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Assault Causing Death

Assault Causing Death is an offence under Section 25A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You assaulted another person by intentionally hitting them with any part of your body or with an object held by you
  2. The assault was not authorised or excused by the law, and
  3. The assault caused the other person’s death

Causing’ includes the death resulting from hitting the ground or another object.

The prosecution does not need to prove the death was reasonably foreseeable.

The maximum penalty increases to 25 years where you were intoxicated.

In that event, a mandatory minimum full term sentence of 8 years applies as well as a mandatory minimum ‘non parole period’ of 4 years.

The ‘non parole period’ is the time you must spend in prison before being eligible to apply for release on parole.

You are conclusively presumed to be ‘intoxicated’ if your breath or blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more.

It is a defence to the intoxication element where the intoxication was not self induced, or where you had a significant cognitive impairment which was not self induced.

Self defence is the main defence to the charge.

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