Violent Offences

EBR Attridge regularly represent clients charged with violent offences. We ensure that clients receive a fair trial by fully preparing all aspects of their defence to ensure they have the very best chance of success.

This can include undertaking extensive defence enquiries regarding witnesses, other evidence (such as CCTV) or instructing a wide range of experts to provide expert evidence.

We are regularly instructed to act for defendants charged with violent offences, such as:

Common Assault /Assault by beating

In order to be convicted of a common assault the prosecution have to prove that you intentionally or recklessly caused someone else to fear immediate unlawful violence.  The term 'by battery' simply means that you are alleged to have intentionally or recklessly applied unlawful force to the complainant.  This means that the slightest of contact may amount to an assault.  Force applied in reasonable self defence (or defence of another) is not unlawful.  Similarly, force applied with the consent of the complainant is not unlawful.  Being reckless means foreseeing the possibility that the complainant will be caused to fear unlawful force or that unlawful force will be applied and going on to take the risk.

Common assault is a summary only offences, this means that it should ordinarily be tried in the magistrates court and can attract a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment.


Actual Bodily Harm

In order to be convicted of this offence the prosecution must prove that you committed an assault (that is causing someone to fear immediate unlawful violence, or, applying unlawful force to another, either intentionally or recklessly) and that the assault caused some injury to the complainant.  Evidence of the injury, however slight, is usually required before such a charge can be proved.  Being reckless means that you didn’t specifically intend the complainant to fear unlawful force or specifically intend to apply unlawful force but you foresaw the possibility of this happening and went on to take the risk anyway.

Actual Bodily harm is an either way offence, this means that the offence can be tried at either the magistrates court or the crown court. The case will usually commence at the magistrates court where a determination will be made as to whether the case should be heard in the magistrates court or the crown court. If the court determines that the case is too serious for the magistrates court then the case will be sent to the crown court. If the court considers the case suitable for trial in the magistrates court then you can be tried in the magistrates court unless you chose for the case to be sent to the crown court.

The maximum sentence is the crown court is 5 years imprisonment and 6 months in the magistrates court (although it is important to note that if you have your trial in the magistrates court then the court still retains the power to commit you to the crown court for sentencing purposes).


Grievous Bodily Harm

There are two types of offences under this category, with and without intent. For both offences either wounding or serious injury must be caused.  The prosecution must prove that you unlawfully wounded another (e.g. by cutting the skin) or that you caused really serious injury (physical or psychological) to another.  The wound or injury will usually need to be serious before this charge is brought.

For the with intent offence the prosecution are required to prove that you intended to cause grievous bodily harm.  Being reckless will not usually be enough (unless you were also attempting to avoid lawful arrest at the time).

For the without intent offence, the prosecution have to prove that you acted 'maliciously'.  This means that you either intended to cause some harm or you were reckless in that regard.  Being reckless means foreseeing the possibility that the complainant will be caused to fear unlawful force or that unlawful force will be applied and going on to take the risk.

The with intent offence can only be tried in the crown court and attracts a maximum sentence of   up to 16 years imprisonment.

The without intent offence can be tried in either the magistrates court or the crown court, depending on the seriousness of the facts of the particular case. The case will usually commence at the magistrates court where a determination will be made as to whether the case should be heard in the magistrates court or the crown court. If the court determines that the case is too serious for the magistrates court then the case will be sent to the crown court. If the court considers the case suitable for trial in the magistrates court then you can be tried in the magistrates court unless you chose for the case to be sent to the crown court.

In the magistrates court the maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment and in the crown court it is 5 years imprisonment. (although it is important to note that if you have your trial in the magistrates court then the court still retains the power to commit you to the crown court for sentencing purposes) .


With a wealth of experience we can offer our clients levels of service second to none from the initial advice and representation at the outset of any criminal investigation (warrant executions, Police station attendance for any reason) through to all stages of any court process. Our team is able to offer its knowledge of serious, complicated, and complex case issues in preparing any client for the matter ahead ensuring that you get the best advice at the right time.

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