Common Assault Defence

Have you recently been charged with common assault? We can help. Remember, if any potential prosecution is to be defended successfully, the sooner work begins on your defence the better. Do not be tempted to forget about it and hope it will go away, it won't!

Common Assault Definition

Common assault, also known as 'Section 39 Assault', is a when a person is guilty of assaulting another person or commits a battery. An assault is commited when a person intentionally, or as a result of their actions, cases another person harm or injury as a result of unlawful force. A battery is commited when a person intenionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another.

You can be charged with common assault even if the injury is not visible. The charge also includes situations where a person is made ill through shock, depression, or stress. The injury does not have to be a phsycial symptom.

Common assault is not the same charge as Actual Bodily Harm. Although, in law, the only factors that distinguish Common Assault from Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm are the degree of injury that results and the sentence available to the sentencing court, but the latter is factor is only relevant in the Crown Court. The magistrates' court is able to pass exactly the same maximum penalty for both offences, namely six months' imprisonment.     

Where battery results in injury to a person, there is a decision about which charge is to be given. The decsion will be based on the level of injuries caused, and the likely sentence that the court will pass.


Common Assault Sentencing

If you are charged with common assault, the court is able to charge you with a maximum sentence of six months' imprisonment. 

There may be exceptional cases where the injuries suffered by a victim are not serious and would usually amount to common assault but due to the presence of significant aggravating features, they could more appropriately be charged as ABH contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. This would only be where a sentence clearly in excess of six months' imprisonment should be available.

From time to time, there may be exceptional circumstances where a case would ordinarily be considered more suitable for being charged as Common Assault under this Charging Standard, but more than six months has passed since the incident complained of. In such circumstances it may be appropriate to charge an offence of ABH.


Common Assault Defence

There are certain circumstances where the law actually permits an individual to cause harm to another person without that amounting to a criminal offence. This will usually include situations where a person has been acting in self-defence. Very often injury can be caused to somebody else by accident. If the court accepts this it may find you not guilty of assault.

We also come across a large number of situations where the assault just did not take place in the first place. For a number of reasons people will very often make up a claim that somebody else has injured them. In prosecution cases of this nature it is vital that a very proactive approach to defence is taken and professional defence lawyers are we assure you that we will act appropriately to make sure your best interests are protected at all times.


FREE Common Assault Defence Assessment

Our Common Assault Solicitors can help with your Common Assault Defence so get in contact today or fill in our FREE Assault Defence Assessment form.

Fill in our free, confidential form and one of our solicitors will get back to you as soon as possible.

FAQ: What will be the Cost?

We understand that the cost of instructing a solicitor is something that can be a major concern. In order to prevent this worry we will tell you at the outset of your case exactly what our fixed fee will be for your case. Any fee agreed will be clearly advised and will include the cost of all aspects of your case including advice, preparation and representation at court. This means complete peace of mind for you when having us deal with your case.

Contact us for our Common Assault Defence

Our Common Assault Solicitors have significant experience and have been practicing in Common Assault cases for over 20 years now, so please don't hesitate to contact us free on 0800 634 7022 today.


Common Assault Defence:

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About Professional Defence Lawyers

Rob BimpsonProfessional Defence Lawyers is a dedicated defence firm of specialist Lawyers headed by Rob Bimpson and Tim Chapman. Both are Solicitors who have been qualified for over 20 years.

About Professional Defence Lawyers


Case Studies

We represented a manufacturing company who had a large factory with extensive machinery. An employee of the company expressed a breach of safety guidelines which had been put in place…


"PDL successfully defended us in court and achieved a not guilty verdict when one of our employees was injured. PDL were able to see that the worker didn’t follow the strict H&S procedures we have put in place and their expertise in this area helped us to prove our innocence."


"Our corporate client faced a Health and Safety Executive prosecution. An in depth investigation was carried out into a large number of allegedly defective heaters which our client had manufactured… "


"Professional Defence Lawyers were able to massively reduce the extent and level of seriousness of the health and safety prosecution we faced. They were outstanding throughout, and significantly reduced our financial penalty"