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Recklessly Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) or Wounding is a serious offence outlined in section 35 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. If you are facing charges related to this offence, it is understandable that you may feel overwhelmed, but it is essential to know that you don’t have to face this legal battle alone. 'Grievous bodily harm' (GBH) refers to causing 'very serious harm' to another person and includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Any permanent or serious disfigurement ,

  2. The destruction of a fetus (other than through medical procedure), or 

  3. Any grievous bodily disease.
The offence involves acting in a ‘reckless’ manner, which means you consciously foresee the possibility of inflicting GBH. In other words, you are aware that your actions may potentially cause very serious harm, but you proceed with those actions regardless.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the options below to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about Reckless Wounding.

For the prosecution to establish the charge of recklessly wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm, the prosecution must prove two key elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.  That you caused a wound or inflicting grievous bodily harm upon another person.

A wound is generally defined as an injury that occurs when both layers of the skin are broken, such as a deep cut or a split lip. Grievous bodily harm, on the other hand, encompasses “really serious harm,” which may include injuries like permanent and serious disfigurement, broken bones, damage to internal organs, or the loss of a fetus.

2.  That the wound or grievous bodily harm resulted from your recklessness.

The offence of reckless wounding or grievous bodily harm applies when you did not intend to cause such injuries, but they occurred as a result of your reckless actions. Recklessness, in this context, means that you knew or should have known that your actions could cause wounding or grievous bodily harm, yet you proceeded regardless.
If there is any doubt about either the causation of the injury or your level of recklessness, it may weaken the case against you.

In cas4es involving Recklessly Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) or Wounding, several defence options may be relied upon:

1. Self-Defence: If you acted in self defence, meaning you reasonably believed that you or someone else was facing immediate and serious harm, you may use this defence. Your actions must have been proportionate to the threat posed, and you must not have used excessive force beyond what was necessary to protect yourself or others.

2. Duress: The defence of duress can be employed if you were coerced or threatened into committing the offence against your will. You must demonstrate that the threat was imminent and that a reasonable person in your position would have felt compelled to act in the same way to avoid harm to themselves or others.

3. Necessity: If you committed the act out of necessity, where you reasonably believed that there was no reasonable alternative and the harm caused was necessary to prevent a more significant harm, this defence may be applicable. Necessity defences often arise in emergency situations where there is no time to consider other options.

4. Lawful Correction: In some cases, the defence of lawful correction may be raised. This defence applies when a person in authority, uses reasonable force for disciplinary purposes. However, it is essential to note that the use of force must be reasonable and not excessive or abusive.

Each case is unique, and the prospects of success of these defences will depend on the specific circumstances and the evidence presented. Consulting with one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers is crucial to determine the most suitable defence strategy for your p-srticular situation.

If you decide to plead “not guilty” plea, our expert criminal defence team with a proven track record of successfully defending recklessly causing grievous bodily harm cases can assist you to defend your case.

Pleading guilty at an early stage can lead to a more favourable outcome, as it shows acceptance of responsibility for the charges and entitles you to a sentence discount of up to 25%.

However, before proceeding with a guilty plea, it is crucial to consult with our experienced criminal defence lawyers to explore any available defences that could be raised in your favor.

For intentionally causing grievous bodily harm or wounding, the maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment, though it is reserved for the most serious cases only.
The judge will consider all facts and circumstances of your case to determine an appropriate penalty.

At KPT Defence Lawyers, we have a track record of successfully defending and winning serious cases such as GBH or wounding cases. Our extensive experience in criminal law equips us to present your case effectively and strive for a positive outcome.

When facing such serious charges, trust the expertise of our Accredited Criminal Law Specialists to advocate for your best interests.

The penalties for the charge of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) or wounding can vary based on the specific circumstances of your case, particularly the nature of your actions and whether the offence was committed in the presence of others.

1. Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company (Section 35(1)): This offence carries the most severe penalty with the maximum being 14 years imprisonment.

2. Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm (Section 35(2)): The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

3. Reckless wounding in company (Section 35(3)): The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

4. Reckless wounding without the presence of others (Section 35(4)): The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.

It is essential to note that these are the maximum penalties and are reserved for the most severe cases.
The court, in assessing the appropriate penalty, will consider several factors such as the extent of the injury caused will play a significant role. If the harm inflicted is severe and results in long-term consequences for the victim, the court may impose a more substantial penalty.

The penalty that you may face depends on the specific circumstances of the case, your criminal history and any mitigating or aggravating factors present.

If you are charged with a wounding offence, you should seek advice to better understand your situation. Please contact our team of expert criminal lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case, explore potential defences or mitigating factors, and advise you on the best course of action moving forward. Our goal is to provide you with the support and guidance needed to navigate the legal process and achieve the most favourable outcome possible.

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