Charged with Assault
We understand that facing these types of charges can be distressing and overwhelming. Our principal objective is to provide clear and proactive advice as well as sympathetic support throughout all stages of the criminal proceedings whilst ensuring the best possible outcome for our clients. We maintain strong relationships with several specialist criminal defence barristers who are leaders in their field and will make sure you have the best possible advocate should your case be heard in court.
Under English law, there are three main types of assault: common assault, actual bodily harm (ABH) and grievous bodily harm (GBH). The legal definition of a common assault is any situation in which you’ve put someone in fear of immediate violence. Where injuries such as lesions or bruises have been caused, the more likely charge will be assault resulting in ABH. If serious injuries such as broken bones or disfigurement have occurred, the charge will likely be assault resulting in GBH. Cases of common assault cases are heard by the Magistrates’ Court if they are not considered to be racially aggravated, whilst ABH and GBH can be heard in the Crown Court.
Professional Impact of an Assault Conviction
The consequences of an assault conviction can be wide ranging, as well as a possible custodial sentence it is important to consider the potential professional ramifications involved. Our lawyers possess the requisite experience in defending these cases strategically, mitigating criminal penalties as well as limiting subsequent professional and reputational harm. A criminal record may prevent an individual from entering certain professions as employers are legally permitted to discriminate against an applicant if they have a conviction against their name.
Additionally, professional regulatory bodies may require you to report the offence and this can lead to disciplinary sanctions. The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) invariably makes clear that solicitors must abstain from criminal behavior and a failure to do so can lead to a fine or a rebuke. The SRA for example must simply prove the conviction and the underlying facts by obtaining a copy of the certificate of conviction and a transcript of the sentencing remarks.
Approved persons under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) must also disclose offences if they are listed offences; assault can be considered a listed offence depending on the circumstances. Whilst not all criminal convictions will lead to disciplinary sanction by a regulator, it is key that solicitors comply with their self-reporting obligations and instruct legal representation at the outset in order to effectively navigate the subsequent disciplinary proceedings.