Slades & Parsons Solicitors offer skilful and practiced advice in defending people charged with offences against the person. These charges are serious charges that require experienced and proficient legal representation.
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Threats to Kill
If you are charged with an offence of threat to kill, the prosecution must prove all the elements of the offence against you. These elements must be proved beyond reasonable doubt before you can be convicted, namely, that you:
- Made a threat to a person – to kill that person or another person
- Intended the person to fear that the threat would be carried out; or
- Was reckless as to whether or not the person would fear that the threat would be carried out
- Made the threat without lawful excuse
Threats can be made by words or conduct, or both. A threat to kill charge is an indictable offence that should be discussed with a lawyer. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
False Imprisonment is a common law offence, which means it is not contained in legislation. However, it is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. It has three elements, namely that you:
- Deprived another person of his or her liberty
- Intended to deprive the person of his or her liberty
- The deprivation of liberty was unlawful
An example of false imprisonment could include locking someone in a room, thus preventing them from leaving. This offence is not concerned with mere interference with convenience but rather a total obstruction of another’s liberty.
There are many different forms of assault that fall within two categories – Statutory Assault and Common Law Assault.
Penalties for assault change depending under which law you have been prosecuted under. Slades & Parsons are highly experienced in defending assault charges.
What is Statutory Assault?
For Statutory Assault, ‘assault’ is defined to mean the direct application of force to the body of a person.
Statutory Assault: (s31 Crimes Act 1956 (Vic)
- Assaulting or threatening to assault a person with an intent to commit an indictable offence
- Assaulting or threatening to assault an emergency worker on duty
- Resisting an emergency worker on duty (or person lawfully assisting an emergency worker on duty)
- Obstructing an emergency worker on duty (or person lawfully assisting an emergency worker on duty)
- Assaulting or threatening to assault a person with intent to resist or prevent arrest
What is Common Law Assault?
Common Law Assault defines ‘assault’ to mean the fear of the use of force and the actual application of force. Therefore, it is possible to assault another person without touching them.
The maximum penalty for Common Law Assault in Victoria is 5 years’ imprisonment.
There are a number of offences that are applicable when you cause another person to have injury.
- Intentionally/recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence
- Intentionally/recklessly causing serious injury
- Intentionally/recklessly causing injury
- Negligently causing serious injury
The terms ‘injury’ and ‘serious injury’ have specific meanings under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and they turn on the facts and circumstances of each case. The penalties for these offences range between 5 to 20 years imprisonment. It is vital that you seek legal advice if you are charged with these offences.
Manslaughter is a common law offence and has two main categories.
Manslaughter by Unlawful and Dangerous Act
Manslaughter by Unlawful and Dangerous Act has four elements which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, namely, that you:
- Committed an act that caused the death of another person
- That the act was committed consciously, voluntarily and deliberately
- That the act was unlawful; and
- That the act was dangerous
Whilst the prosecution must prove that you acted voluntarily, they do not need to prove that you intended to cause death or really serious injury.
Negligent Manslaughter has the following four elements which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, namely that you
- Owed the victim a duty of care
- Breached that duty by criminal negligence
- The act which breached the duty of care was committed consciously and voluntarily
- Your breach of the duty caused the victim’s death
The term ‘duty of care’ has a unique legal meaning that our highly experienced solicitors have significant experience in dealing with in the context of manslaughter. If you are charged with this offence it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice at an early stage.
The main difference between the offences of Homicide and Manslaughter is that Homicide requires an intent to kill another person or cause them serious injury. Homicide is a crime at common law. It has the following four elements to be proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt, namely, that you:
- Committed acts which caused the victim’s death
- Committed those acts voluntarily
- Committed those acts while:
- Intending to kill someone or cause them really serious injury; or
- Knowing that it was probable that death or really serious injury would result
- Did not have a lawful justification or excuse for those acts
Lawful justification or excuse includes:
- Self defence
- Sudden and extraordinary emergency
The maximum penalty for homicide is life imprisonment and the standard sentence is 25 years imprisonment. Slades & Parsons has had significant experience in homicide matters and work closely with barristers experienced in this field.
Slades & Parsons are available to take your call 24 hours a day.
We can provide more information on defending charges for offences against the person and help in navigating the legal process.