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Did you know that assault charges can have severe consequences on both your personal and professional life?

Navigating Assault Laws in NSW: A Comprehensive Definition

Assault charges can have severe consequences on both your personal and professional life. If you are facing the prospect of or have been charged with an assault related law offence in New South Wales (NSW), you need to understand the complexities of how this law operates and how you will need to navigate through it ensuring the best possible result.

This blog will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of assault under NSW law, the impact of a criminal conviction and the importance of a robust defence against police charges.

At Repute Law, we have the experience, knowledge and capability to understand our client’s needs ensuring they are represented in the best possible way.

NSW Assault Laws

Assault, as defined under NSW law, encompasses a broad range of behaviours that cause another person to fear immediate and unlawful violence.

Under Section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), assault is divided into two categories: common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH). Common assault refers to acts that cause a person to fear immediate and unlawful violence, injury or force. It doesn’t always involve any immediate physical harm.

ABH has its own section within the legislation and is dealt with under s59 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It involves an assault that results in physical harm or injury to the victim. Additionally, the courts will take into consideration any type of mental illness that may be caused by the assault as well. Note that ABH carries more severe penalties if heard in the District Court due to the nature of the offence and the physical harm caused.

The act goes on further to state that grievous bodily harm is also an assault punishable by law. S33-54 define the different types of GBH as:

A person who: (a) wounds any person), or (b) causes grievous bodily harm to any person, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to that or any other person.

Impact of Assault Charges on Professional Life

Being charged with assault can have a severe impact on your professional life. This type of criminal charge can tarnish your reputation and credibility within your professional community. Employers may view someone with assault charges as a liability and question their ability to perform their job duties effectively. You may even lose your job and struggle to find future employment.

In some professions, the consequences of having a criminal record in Australia include being denied certain licences and certifications required to practice. This can seriously hinder your career advancement and limit your opportunities for professional growth. Additionally, clients and colleagues may be hesitant to work with someone who has a violent criminal history, further damaging your professional relationships and possibly impacting your earning potential.

In addition to the immediate consequences, the emotional and psychological toll of facing assault charges can also impact your professional life. The stress and uncertainty of navigating the legal system can put a strain on your mental health, affecting your ability to focus and perform at work.

Furthermore, there is no law in Australia that prohibits discrimination against individuals based on their criminal record. While the Australian Human Rights Commission can assist in mediating conciliation between the parties involved, they do not have the authority to enforce any legal consequences for discrimination based on a criminal record.

Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal counsel and support during this challenging time to protect your professional reputation and ensure the best possible outcome for your future career.

Impact of Assault Charges on Personal Life

Being charged with assault can have serious consequences beyond just legal implications.

Personal Relationships: Assault charges can be devastating for personal relationships, particularly intimate ones such as marriage. If children are involved, the impact of a criminal conviction can be even more complex. Child custody battles can be intense and emotionally draining experiences as both parents fight for custody rights and decision-making power. The safety and well-being of the children are of paramount importance, and the Court may take away your custody rights if you have a criminal record.

Renting: Having assault charges on your record can make it difficult to secure a rental property. Landlords are often wary of renting to individuals with a criminal record, especially one that involves violence. This can limit your options for housing and make it challenging to find a suitable place to live.

Travel: The impact of a criminal conviction can also affect your ability to travel abroad. Many countries have strict entry requirements for individuals with criminal records, and having assault charges on your record could prevent you from obtaining a visa to enter certain countries. This can limit your ability to travel for work or leisure and may significantly impact your personal freedom.

Adoption: If you are considering adoption, the consequences of having a criminal record in Australia can also complicate the process. Adoption agencies typically conduct thorough background checks on prospective parents, and having a criminal record, especially one that involves violence, can be a red flag for them. This could make it difficult to adopt a child and fulfil your dream of starting a family through adoption.

Loans: Lenders often consider criminal records when assessing loan applications, and having assault charges could result in higher interest rates or even denial of your loan. This could make securing funding for important expenses such as education, home renovations, or starting a business challenging.

Reputation in the Community: Another impact of a criminal conviction or assault charges is how they affect your reputation. Once someone has been convicted of a crime, it can be difficult for them to shake off the stigma that comes with being labelled a criminal. Friends, family members, neighbours and acquaintances may view you differently and treat you with suspicion. They may no longer trust or respect you as they once did. This can lead to social isolation and difficulty building or maintaining relationships.


When facing assault charges and the possible impact of a criminal conviction, it is important to consider all available defences available to you. Repute Law can assist you in identifying the most suitable defence for your case, depending on the circumstances.

We understand the consequences of having a criminal record in Australia on your personal and professional life. That´s why Repute Law’s team of highly skilled and experienced Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers is committed to providing exceptional client service and ensuring you are Court Ready®. This process was devised by Repute Law and will thoroughly prepare you for your Court appearance should your case go that far. It includes advice on various aspects like what to wear and how to behave in Court and guidance to help you understand Courtroom proceedings.

By engaging Repute Law at the earliest opportunity, our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers can promptly gather evidence, interview witnesses and prepare the best possible defence. Our team will negotiate with the police, aiming to minimise reputational loss by seeking to have the charges reduced or even dismissed without going to Court. Early representation could mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

Contact Repute Law today to take the first step in resolving your assault charges and securing your future.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

The content in this blog is to provide general information only and is not intended to provide and does not constitute legal advice on any matter. You should not rely upon the information contained in this blog as legal advice. Please contact us if you wish to discuss anything relevant in this blog. Any communications arising from this site are not intended to and do not create a legal relationship between Repute Law and any person.

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