Section 23 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 in Victoria categorises Common Assault as unconsented physical or apprehended contact with another individual.

If the Police have accused you of Common Assault, we urge you to contact our firm immediately for confidential legal counsel on how to navigate this serious allegation.

Our Expertise

We are seasoned criminal lawyers, committed to defending individuals accused of offences, including Common or Unlawful Assault.

Police Interview

The Police do not act in your best interest when levelling accusations such as Common or Unlawful Assault against you.

Therefore, consult us for legal guidance before engaging in any discussions with the Police. This is vital. We can outline what to anticipate during the Police interview and clarify what information you are not legally obligated to disclose.

Making inadvertent admissions during a Police interview could compromise your ability to mount a defence in court at a later stage. Exercise caution.

Should you wish, our legal team can accompany you to the Police station for added support.

Pleading Not Guilty

If charged with Common or Unlawful Assault, we can formulate a robust defence strategy on your behalf. Early action is crucial, as it allows for the preservation of potentially exculpatory evidence.

In your defence, we will explore various avenues: Is there pertinent CCTV footage? Does DNA evidence exist? Are there unconsulted witnesses who could illuminate the circumstances? Is there evidence substantiating your innocence?

Such investigative efforts could result in the withdrawal of charges or an outright acquittal.

We prioritize comprehensive consultations with our clients to ensure they fully grasp the challenges they face.

Pleading Guilty

Should you opt to plead guilty, we can advocate for you during your plea hearing in court. We will develop a plea strategy tailored to present your case in the most favourable light. Our lawyers are well-versed in plea hearings and can effectively articulate your circumstances to the presiding Magistrate.


Common Assault is a summary offence and will be adjudicated in the Magistrates’ Court.

Case Examples

  • Unprovoked, an individual punches a stranger at a local supermarket.
  • A bouncer strikes a patron for intentionally spilling wine.
  • A person pushes someone when confronted in a bar.
  • A person threatens to hit someone during an argument.

In a recent case, our client, a security guide with a prior conviction, successfully appealed against their conviction after we reviewed the evidence. The Judge dismissed the charges and ordered the Police to cover our client’s legal costs.

Common or Unlawful Assault legally refers to the act of assaulting or physically harming another individual without lawful justification.


This offence falls under section 23 of the Summary Offences Act 1966.

Possible Defences

  • Self-defence
  • Lack of intent to assault
  • Factual dispute regarding the assault

Each case is unique and necessitates an individualised approach and strategy.

Relevant Questions

  • How can the prosecution disprove self-defence?
  • How will they establish the identity of the offender?

Maximum Penalty

The maximum penalty for Common Assault under section 23 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 is either a 3-month imprisonment or a fine of 15 penalty units.

Further reading:

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