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Criminal Lawyers for Causing Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding with Intent Charges – s 33 Crimes Act 1900

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Intentionally causing grievous bodily harm or wounding is a serious offence that can have a negative impact on your life and future.

However, with Sydney’s best criminal lawyers on your side, you can give yourself the strongest possible defence against the charges and secure the best outcome in your case.

The Law

What is the Offence of Causing Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding with Intent?

Wounding or Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent is an offence under Section 33 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

‘Grievous bodily harm’ (GBH) is defined as ‘very serious harm’ it includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Any permanent or serious disfigurement
  2. The destruction of a foetus, other than by a medical procedure, and
  3. Any grievous bodily disease

‘Wounding’ is the breaking of both layers of the skin being the dermis and epidermis and includes a ‘split lip’.

What are the Penalties?

Although the maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment, this will generally only be reserved for the most serious of cases.

The type of penalty that you will receive ultimately depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. This means that the court will consider any relevant factors when determining the appropriate penalty, including the degree of violence used, and the nature and extent of injury caused.

The court will also have regard to other factors, such as your prior criminal record, whether or not you have demonstrated remorse (whether or not you have shown that you are sorry) and whether you have high chances of reoffending.

Statistics indicate that the most common penalty for intentionally wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm is imprisonment, with the median term being 66 months, with a non-parole period of 36 months. This means that the average time actually spent in gaol for this offence is 36 months.

What Does the Prosecution Have to Prove?

Before you can be found guilty of recklessly wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

1) That you caused a wound, or inflicted grievous bodily harm upon another person

A wound is generally defined as an injury that results when both layers of the skin are broken; for example, a deep cut or a split lip.

Grievous bodily harm is defined as ‘really serious harm’ – including permanent and serious disfigurement. Examples include broken bones, damage to internal organs, or the killing of a foetus.

2) That you did so intentionally

The prosecution must prove that you intended to inflict grievous bodily harm upon the other person. This means that you must have foreseen that your actions would have resulted in the extent of harm that was suffered by the other person.

In some cases, it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove intention, particularly if you were intoxicated when the offence was committed. In these situations, your lawyer can try to get the charge withdrawn and replaced with ‘recklessly causing wounding or grievous bodily harm,’ which carries lesser penalties.

What are the Defences?

The most common defences to Causing Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding with Intent are:

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm or wounding, the prosecution must prove two factors beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you caused a wound, or inflicted grievous bodily harm upon another person
  • You did so intentionally

A wound is generally defined as an injury that results when both layers of the skin are broken; for example, a deep cut or a split lip.

Grievous bodily harm is defined as ‘really serious harm’ – including permanent and serious disfigurement. Examples include broken bones, damage to internal organs, or the killing of a foetus.

If you feel that the prosecution will not be able to make out these factors, you may wish to consider pleading ‘not guilty’ and allowing our exceptional advocates to fight the charges in court.

We have a proven track record of getting charges dropped in serious assault charges by highlighting problems with the prosecution case and presenting evidence to prove our clients’ innocence – such as where the injury was not done intentionally.

Our highly-respected lawyers can also identify any possible defences to your conduct, and can assist you in raising these defences persuasively in court to ensure that you get the best possible chance of securing a positive outcome in your case.

Commonly raised defences for ‘intentionally causing grievous bodily harm and wounding’ include:

  • Where you were acting to protect yourself, another person, or your property (self-defence)
  • Where you were threatened or coerced into wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm upon another person (duress)
  • Where it was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)

If raised successfully, these defences will result in a finding of ‘not guilty.’

Pleading Guilty

If you are willing to admit to the charges, you may wish to enter a plea of guilty as soon as possible.

By entering an early guilty plea, you may increase your chances of getting a more favourable outcome as you will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions. Accordingly, the judge may impose a lighter penalty.

However, if you are thinking about pleading guilty, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defence lawyer to ensure that there are no available defences that you may raise.

If there exist defences to the charge and they are raised successfully, you may avoid a conviction.

If you are considering pleading guilty, it is also important to be aware of the maximum penalties that you may face.

The maximum penalty for intentionally causing grievous bodily harm or wounding is 25 years imprisonment, however, this is the maximum and will only apply in the most serious of cases.

The judge will determine the appropriate penalty after considering all the facts and circumstances of your case.

It is therefore important to ensure that you are being represented by a highly-experienced and reputable criminal lawyer who you can trust to present your case effectively to secure a positive outcome.

The experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® have considerable experience defending and winning some of the most serious ‘intentionally cause grievous bodily harm or wounding’ cases.

As a firm that exclusively practices criminal law, we have the in-depth knowledge and experience necessary to give our clients the best possible representation when it comes to persuading the court to deal with the matter leniently.

Over time, we have developed tried and tested techniques to give our clients the best possible chance at securing a positive outcome.

When it comes to your liberty, don’t take a gamble with a less experienced lawyer. Benefit from the experience of our Accredited Criminal Law Specialists.

The various penalties that the court can impose include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with.

Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.

    Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.

    Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

    We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.

    Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.

    We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.

    We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.

  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm

    We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.

    The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.

  4. Fixed Fees

    We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.

    We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First Appointment

    For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.

    We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.

  6. Specialist Lawyer Guarantee

    We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.

    This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.

  7. All NSW Courts

    From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.

    And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.

  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.

    All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.

    An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.

    Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

    Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.

  9. Results-Focused Law Firm

    Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.

    The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.

    Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.

    No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind You

    Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.

    Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

    A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.

    In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.

  11. Familiar with Magistrates and Judges

    Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.

    Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.

  12. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD offices, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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