This charge is very serious indeed. So serious that in Queensland it can only be dealt with by a District Court. Those courts have stated that if you are charged with wounding, a range of 18 months to 2 years imprisonment is appropriate – R v Toohey  QCA 149. Matters which aggravate or make worse the penalty to be imposed include:
(a). more serious injury;
(b). how much preparation the offender took before committing the crime;
(c). whether the offender had a criminal history; and
(d). whether the offender pleads guilty at an early or late stage in the proceedings.
A recent example of yet another result where a client of ours who was charged with unlawful wounding escaped a jail term was The Queen v Daniel Hay. In that case, our client had been with another law firm and so his guilty plea was entered very late. He also had what was described as a significant criminal history. He was the only one in the brawl in which he was involved who had armed himself. And, the victim was hospitalised as a result of his injuries. Despite all of these aggravating factors, we were still able to keep our client out of prison.
Another example of where out client avoided imprisonment, this time through careful characterisation of the category of wounding, and pressing the court to accept rehabilitation is crucial, is The Queen v Berthold.
In New South Wales, a totally different regime applies. This type of offence can be dealt with in the Local Court, rather than the District Court. But in reality this is of little benefit because that court can start the notional sentence to be imposed as well in excess of its two year jurisdictional limit. The fact is that the same type of considerations are relevant in determining the appropriate sentence in that State.
Whichever State in which the alleged offence occurs, the message is that it must be treated very seriously, and whilst imprisonment is not inevitable, your salvation lays in instructing an experienced criminal law firm.
Contact us today to assist with your matter.