Assault and the law


If you have been arrested for any crime then you should contact a solicitor. Once you have been arrested, you have a right to legal advice on the relevant law.

Assault is a serious area of crime and has grave penalties in the courts. If you are found guilty of assault, the law’s guidelines for sentencing are available for both the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court.

What are the sentancing guidelines?

In the magistrates’ court the sentencing guidelines for assault vary depending on the seriousness of the offence – if it is a premeditated assault involving serious injury with the use of a weapon it should be referred to the Crown Court for sentencing as the magistrates are unlikely to have sufficient sentencing powers for the crime.

If the offence was minor, not pre-meditated and the injury caused was not permanent, the accused may be sentenced to a high level community order.

Assault can result in serious penalties for anyone convicted, so it is important that a solicitor is instructed from the moment you are taken to the police station. It is not advisable to give samples or be interviewed by the police without your solicitor present.


The parameters of assault concern assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. With regards to the law, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm is the most serious and as an indictable offence it can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm may be tried in either the magistrates’ court or the Crown Court, depending on the nature of the offence.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on assault and the law, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist criminal / assault law solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local criminal / assault law solicitors please call us on 0800 046 1464 or complete the web-form above. 

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