There are many different types of offences of violence but the ones that are the most common are those referred below:
- Common Assault or better known as Battery,
- Section 47 Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm,
- Section 20 Wounding (without intent)
- Section 18 Wounding
These are all offences contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
Common Assault/Battery Offences
This offence is known as a “summary only” matter and if charged with this offence alone then an accused would only be tried in a Magistrates Court. If an accused aswell as being charged with this offence is also charged with more serious linked offences then and only then can this offence be tried in a Crown Court.
If an accused is only charged with this offence then they will be tried in a Magistrates Court only and the maximum penalty if convicted is one of 6 months Imprisonment.
Section 47 Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
Section 47 Assault is in fact known as an “either way offence” which means it can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court and arises when actual bodily harm has been caused. In the Crown Court it carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.
Section 20 Wounding (without intent)
Section 20 Assaults involve grievous (or really serious) bodily harm or a wound. Again, the offence is either way which means it can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. In the Crown Court the maximum sentence is five years imprisonment. Whilst the injuries are more serious than a Section 47 Assault, the reason for the same maximum sentence is the fact that there is no intent to cause the injuries.
Section 18 Wounding
This is one of the most serious offences of violence which is commonly referred to GBH/Wounding. This offence is indictable only, which means it can only be dealt with in the Crown Court. The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment.