Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)

Lawyers NSW

What is Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)


Actual Bodily Harm is a more serious type of assault than Common Assault. It involves conduct by a person which causes physical or psychological injury to another person. The injury can be permanent or temporary, but a certain injury must be suffered by the victim as a result of the assault. There is no definition as to the extent of the injury, and it can simply be as minor as a bruise or small laceration.


ABH & The Law

Under Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900, it is a criminal offence to assault another person, the result of which causes actual bodily harm to that person.

This is a charge that is commonly prosecuted, and treated very seriously by the Courts.


Examples of ABH

  • Any assault where an injury or hurt is sustained. This could include minor scratches, bruising, cuts or lacerations.


What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):

  • That the accused committed an act where force was used, and

  • That the accused caused the assault intentionally or recklessly, and 

  • The accused carried out the conduct without the consent of the other person, and

  • The actions of the accused caused physical or psychological harm to the victim


It is important to note, that the Prosecution does not have to prove that the accused had a intention to assault the victim and to cause the harm, but merely that he or she was reckless and as a result those injuries were sustained.

Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”

If you have been charged with ABH, you will have to go before the Court, and if convicted, you will receive a criminal record, and potential further implications such as community service or time in custody. The penalties for ABH can be harsh, The maximum penalty in the Local Court can be a maximum of two years or a fine of up to $5,500, or both. However, if the matter is heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty can be up to five years imprisonment. If the assault occurred in the company of another person, the maximum penalty can increase to up to 7 years imprisonment.


Lawyer Call – Help is just a click away..

Being charged with ABH can be stressful due to the seriousness of the charge, and the implications this could have on your life, family and future aspirations. At Lawyer Call, we seek to understand the exact details of the incident first and foremost. Our Senior Defence Lawyers have shown time and time again their drive to beat these charges, and help you return to normal life.

Their tireless and resilient dedication to assessing each incident individually, have often resulted in having these charges dropped at an early stage, making Representations to Police addressed to the Police Officer in Charge at the Local Area Command and the Police Prosecutor’s Office outlining why in those certain cases, there is not enough evidence to suggest that the actions were committed with recklessness, or alternatively that the injuries sustained were not as such as to equate to an Actual Bodily Harm.

In those cases where a plea of guilty is accepted as the best possible way to proceed, Lawyer Call Criminal Lawyers also understand the intricacies of conducting powerful pleas before a Magistrate, the importance of gathering the right documentation in support of your character, and addressing every possible avenue of mitigating the seriousness of the offence.

At Lawyer Call we take pride in our Online Legal Conferencing Service, together with our dedicated correspondence and face to face consultations.

Call us today and together we will put up the right fight 



“I cannot begin to thank Paul for his tireless efforts with my case. Would recommend them anybody with a criminal matter their clear communication and expert advice got me my best possible outcome”


—  Casey, Nurse


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