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AssaultĀ – Assault & Violence Offences – SA

What the Law States according to SA Law for Assault

You assault a person if you:

  • intentionally make physical contact with a person, knowing they may object to that contact, or
  • threaten, accost or impede another person, with or without physical contact.

The Maximum Penalty – Assault

According to SA Law for the charge of Assault,

The maximum penalty for a basic offence is 2 years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated, the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment.

An offence is aggravated if you:

  • deliberately and systematically inflicted severe pain on the victim
  • used, or threatened to use, an offensive weapon
  • committed the offence against a police or prison officer
  • tried to dissuade a victim from participating in legal proceedings
  • knew the victim was under 12 years of age
  • knew the victim was over 60 years of age
  • committed the offence against a former spouse/partner
  • committed the offence against your child or a child of your former spouse/partner
  • committed the offence in company with another person
  • abused a position of trust or authority
  • committed the offence against a disabled person
  • committed the offence against a person who was vulnerable because of their employment, or
  • committed the offence in contravention of a court order (eg a bail agreement or restraining order).

What the Police must prove according to SA Law for Assault

In order to be convicted of an assault it must be proved that:

  • there was physical contact or a threat of some sort
  • the act was done intentionally
  • you did not have the consent of the other person, and
  • the act was outside the boundaries normal of social interaction.

Possible Defences under SA Law – Assault

You may have a defence to the charge if:

  • your conduct is accepted in the community as normal social interaction
  • the other person consented to your behaviour
  • you were acting in self-defence, defence of another or defence of property
  • your action was unintentional (for example an accident or an automatism)
  • you had a lawful excuse, or
  • you had a mental impairment.

Even if it seems that none of the above defences apply to your case, Caldicott & Co solicitors may be able to have your charge withdrawn. For further information and advice please make an appointment with one of the criminal law specialist solicitors at Caldicott & Co.

In SA which court will hear the matter?

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