The Crimes Act 1900 in New South Wales (NSW) is the primary criminal law statute in the state, and it outlines various offences related to acts causing danger to life or bodily harm. These are the acts causing danger to life or bodily harm under Sections 32 to 37 of the Act:
- Impeding endeavours to escape shipwreck
- Wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent
- Use or possession of weapon to resist arrest etc
- Reckless grievous bodily harm or wounding
- Causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm or actual bodily harm
- Choking, suffocation and strangulation
Impeding Endeavours to Escape Shipwreck
One of the acts causing danger to life or bodily harm is impeding endeavours to escape shipwreck. This provision (s32) states that whoever intentionally or recklessly:
- prevents or impedes any person on board of, or having quitted, any ship or vessel in distress, or wrecked, stranded, or cast on shore, in his or her endeavour to save his or her life, or
- prevents or impedes any person in his or her endeavour to save the life of such first-mentioned person – shall be liable to imprisonment for 25 years.
Wounding or Grievous Bodily Harm With Intent
Section 33 provides for a penalty of 25 years of imprisonment (maximum) if any of the following acts are commtted:
- Intent to cause grievous bodily harm. A person who wounds any person, or causes grievous bodily harm to any person. Such act is coupled with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to that or any other person
- Intent to resist arrest. A person who wounds any person, or causes grievous bodily harm to any person. This act is with intent to resist or prevent his or her (or another person’s) lawful arrest or detention.
If on the trial of a person charged with an offence against this section the jury is not satisfied that the offence is proven but is satisfied that the person has committed an offence against section 35, the jury may acquit the person of the offence charged and find the person guilty of an offence against Section 35. Therefore, the person is liable to punishment accordingly.
Section 33A also provides for a penalty of maximum 25 years imprisonment for those who commits the above-mentioned acts and discharges or attempts to discharge any firearm or other loaded arms.
Use or Possession of Weapon to Resist Arrest
The mere use or possession of a weapon to resist arrest also belongs to the category ‘acts causing danger to life or bodily harm.’ Thus, section 33B states that any person who
- uses, attempts to use, threatens to use or possesses an offensive weapon or instrument, or
- threatens injury to any person or property,
- with intent to commit an indictable offence or
- with intent to prevent or hinder the lawful apprehension or detention
either of himself or herself or any other person or to prevent or hinder a police officer from investigating any act or circumstance which reasonably calls for investigation by the officer is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.
Furthermore, a person is guilty of such offence if the person commits it in the company of another person or persons. A person convicted of this offence shall be liable to imprisonment for 15 years.
Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding
Section 35 states that the maximum penalty for this crime is imprisonment for 14 years. A person commits the crime of reckless grievous bodily harm in company if such person, with the company of another:
- causes grievous bodily harm to any person, and
- is reckless as to causing actual bodily harm to that or any other person.
Also, if there is reckless wounding in company, the court may impose a penalty of 10 years imprisonment (maximum). However, if such reckless wounding is done alone, the penalty is 7 years imprisonment (maximum).
Causing Dog to Inflict Grievous Bodily Harm or Actual Bodily Harm
Causing a dog to inflict harm to another is punishable under section 35A with a 10-year imprisonment (maximum). This one, although caused by a dog, is still considered as ‘acts causing danger to life or bodily harm.’
A person who has control of a dog and does any act that causes the dog to inflict grievous bodily harm on another person is reckless as to the injury that may be caused to a person by the act. However, if the dog causes actual bodily harm to another, the maximum penalty is 5 years.
Choking, Suffocation and Strangulation
This is another crime that belongs to the category ‘acts causing danger to life or bodily harm.’ Under section 37, a person is guilty of this offence if the person intentionally chokes, suffocates or strangles another person without the other person’s consent. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 5 years.
If the act involves the recklessness of the defendant as to rendering the other person unconscious, insensible or incapable of resistance, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 10 years.
Moreover, if the act is done with the intention of enabling himself or herself to commit, or assisting any other person to commit, another indictable offence, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 25 years.
Are You Facing Charges of Actual Bodily Harm?
Facing charges of acts causing danger to life or bodily harm in NSW is a serious and stressful situation. You should be able to understand your rights and take immediate steps to protect your interests.
While going through the legal system alone may seem daunting, remember: you don’t have to go through this alone. Seeking the counsel of a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer from JB Solicitors is the smartest step you can take right now. We can:
- Provide clear and concise legal advice, explaining the implication in committing acts causing danger to life or bodily harm.
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, gathering evidence and building a strong defense strategy.
- Represent you in court, ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings.
- Negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf, potentially working towards reduced charges or even dismissal of the case.
Remember, time is of the essence. The sooner you act, the better your chances of getting a positive outcome. Contact us today for more information about acts causing danger to life or bodily harm under the Crimes Act.