Assault charges are surrounded by ambiguity, the common confusion between assault and battery offences means that Defendants do not often fully understand the details of the offence that they’ve been charged with; something which is key to them understanding their trial and possible sentencing.
Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988
Common assault is the least serious of assault charges as no actual physical contact needs to occur to be found guilty of this offence. There just needs to be proof that the defendant caused the victim to fear that immediate physical violence would be used against them. This could be in the form of a verbal threat combined with a raised fist or something along a similar vein.
Although this rarely results in a custodial sentence, it does appear on your criminal record and repeat offenders of a violent nature could find themselves facing imprisonment. A conviction of Common Assault can result in imprisonment for up to 6 months.
If the term “assault by beating” is used in your case then this means some form of unlawful physical contact has been made. This can take the form of a slap/scratch or spit and need not leave any physical marks or bruises. If bruising is present then you may be charged with Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) which is a more serious offence. If physical violence does occur immediately after an assault, the Defendant will also be charged with a battery offence.
We have lots of experience in representing people accused of Common Assault and are able to advise you based on your own personal circumstances. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly team simply give us a call on 01254 505090 or use our online contact form.
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