Causing Harm

Causing Harm

In South Australia there are two offences of causing harm.

The first offence is section 24 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act which provides that a person who intends to cause harm to another, and in fact causes harm, is guilty of an offence. A person is also guilty of an offence where they did not intend to cause harm but were reckless about whether or not harm was caused.

The second offence is section 29 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act which provides that a person is guilty of an offence if they do an act or make an omission which they know is likely to cause harm to another either intending to cause harm or being reckless as to whether harm is caused.

Major Indictable Charge

This is a major indictable charge. The proceedings will initially commence in the Magistrates Court of South Australia. If there is sufficient evidence against you, the case will be transferred to the District Court of South Australia.

What the prosecution must prove

For the purpose of an offence pursuant to section 24, the prosecution must prove that you did an act, the act caused harm, and you intended to cause harm or were reckless about the fact that you might cause harm.

For the purpose of an offence pursuant to section 29, the prosecution must prove that you did an act, or omitted to do something, that act or omission caused harm, and you intended to cause harm or were reckless about the fact that you might cause harm.

Defences

There are a range of possible defences including, but not limited to, the following:

  • you suffered an automatism;
  • the victim consented;
  • you were defending yourself;
  • you were defending another person;
  • you were acting under duress;
  • you were suffering a mental impairment;
  • you did not intend to cause harm.

Penalties

The maximum penalty for an offence against section 24 depends on whether or not the offence is aggravated and whether or not it was intentional. For a basic intentional offence, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment. For an aggravated intentional offence, the maximum penalty is 13 years imprisonment. For a basic unintentional offence, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment. For an aggravated unintentional offence, the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for an offence against section 29 depends on whether or not the offence is aggravated. For a basic offence the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment. For an aggravated offence the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.

Call us on 08 8523 8400