13 Reasons Why is currently making waves as a much watch Netflix Original Series. But would you believe that there are at least 13 offences committed throughout the 13 episodes? This is the last blog in the series relating to the 13 different offences I have found and what could happen should you be arrested or charged with them.
The Sentencing Council website can be found here.
13. ABH (Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861)
The offence is committed when a person assaults another, thereby causing Actual Bodily Harm.
This offence is an Either Way offence which means that it can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. The Court allocation depends on the seriousness of the injury, and other factors such as if a weapon was used and the length of the incident.
If the Police believe that the offence was committed because of the victim’s race or religion then the sentence imposed at Court will be much more severe. Aggravating features can include the person who was assaulted having any disability or being of a vulnerable nature (for example, a minor) or if there were any vulnerable witnesses (for example, in domestic cases).
If sentenced Summarily, the range of sentence is one of a medium Community Order to 6 months’ imprisonment. If the case is that serious that it is allocated to the Crown Court for sentencing, you could be sentenced to up to 7 years’ imprisonment (in the most serious cases). The most likely range for an offence of ABH is between a high fine and 3 years’ imprisonment. You could also be made subject to a Community Order which could consist of various requirements including up to 300 hours unpaid work, a curfew or anger management courses.
Please remember, if you plead guilty to any charge at either the Magistrates or Crown Court you could be entitled to a reduction in relation to your sentence. This can sometimes be up to a third of your sentence.
Being an imprisonable offence means that there is the chance of being eligible for Legal Aid. This means that any representation at the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court could be at no cost to the Defendant as all costs incurred will be met from public funds. (This does depend on the Defendant’s income and financial circumstances). You may need to pay a contribution towards Legal Aid in the Crown Court.