Criminal Law Criminal Offences Wounding or Causing Grievous Bodily Harm With Intent

Wounding or Causing Grievous Bodily Harm With Intent

Wounding or Causing Grievous Bodily Harm With Intent- Section 33 Crimes Act 1900

Grievous Bodily Harm

The definition of “grievous bodily harm” is as follows:

  1. Any permanent or serious disfiguring of the person.
  2. The destruction of a foetus.
  3. Any grievous bodily disease.


The definition of “wounding” is as follows:

  1. The breaking or cutting of the interior layer of skin (dermis). Breaking only the outer lawyer of skin (epidermis) is not sufficient to have caused a wound.
Maximum Penalties

The maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment, though this will generally only be reserved for the most serious of cases.

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

For the to be established, the prosecution must prove the following things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You wounded or caused grievous bodily harm (GBH) to another person; and
  • You intended to do one of the following:
  • Cause GBH to that person or another person; or
  • Resist or prevent his/her lawful arrest/detention; or
  • Resist or prevent the lawful arrest/detention of another person

Defences to this charge

Self-defence- where you used unlawful violence to protect yourself, your property or another person. 

Duress- Where you were threatened or coerced into using the unlawful violence.

Necessity- Where you used unlawful violence to prevent serious injury or danger.

Pleading Guilty

It is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.

If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to grievous bodily harm or wounding after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence. 

Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment

The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.

The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.

Types of penalties

Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:

Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.

Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references and any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.

These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.

If you have been charged with AVO or contravene AVO, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced AVO lawyers who will review the allegations and advise you of your options and the best way forward.