What Evidence Is Needed For Assault: 3 Crucial Facts to Defend Your Rights
What evidence is needed for assault?
Evidence that can be used to file assault charges include witness statements, victim statements, police reports, medical records, photos, communication records, CCTV footage or recorded video, and physical evidence.
The Crimes Act of 1900 outlines the numerous assault offences in New South Wales.
Assault is a criminal offence, and evidence needed to secure a conviction will depend on the nature and location of the assault.
Generally, the prosecution must establish that the accused intentionally or recklessly used or threatened to use force against the victim without their consent.
These elements are needed to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
What Evidence Is Needed For Assault?
What evidence is needed for assault charges to proceed?
Here are some types of evidence that can help prove an assault charge:
- Witness statements: Testimony from witnesses present at the assault or any pertinent events preceding or following it.
- Victim’s statement: The victim’s detailed account of the incident, including the circumstances, the alleged offender’s actions, and the victim’s fear of imminent and unlawful violence.
- Police report: Documentation from the police, including observations made at the site, statements taken, and any charges brought against the accused.
- Medical records: Documents or statements from medical professionals describing the victim’s injuries and treatment can help establish the use of force.
- Photos: Photographs of the victim’s injuries or property damage can be evidence of an assault.
- Communication records: Any relevant text messages, emails, or recorded phone calls between the victim and the alleged perpetrator, particularly if they contain threats, admissions of guilt, or evidence of a motive.
- CCTV footage or other video recordings: If available, video evidence depicts the incident or events associated with the assault.
- Physical evidence: Any relevant items, such as clothing, weapons, or other objects, that may have played a role in the assault or are associated with the suspect.
What are the Different Types of Assault in Australia?
Now that you know the answer to the question: What evidence is needed for assault? It’s time to know the common types of assaults in Australia.
Across the states and territories, the following are the most common forms of assault:
- Common Assault: This is the least serious form of assault and involves the intentional or reckless application of force or the threat of force against a victim without their consent. Also included is causing the victim to fear imminent unlawful violence. Physical injury is not required for the existence of common assault.
- Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH): This form of assault involves causing the victim actual bodily harm, typically more severe than minor injuries. The injuries may consist of scrapes, slashes, or more severe wounds that are not considered grave or permanent.
- Assault Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) or Wounding: This is a more severe form of assault that entails causing grievous bodily harm, such as permanent or life-threatening injuries or significant disfigurement. Typically, a wound results from a cut or blunt force to the epidermis.
- Sexual Assault: This assault involves sexual contact or penetration without consent. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the incident, sexual assault can range from inappropriate contact to rape.
What are the Common Defences for Assault Charges?
If you have the answer to the question: What evidence is needed for assault, you can lay out your defence.
Some common defences for assault charges include:
- Lawful correction
- Accidental actions
This defence asserts that the defendant used force to defend themselves, another individual, or their property from imminent danger.
The use of force must be proportionate to the threat and reasonable, given the situation.
According to Section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), the defendant can only use self-defence in these circumstances:
A person acts in self-defence if and only if he or she believes that the action is necessary—
- to defend oneself or another person, or
- to prevent or end the unlawful deprivation of a person’s freedom or the freedom of another person,
- to safeguard property against unauthorized taking, destruction, damage, or interference, or
- to prevent criminal trespass on any land or property or to remove a person who commits such trespass, the behaviour is a reasonable response to the circumstances perceived by that person.
The accused may sometimes argue that the alleged victim consented to apply force.
This defence is more commonly used in situations involving contact sports or consensual rough play and is generally not applicable in cases of serious injury or sexual assault.
In New South Wales, parents have always been permitted to physically discipline their children with reasonable and moderate force.
Section 61AA of the Crimes Act of 1900 specifies permissible corporal punishment for children. The amount of force used must be proportional to the child’s age, health, and maturity.
No force should be applied to the child’s head or neck.
This defence is used when the defendant claims they were coerced into committing the assault out of fear of imminent harm to themselves or another person.
The defendant must demonstrate that they had a reasonable belief that the threat was real and that a person of average resolve would have acted similarly.
In certain instances, the accused may assert their actions were unintentional and not intended to cause harm or terror.
Question: What Evidence Is Needed For Assault?
Answer: Evidence that can be used to file assault charges are: witness statements, victim statements, police reports, medical records, photos, communication records, CCTV footage or recorded video, and physical evidence.
Need Guidance On How to Get Assault Charges Dismissed?
At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the complexity of assault charges and are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal advice and representation.
Our lawyers and practitioners are highly experienced and knowledgeable, and we are committed to helping our clients receive the best possible outcome.