If you have been charged with intentionally causing serious injury, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.
Elements of the offence
A charge of Intentionally Causing Serious Injury contains four elements to be proven to be successful. They can be found in s 16 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:
- The alleged victim suffered a ‘serious injury’
- The accused caused the alleged victim’s serious injury;
- The accused intended to cause serious injury; and
- The accused acted without lawful justification or defence.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for intentionally causing serious injury will usually be heard in the County Court.
However, depending on the circumstances of the offence, the case may be heard in the Supreme Court; expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of intentionally causing serious injury.
A charge for intentionally causing serious injury may or may not go to a trial with a jury, depending on the circumstances surrounding the events that resulted in the charge.
Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all four elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the circumstances of the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument, and this offence carries a potentially lengthy sentence of imprisonment.
The maximum penalty this offence carries is 20 years imprisonment, known as a Level 3 imprisonment.
What sentences are usually given?
Due to legislative changes, if the offence was committed after 20 March 2017, a court cannot impose a non-custodial sentence, except in particular circumstances. From July 2011 to June 2016, there were 325 cases heard where intentionally causing serious injury was the principal offence. Of those, 84% received sentences of imprisonment. Just 6.5% received Community Corrections Orders.
What do I do now?
As a charge of intentionally causing serious injury carries such a high penalty, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Emma Turnbull Lawyers have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge, and can provide you with the most appropriate options as they change with the law.