Common Assault

Common Assault is any act but not the failure to act, where a person intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence.

A common assault charge can still be laid on another person even if the violence has not occurred and instead there is just an immediacy of fear of that violence occurring.

Some examples of assault include:

  • Touching a person with any part of your body ;
  • Slapping a person;
  • Throwing an object at another person (even if it misses); or
  • Unlawful imprisonment of another person.
  • Coughing or spitting on another person
  • Hugging another person;
  • Kissing another person



The Law in relation to Common Assault is found in section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It states:

“Whoever assault any person, although not occasioning bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years”

An assault is a Common Assault when it does not result in any injury, or results in injuries that have not caused a wound or broken a skin layer in any way.



Common Assault is punishable with imprisonment up to 2 years or fines of up to $2,200.00.

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending.

In NSW, the following possible penalties for a common assault charge are:

  • Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Conditional Release Order (CRO); and/or
  • Fine.



Since Common Assault is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt being:

  • You assaulted the victim; and
  • Intentionally or recklessly caused another person to assume immediate and unlawful violence.
  • The person did not consent to the assault; and
  • You have not established any defence at law; and
  • It was not a case of lawful correction.



Some of the possible defences available for those charged with common assault can include:

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”; or
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence” even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there be circumstances where you may argue that there was “No duty or need to retreat”.
  • If the person consented to the assault; or
  • The touching/assault occurred in the everyday movement of people going about life in our society.



For Common Assault, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email for more information. The first consultation is free.

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