Section 47 Assault

Experienced criminal litigation solicitors in Gateshead and Washington

Section 47 assault, also known as actual bodily harm or ABH, is a more serious offence than common assault but less serious than grievous bodily harm. It carries a potential prison sentence of up to five years, so it is crucial to speak to a Section 47 assault solicitor as soon as possible if you are facing accusations or an investigation. Any interview under caution undertaken by the police permits free independent legal advice at the police station.

ABH is one of several offences against the person under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. It is also considered a more serious offence and carries a longer sentence of up to seven years if it is racially or religiously aggravated.

At John Donkin Solicitors, we provide expert Section 47 defence services. If you have been accused of a Section 47 assault or you are being investigated on suspicion of a Section 47 assault, we can intervene on your behalf. We routinely handle Section 47 offences against the person cases and we will provide you with the strongest possible defence.

To speak to one of our expert Section 47 assault solicitors, call us on 0191 416 2182 (Washington) or 0191 495 2896 (Gateshead) or complete a Free Online Enquiry.

“Very efficient, with a swift approach to all issues.”

Our Section 47 Assault Defence Services

We provide a full Section 27 defence service, including:

  • Representation at the police station and during police interview
  • Obtaining copies of the evidence in your case, to include witness statements
  • Discussing the strength of the case against you and the options open to you
  • Checking that the police and prosecution have not exceeded their authority in dealing with your case
  • Representing you in court
  • If you have already been convicted, appealing a Section 47 conviction

What Is Section 47 Assault?

Section 47 assault refers to Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act. Under this section, it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly assault someone causing actual bodily harm. This could be minor harm, such as a cut or a graze.

There is an overlap with the lesser offence of common assault and whether the prosecution decides to make a charge of common assault or Section 47 assault will depend on a range of factors, including the level of any injury, culpability and whether there are any aggravating factors.

If injuries are relatively minor, such as a small amount of bruising, minor cuts, scratches, swelling or a graze, then the prosecution may choose common assault.

Where there are aggravating factors, such as repeated threats to the victim, punching or kicking, use of a weapon or the offence was against a vulnerable individual, the charge will generally be a Section 47 assault.

How We Provide A Defence To Section 47 Assault Charges

We will look at the way in which your case has been conducted to check that your rights have not been breached and that the police and prosecuting authorities have followed the correct procedure in obtaining evidence in your case.

We will make sure that we are provided with copies of all of the evidence against you. We will also take steps to secure evidence in support of your case, such as CCTV footage and witness statements.

Your solicitor will go through what happened with you in detail and we will establish what defence may be available to you. For example, you may have been acting in self-defence, out of necessity or because you were provoked.

We can discuss the options open to you and the sentence you might receive, taking into account all the facts of your case.

If your case goes to trial, we will prepare a robust defence and ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for the hearing. You will be represented in court by an expert criminal defence advocate.

What Is The Sentence For Section 47 Assault Or The Sentence For ABH?

The maximum sentence for a Section 47 ABH assault is five years. If the offence is racially or religiously aggravated, the maximum sentence is 7 years.

In deciding on the sentence for Section 47 assault, the court will look at the level of culpability and the level of harm. They will also take into account aggravating and mitigating factors.

If there is a low level of culpability, for example, excessive self-defence or the incident was spontaneous and short-lived, and the level of harm caused to the victim is low, the starting point for sentencing could be a fine or a community order.

Contact Our Section 47 Assault Solicitors In Gateshead And Washington

If you are facing allegations of a Section 47 assault or you are being investigated or charged, contact us today and we will take immediate action to protect your rights and ensure that you do not inadvertently harm your defence.

To speak to one of our expert Section 47 assault lawyers, call us on 0191 416 2182 (Washington) or 0191 495 2896 (Gateshead) or complete a Free Online Enquiry.

“Can highly recommend John Donkin Solicitors. Excellent service and friendly people”