Causing Serious Injury Recklessly in Circumstances of Gross Violence
Have you been accused of Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence?
Police InterviewThe police interview is not the time or place for you to explain our side of the story and hope that the matter will go away, especially for a serious charge such as this. Therefore, you must receive legal advice before speaking with the police even if it is calling our firm from the police station before the interview begins.
If police intend to interview you in relation to Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence, an experienced criminal lawyer will step you through the interview process and answer your important questions such as:
- Should I answer the questions?
- Should I give my DNA?
- Do I need to give them my photograph?
Pleading Not GuiltyBeing charged with a serious offence can be isolating. If you have been charged by police with Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence, this does not mean that the Court will ultimately find you guilty of the offence. It is your right to plead not guilty and put the prosecution to their proofs where you can test the evidence.
If you are pleading not guilty, it is important to engage an expert criminal lawyer at an early stage of proceedings to develop a defence strategy. Your lawyer will explain the process involved in contesting the charge at Court and will defend you from prosecutor’s allegations at each stage of the proceedings.
Our lawyers are proactive when representing people accused of crimes and in a case like this will:
- Request CCTV footage,
- Request DNA evidence,
- Request other disclosure material which may assist your case.
Pleading GuiltyIf you intend to plead guilty to the Causing Serious Injury Intentionally in Circumstances of Gross Violence, it is still wise to seek legal advice and representation.
Navigating the Court process can be daunting and speaking on your own behalf can feel overwhelming. An experienced criminal lawyer will not only assist you to thoroughly prepare supporting materials for your plea of guilty, your lawyer will also speak at Court on your behalf and make submissions for the best possible outcome.
Examples of Causing Serious Injury Recklessly in Circumstances of Gross Violence
- 2 people blind another person in one eye in a fight at the football.
- A person kicks another person in the head without realising the other person is unconscious, and causes the person permanent brain damage.
Elements of Causing Serious Injury Recklessly in Circumstances of Gross Violence?For an accused to be guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:
- The complainant suffered a ‘serious injury’;
- The accused caused the complainant’s serious injury;
- The accused was reckless as to causing the serious injury;
- The serious injury was caused in circumstances of gross violence; and
- The accused did not have a lawful excuse for causing the serious injury.
A ‘serious injury’ is defined as:1
- an injury that
- Endangers life; or
- Is substantial and protracted; or
- The destruction, other than in the course of a medical procedure, of the foetus of a pregnant woman, whether or not the woman suffers any other harm.
A serious injury may exist due to the cumulative effect of more than one injury.4
The prosecution will often rely on medical evidence to establish that an injury either endangered life or was substantial and protracted.
Element 2: The accused caused the complainant’s serious injury
The accused must have caused the complainant’s serious injury. This element will be satisfied even if the accused caused the serious injury indirectly.5
Element 3: The accused was reckless as to causing the serious injury
The accused must have been aware, when he or she behaved in a way that resulted in the complainant’s serious injury, that their conduct would probably cause a serious injury.6
It is insufficient for the accused to have been aware that a serious injury to the complainant might result from their actions.7
It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the accused acted recklessly in relation to the victim, so long as the accused acted recklessly in relation to risk of their behaviour causing serious injury to some person.8
Element 4: The serious injury was caused in circumstances of gross violence
Any of the following circumstances will be circumstances of gross violence:9
- the accused planned in advance to engage in conduct and at the time of planning—
- he or she intended that his or her conduct would cause a serious injury; or
- he or she was reckless as to whether his or her conduct would cause a serious injury; or
- a reasonable person would have foreseen that his or her conduct would be likely to result in a serious injury; or
- the offender:
- caused the serious injury while in the company of two or more other people;
- participated in a joint criminal enterprise with two or more other people in causing the serious injury;
- planned in advance to have an offensive weapon, firearm or imitation firearm with them and to use it, and did in fact use that object to cause the serious injury;
- continued to cause injury to the other person after that person was incapacitated; or
- caused the serious injury to the other person while that person was incapacitated.
The prosecution must disprove any defences the accused seeks to rely on, such as self-defence.
LegislationThe section that covers this offence is section 15B of the Crimes Act 1958.
 Crimes Act 1958 s 15
 Crimes Act 1958 s 15
 Crimes Act 1958 s 15
 Crimes Act 1958 s 15
 R v Sailsbury  VR 452
 R v Crabbe (1985) 156 CLR 464
 R v Crabbe (1985) 156 CLR 464; R v Campbell  2 VR 585
 La Fontaine v R (1976) 136 CLR 62; R v Bacash  VR 923
 Crimes Act 1958 s 15B(2)
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.
- Acting in self defence
Questions in cases like this
- How can they prove who caused the injury?
- What actually happened in the fight?
The maximum penalty for Causing Serious Injury Recklessly in Circumstances of Gross Violence (s15B of the Crimes Act 1958) is 15 years imprisonment.
If proven, this offence carries a mandatory non-parole period of 4 years (or 5 years if the victim is an emergency worker or custodial officer on duty), unless the court finds that a special reason exists.