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Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

Welcome to the WA Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH) article page. Everything you need to know about Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH) according to WA Law.

What the Law states according to WA Law for Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

According to WA Law for the charge of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH),

Section 317: Any person who unlawfully assaults another and thereby does that person bodily harm, is guilty of a crime.Section 222 of the Criminal Code defines assault: A person who strikes, touches or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to another person, either directly or indirectly, without his/her consent (or with his/her consent if that consent is obtained by fraud), or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to another without his/her consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect his/her purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called ‘assault’.

“Bodily harm” means any bodily injury which interferes with health or comfort.

Section 221 of the Criminal Code defines aggravation: Circumstances of aggravation means circumstances in which-

(a) the offender is in a family or domestic relationship with the victim;
(b) a child was present when the offence was committed;
(c) the conduct was in breach of a Restraining Order; or
(d) the victim was over the age of 60 years.

The Maximum Penalty – Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

According to WA Law for the charge of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH),If the offence is dealt with in the District Court, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 5 years. If the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation or in circumstances of racial aggravation, the maximum penalty is 7 years. If the matter is dealt with in the Magistrate’s Court; the maximum penalty is 2 years and a $24,000 fine. If the offence is committed in circumstances of aggravation or racial aggravation, the maximum penalty is 3 years and a $36,000 fine.

What the Police must prove according to WA Law for Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

  1. That the conduct alleged is an assault;
  2. That the offender intended to assault another;
  3. That the assault was unlawful; and
  4. That the assault caused bodily harm to the victim.

Possible Defences under WA Law – Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

(a) Accident;
(b) Consent;
(c) Provocation;
(d) Insanity;
(e) Duress;
(f) Emergency;
(g) Self-defence;
(h) Identification;
(i) Lawful authority; and
(j) The injury does not amount to bodily harm.

In WA which court will hear the matter – Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH)

The offence may be heard in the District Court, or the Magistrate’s Court if the matter is being dealt with summarily.

AOBH is an ‘either-way’ offence. Therefore, the offence is most often dealt with in the Magistrate’s Court, however, if the bodily harm caused is particularly serious or if the offender is also facing other charges which are dealt with in the District Court, then the Prosecution can make an application for the AOBH charge to be committed to the District Court.

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