Assault, ABH & GBH Solicitors - Defence to charges of common assault

Our Assault and GBH Solicitors offer specialist advice and legal representation to anyone who has been accused of committing an assault or grievous bodily harm.

Allegations of these crimes can be extremely serious and may result in a sentence of life imprisonment. As such, it is vital that anyone accused instructs a solicitor who has specialist knowledge of this area of law to represent their interests as soon as possible.

If you have been accused of assault or GBH, call Draycott Browne’s specialist serious crime solicitors today on +44 (0)161 452 7674 to discuss how we could help your case.

Assault and GBH crimes

Assault and GBH are extremely serious crimes and involve the use of force to injure a victim. The penalties for these crimes vary based on the severity of the injuries and the intent of the attacker.

These types of crime violate the Offences against the Person Act (1861) and can be categorised into the following cases.

Common Assault

Common assault involves applying unlawful force on a person or threatening them with unlawful force. For an act of violence to be considered common assault, a physical injury does not need to occur, as this is considered to be actual bodily harm.

Cases of common assault are typically taken to the the Magistrates’ Court and commonly result in a fine or community service.

Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)

For an offence to be classed as ABH, harm must be caused to the victim with the intention of an assault. The victim will typically receive injuries such as scratches or bruises after the attack or those that are considered to be more ‘serious’, needing stitches or hospital treatment requiring an anaesthetic.

ABH cases will usually be resolved in the Magistrates’ Court. The sentence for this crime varies from a fine to a maximum of five years' imprisonment.

Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)

To cause grievous bodily harm(sometimes referred to as unlawful wounding) is to seriously injure or wound a person. Injuries that come under this category include those that result in the following:

  • Long-term disability, disfigurement or loss of sensory function
  • Broken bones, including fractures
  • Significant blood loss requiring a transfusion, major treatment or substantial incapacity

The offence of GBH can be split into two categories:

  • Wounding without intent - to cause GBH without intent, the attacker must have had the intention to assault the victim but not to cause serious bodily harm. Depending on the severity of the attack, this case can be dealt with by the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court, and carries a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment.
  • Wounding with intent - this is the most serious offence of violence and non-fatal assault, and is defined by the attacker intending to cause harm to the victim using unlawful force. Intent is considered in cases where:
    • The attack was planned or repeated
    • The attack included kicking or using an offensive weapon to the victim’s head
    • An object was adapted, such as a glass broken, to use in an attack
    • A weapon was deliberately obtained for the attack
    • Previous threats had been made by the defendant to the victim

Cases of wounding with intent are dealt with in the Crown Court and can result in a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.


Arrests are rarely anticipated, which is why our legal advisors are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to assist you at the police station whenever you need us.


Legal fees can be an unexpected cost that you may struggle to afford. By applying for legal aid, you can relieve financial stress during your case, leaving you to focus on what matters. Our solicitors will guide you through the process of applying for legal aid, ensuring you have the best possible chance of a successful application.


If you or a loved one is arrested on an assault charge, it is essential that you engage the expertise of professional solicitors who will be able to help and advise you on a defence strategy as soon as possible. Contact us today by calling +44 (0)161 228 2244. If you would like us to contact you, simply fill in our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.

We are highly regarded nationally across the legal profession and noted for consistently delivering positive results for our clients. Our expert Assault, GBH and ABH Solicitors regularly act for clients in Manchester, Preston, Blackpool, Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, and London. As recognised Criminal Defence Lawyers we can represent you wherever you live in England and Wales.

By entrusting us, you can be assured that you will be working with a team of highly skilled and experienced Serious Crime Solicitors who have a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of this area of law.

Our legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need expert legal advice or representation, call us in confidence now. When you are facing the stiffest challenges, you cannot afford to settle for anything less than Draycott Browne.

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