– section 15A of the Crimes Act 1958
Causing Injury Seriously in Circumstances of Gross Violence is used when someone deliberately and seriously injures another person, and the injury happens in one of several circumstances.
- When someone planned to injure the other person in advance; or
- When 2 or more people injure the other person; or
- When someone planned to use a weapon on the other person and used it; or
- When someone caused the injury after the other person could no longer defend themselves; or
- When someone continued to attack the other person after the other could no longer defend themselves.
Examples of Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence
- In a planned attack, someone cracks another person’s skull with a baseball bat, and leaves the person with lasting psychological harm.
- A person punches and knocks out another person at a night club. After the second person is knocked out, the first person repeatedly kicks the second person in the head until bouncers intervene.
What are some of the possible defences to a Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence charge?
- Someone else injured the other person.
- There was no intention or planning to injure the other person.
- Acting in self defence
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.
Questions in cases like this
- How can they prove there was planning or intention to cause the injury?
- Did someone else actually injure the other person?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty is 20 years. The charge will generally be heard in the County Court.
“Was there actually gross violence? “
What is the legal definition of Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence?
The legal definition of Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence has 5 essential parts:
- Someone suffered a serious injury; and
- Another person caused the injury; and
- The other person intended to cause the injury; and
- The injury was in circumstances of ‘gross violence’; and
- There was no legal justification or excuse.
The section that covers this offence is section 15A of the Crimes Act 1958.1
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
If someone is found guilty, Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence has a compulsory minimum goal term of 4 years. The most serious offences will mean a longer gaol term.
Other Important Resources
- Statutory minimum offences for gross violence offences (Sentencing Advisory Council)
- VCC summaries – intentionally causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 August 2016
- Victorian Criminal Charge Book: Bench Notes Intentionally Causing Serious Injury in Circumstances of Gross Violence
 Crimes Act 1958 – Section 15A
Penalty: Level 3 imprisonment (20 years maximum).
An offence against subsection (1) is a category 1 offence under the Sentencing Act 1991 . See section 5(2G) of that Act for the requirement to impose a custodial order for this offence.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1), any one of the following constitutes circumstances of gross violence—
(a) the offender planned in advance to engage in conduct and at the time of planning—
(i) the offender intended that the conduct would cause a serious injury; or
(ii) the offender was reckless as to whether the conduct would cause a serious injury; or
(iii) a reasonable person would have foreseen that the conduct would be likely to result in a serious injury;
(b) the offender in company with 2 or more other persons caused the serious injury;
(c) the offender entered into an agreement, arrangement or understanding with 2 or more other persons to cause a serious injury;
See Subdivision (1) (Complicity in commission of offences) of Division 1 of Part II.
(d) the offender planned in advance to have with him or her and to use an offensive weapon, firearm or imitation firearm and in fact used the offensive weapon, firearm or imitation firearm to cause the serious injury;
(e) the offender continued to cause injury to the other person after the other person was incapacitated;
(f) the offender caused the serious injury to the other person while the other person was incapacitated.
1 See section 422(1) for an alternative verdict.
2 Section 10 of the Sentencing Act 1991 requires that a term of imprisonment be imposed for an offence against section 15A and that a non-parole period of not less than 4 years be fixed under section 11 of that Act unless the court finds under section 10A of that Act that a special reason exists. If, however, a victim is an emergency worker on duty or a custodial officer on duty, section 10AA(1) of the Sentencing Act 1991 requires that a non-parole period of not less than 5 years be fixed unless the court finds under section 10A of that Act that a special reason exists.
3 If a court makes a finding under section 10A of the Sentencing Act 1991 that a special reason exists, the requirements of section 10 or 10AA(1) of that Act do not apply and the court has full sentencing discretion. See also section 5(2G) of that Act.