Lawtons Solicitors has a specialist team of criminal solicitors that not only understands the law inside out, but is also highly experienced in the court room to defend your case and to achieve the best outcome for you.

Our specialist team of common assault solicitors are highly experienced both in their knowledge of the law and renowned for their expertise in the court room.

There is much confusion when it comes to common assault, and the reality is it can lead to significant fines and even imprisonment with serious implications for family life and careers.

It is vital to seek legal guidance to ensure you understand your options and are prepared for any possible legal proceedings you may face.


Common Assault & The Law

Common assault is committed when someone assaults another person or commits a battery.

A battery is the unlawful application of force upon someone, for example a push or spitting at someone.

An assault is when someone makes another person fear the use of immediate force against them. What is often misinterpreted regarding common assault is that, by definition, no physical contact needs to have occurred to be guilty of this offence. What does need to be shown, however, is that an intention of fear has been caused that imminent physical violence will be used. This may be in the form of a verbal threat, a raised fist or running a finger across a throat.

Normally common assault involves the unlawful touching of a person (where they have not ‘silently’ consented) but does not require there to have been any injury.

In general, most minor assaults which have caused minor injury or passing discomfort or pain will be prosecuted as common assault, anything more than a transient or trifling injury will likely be prosecuted as ABH.

Common assault is the only ‘main’ assault charge that is summary-only, meaning it can only be heard at magistrates’ court. It carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine or community order. If this is a first occurrence it is unlikely to result in a prison sentence, in preference for a deterrent punishment such as community service or a fine. However, it will appear on criminal records.

The same is not true for repeat offenders or where actual violence has been proven to have been used. The offender will have higher culpability where he or she has previous convictions or there are aggravating factors, such as the attack being racially motivated. Where violence has been used as part of the case, the prosecution will say that it is common assault by beating.


What to do if you are accused of Common Assault?

If you are charged with an assault charge and are facing court proceedings, then you should appoint an expert criminal defence solicitor that will review the facts of your case which may help you achieve a positive outcome, picking out the right things to highlight and bring to the court’s attention.

Lawtons Solicitors will work with you to ensure you are represented fairly and that the best outcome is achieved in accordance with the facts of the case.


Contact Us

For more information on laws and sentences associated with common assault, please call 0333 202 0972 or email


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