Assaults / Violence Offences – VIC

Welcome to the VIC Assault page. Read on to learn about the criminal offence Assault according to VIC law.

What the Law States

Crimes Act 1958 – SECT 31


31. Assault

(1) A person who-

(a) assaults or threatens to assault another person with intent to commit an indictable offence; or

(b) assaults or threatens to assault, resists or intentionally obstructs-

(i) a member of the police force in the due execution of duty; or

(ii) a person acting in aid of a member of the police force-

knowing that the member or person is such a member or person; or

(c) assaults or threatens to assault a person with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detention of a person-

is guilty of an indictable offence.

Penalty: Level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).

(2) In subsection (1), assault means the direct or indirect application of force by a person to the body of, or to clothing or equipment worn by, another person where the application of force is-

(a) without lawful excuse; and

(b) with intent to inflict or being reckless as to the infliction of bodily injury, pain, discomfort, damage, insult or deprivation of liberty-

and results in the infliction of any such consequence (whether or not the consequence inflicted is the consequence intended or foreseen).

(3) In subsection (2)-

application of force includes-

(a) application of heat, light, electric current or any other form of energy; and

(b) application of matter in solid, liquid or gaseous form.

Maximum Penalty – Assault

5 years

What the Police Must Prove – Assault

(a) The accused either assaulted with intent to commit an indictable offence, assaulted a police officer or resisted or obstructed a police officer.

Street Names

Unlawful assault, common assault

Possible Defences

(a) Duress
(b) Factual dispute
(c) Lack of intent
(d) Mental impairment
(e) Necessity
(f) Self defence

Which Court Will Hear the Matter

Magistrates’ Court

Further law information can be found on Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (click here).