Assault Charges – Alcohol-Fueled Violence

This is a case study on assault charges arising from alcohol-fueled violence.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client went out drinking one night with his friends in the city. They all had too much to drink, and got involved in a street fight with another group of young men. Our client didn’t remember his role in the fight but CCTV footage captured it – he was throwing punches, kicking people on the ground, and even throwing a glass bottle. The client was shocked when he watched the footage. He couldn’t believe his drunken self had done something like that. He was charged with Affray, Injury charges, Unlawful Assault, and Assault With a Weapon.

The client had never been in trouble with the police before and was worried about going to jail. Jail was a real possibility given the public’s views of alcohol-fueled violence.

What happened at court?
The case was heard at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and we acted on the client’s behalf. The charges were:

We watched the footage with the client and explained the seriousness of the assault charges arising from alcohol-fueled violence. We explained how important it was to prepare properly for a plea. We organized for our client to do an anger management course and an alcohol and drug course. These courses helped him understand what led to the offending and gave him tools for handling conflict in a better way next time.

Character references were also gathered for the client, and we made sure that these people came to court on the day. We disagreed with the prosecution about which charges should proceed and so we adjourned the matter to a contest mention. Dee Giannopolous appeared at the contest mention and sought a sentencing indication. This involved doing a plea and explaining our client’s life story and tendering his supporting materials.

What was the result?
The magistrate was impressed at the steps our client had taken towards his rehabilitation. The client was offered an adjourned undertaking with a condition that he be of good behaviour for 4 months and that he make a donation to the court fund. This was an incredible result for a case of assault charges arising from alcohol-fueled violence.

It is sometimes important not to plead guilty straight away. A good lawyer will know which charges you should plead guilty to and which ones you should fight, and will give you sound advice about the best way forward.

Elements of Unlawful Assault:
  • You applied force to the complainant’s body;
  • The application of force was intentional or reckless; and
  • The application of force was without lawful justification or excuse.
Related case studies
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 30/08/2019