Bexleyheath, Blackheath & Petts Wood
Grievous Bodily Harm
In the most serious cases, where it is alleged that there was an intention to cause really serious bodily harm, the case is tried in a Crown Court before a jury and the accused is not usually granted bail. A conviction is likely to result in a prison sentence with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Less serious cases, where it is alleged that there was an intention to cause only some harm or pain, can be tried either in a Magistrates court or a Crown court and there is a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.
Actual Bodily Harm
This is where actual bodily harm, results from an assault, although the accused intended to assault the victim, but did not intend to cause really serious injuries.
This offence is committed if unlawful force is applied to another person or where that person is afraid that immediate force will be used against them. There need not be any actual injury.
The offence is tried in a Magistrates court and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment. Usually, unless there are any issues which make the crime more serious, such as racial abuse or where there are other offences committed at the same time a guilty finding will result in a fine or community service.
There are a number of defences, the most usual of which is self defence. It may be that it can be shown that the injury was caused by someone else or that the assault did not occur at all, having been fabricated by the alleged victim.
If you have a defence it is important that you instruct a solicitor at an early stage so that they can obtain all relevant forensic or medical evidence or any other evidence which supports your defence.