J R JONES SOLICITORS
0121 777 7864
JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
solicitors Birmingham

Offences against the person
Assault, Wounding, GBH, ABH.

Offences Against the Person Act means different types of assault. These offences vary in seriousness and therefore the severity of the penalty that can be imposed by the Courts.

Whilst all these offences are serious, we have listed them in order of the penalty which can be imposed, the offences are: (most severe penalty first)

  1. Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – Wounding (with intent)
  2. Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – Wounding (without intent)
  3. Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)contact us
  4. Common Assault

If you are arrested or charged with an offence such as GBH, ABH, assault or wounding, contact us to speak to one of our experienced criminal defence solicitors.

Below are details of some of the offences included in the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861. Click on a link to jump to that section.

Legal advice for Offences Against the Person

If you are arrested you should ask for a Solicitor at the earliest opportunity. You have a right to legal representation. J R Jones solicitors are available 24 hours a day on 0961 369 885. Please make a note of this number. In office hours you can also call us on 0121 777 7864.

Advice at a Police Station is free of charge and will be paid for by Legal Aid. This does not depend on your financial circumstances.

Common Assault

Common Assault is when someone either applies unlawful force on another person (for example by hitting or slapping), or makes them afraid that immediate force will be used against them.

There does not need to be any injury caused, in fact if an injury was caused then the offence would often be elevated to a charge of Actual Bodily Harm (ABH).

Common assaults are offences which can only be dealt with in the Magistrates Court. These offences are usually dealt with by a fine or a community penalty but the maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment.

We have a lot of experience of defending clients charged with Common Assault. Please contact us for more information.

Grievous bodily harm (GBH)

There are two different offences of GBH, they are:

  • GBH with intent (to cause grievous bodily harm)
  • GBH without intent (to cause grievous bodily harm)

Grievous Bodily Harm is defined as ‘really serious bodily harm’.

The important distinction when it comes to sentencing is the intent to cause grievous bodily harm or lack of intent.

If the attacker only intended to cause ‘some harm or pain’ and not ‘grievous bodily harm’ then this is a less serious offence carrying a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and may be dealt with by either the Crown or Magistrates Court.

If there was intent then the offence will be dealt with by the Crown Court (rather than the Magistrates Court) and can carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

We have a lot of experience of defending clients charged with GBH. Please contact us for more information.

Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)

Actual bodily harm is where harm has been caused, but the only intention of the attacker was to want to assault the victim, with no intent to actually cause injury. The harm caused will often be more minor, for example bruises.

The prosecution therefore only has to prove that an assault was carried out, in addition to showing that bodily harm was caused; they do not have to show that actual bodily harm was intended. contact us

ABH may be dealt with in either the Crown or Magistrates Court. This offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

We have a lot of experience of defending clients charged with ABH. Please contact us for more information.