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Assault, Assault causing Harm and Assault causing Serious Harm

One of the more frequent charges before the criminal courts is a charge of assault. This allegation could range from something as simple as a push or a punch to those cases involving serious allegations such as stabbings or any assault where the alleged victim has sustained serious injuries. Read More >>

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The three main offences of assault in the Republic of Ireland is assault, assault causing harm and assault causing serious harm.

These offences are set out distinctly below:


An assault is defined as “a person shall be guilty of the offence of assault who, without lawful excuse, intentionally or recklessly –

(A) directly or indirectly applies force to causes an impact on the body of another, or

(B) causes another to believe on reasonable grounds that here she is likely immediately to be subjected to any such force impact, without the consent of the other.

Assault Causing Harm

Assault causing harm is simply defined as “a person who assault another calling him or her harm shall be guilty of an offence”. “Harm” is defined as “harm to body or mind and includes pain unconsciousness”.

Serious Assault

A serious assault is defined as “a person who intentionally or recklessly causes serious harm to another shall be guilty of an offence.” “Serious harm” is defined as meaning “injury which create a substantial risk of death or which causes serious disfigurement or substantial loss or impairment of the ability of the body as a whole or of the function of any particular bodily member or organ.”


The punishment an individual could face for assault is a fine and/or in imprisonment for up to 6 months. If an individual is convicted of assault causing harm they made be punished by an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years. If an individual is convicted of causing serious harm this may be punishable by an unlimited fine and/or a period of life imprisonment.

What we can do for you

Obviously, any individual faced with these charges requires our advice immediately. We can advise you of the defences you can avail of in respect of these matters and how best to handle a situation where you have been charged or arrested for any assault charge. We can advise you as to whether charges should be contested and the likely possibility of succeeding in obtaining a verdict of not guilty in respect of any of the above charges. We can advise you as to the likely timelines involved in the case of this nature and the various proofs and standards that would need to be maintained by the prosecution in order for them to sustain a conviction against you. We can advise you and represent you if you are charged in respect of any of the charges above.

No matter the charge, we always ensure that our client’s right to a fair trial is always protected; we are renowned for being zealous and for fighting tirelessly in protecting our client’s rights and their presumption of innocence. If you would like to speak to our office to discuss any of the above then please contact us at 0749725105.


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