witnesses, including forensic pathologists, who can provide quality opinions on injuries. Expert evidence such as this can be crucial at trial. The type of assault with which you’re charged depends on the degree of injury inflicted. Read our legal guidance about what the difference is between ABH, GBH and common assault.
It is, therefore, essential that you seek specialist legal advice since the level of injury alleged can be challenged by expert evidence. The consequences and punishment for each offence differ considerably depending on the level of injury inflicted, so it is vital to ensure the CPS have pursued the correct charge and that the court is provided with accurate details as to the extent of harm caused.
Featured Case: R v C
We represented a young man of good character suffering with schizophrenia who was charged with assaulting a police officer following an incident in which he was restrained by four officers who put him in full body restraints. We obtained psychiatric evidence and sent a lengthy letter of representations to the CPS, following which the case was discontinued.
Featured Case: R v D
Partner Kiran Mehta acted for an alleged enforcer for a reputable lettings agency charged with GBH on an older tenant. CPS relied heavily upon the tenant’s injuries and the fact that the alleged enforcer, who was a bodybuilder and security trained, had assaulted the tenant for non-payment of rent. Successful acquittal following the deployment of self-defence, which was raised at the earliest possible opportunity during the police station interview.
Featured Case: R v R
Our defendant was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent after trial. The case involved a serious stabbing. Identification was an issue and we were able to prove with expert CCTV enhancement that it was not the defendant in the footage.
Featured Case: R v JT
We provided representation for a man charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) who was accused of using a glass to assault a person. Following a guilty plea and expert mitigation he received an absolute discharge.
How are self-defence cases handled?
It is widely accepted that a person may use reasonable force when defending themselves against an attack. The question of whether the force used was reasonable will be a question for the court who will essentially consider:
- Whether the use of force necessary in the circumstances
- Whether the force used was reasonable in the circumstances.
What if my actions were to prevent a crime?
Under common law, a person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offender. Again, when considering whether the force used was reasonable a court will look at the circumstances of the case.
What sentence am I likely to get?
There are sentencing guidelines which the court must consider when sentencing for offences involving assaults. These vary depending on the charge and the circumstances of the allegation. Our highly skilled solicitors can put forward mitigation to obtain the lowest possible sentence, including one that goes outside of the sentencing guidelines.
When should I seek legal advice?
Whether invited for a voluntary interview or interviewed under arrest, it’s important to obtain expert advice at the police station as this is the first opportunity to give your account and put forward any potential defence. The very best way to avoid adverse consequences arising from a police investigation is to ensure you’re never charged with an offence.
We’re the leading experts in making representations to the police and prosecution not to charge someone with an offence, if appropriate. This includes obtaining expert evidence as early as possible to support these representations and ensure your case never reaches court.
How do you support vulnerable clients?
Our defence solicitors have extensive experience representing those suffering from mental health issues and learning difficulties. All too often we come across vulnerable people accused of violent crimes which have arisen due to their personal circumstances.
We take a pre-emptive approach by instructing a mental health expert to undertake an assessment and provide a report on behalf of the accused. These reports can be vital for either preventing prosecution, challenging the elements of an offence at trial or ensuring the best possible sentence.