Actual Bodily Harm Solicitors - ABH Lawyers
Specialist criminal solicitors and barristers at representing clients facing investigation or prosecution for Actual Bodily Harm, abbreviated as ABH (Section 47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861)
At Kang & Co, our Criminal Defence Solicitors have substantial experience in successfully representing clients privately that are facing a charge of ABH (Actual Bodily Harm). If you are being investigated or have received a Court Summons or Postal Requisition for ABH, it is essential that you seek specialist legal assistance as soon as possible by calling us on 0345 222 9955. You can also contact us by completing our Contact Form to speak with one of our experienced Criminal Defence Lawyers about the options available to you, and the cost of legal representation.
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The Offence: Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, Contrary to Section 47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861
This offence is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly assaults another person, causing Actual Bodily Harm. “Bodily Harm” means any hurt, which interferes with the health or comfort of a person. It need not be permanent harm, but it must be more than short term or petty. This can also include psychological harm.
Expert Criminal Law Solicitors
At Kang & Co Solicitors, we understand how distressing an investigation or charge for ABH is, especially for people that have no previous dealings with the Criminal Justice System. Our lawyers are here to advise, assist and guide you all the way. With our skill and expertise, we can represent you from the Police Station Interview Under Caution, through to a Trial in the Crown Court. We will ensure that you have the best possible chance of a successful defence.
Elements of Actual Bodily Harm
- The act: The application of unlawful force to another; and the application of force results in any hurt that interferes with the health or comfort of a victim.
- The intent: At the time of the application of force, the accused must either intend the application of force or should have foreseen their conduct was likely to result in the application of force to another.
Advantages of Paying Privately for a Specialist Criminal Defence Lawyer
- Expertise: There are a very limited number of law firms throughout the country that only accept criminal cases on a private fee-paying basis, these lawyers will usually only accept such cases because they possess superior legal knowledge and expertise.
- Communication: Paying for legal representation privately will usually result in better and more frequent communication with your Solicitor and Barrister. Lawyers paid privately will usually respond to e-mails and phone calls quickly.
- Preparation: The amount of time a lawyer spends preparing a case and considering the evidence will have an impact upon the result. Paying privately will ensure that the lawyer can spend enough time on case preparation, which will have a positive impact on the overall outcome of the case. We prepare thoroughly for each case.
- Service: Clients that instruct lawyers via private funds will receive a substantially better service than those using legal aid.
- Quality: The overall quality of legal representation from private client solicitors is significantly superior.
- Consistency: We provide all our clients with consistency and continuity, the lawyer dealing with your case will be the same person from start to finish.
What is the difference between GBH and ABH?
The offences of ABH and GBH are quite commonly confused with each, however the punishments between the two offences can differ by quite a margin. Actual bodily harm (ABH) is a Criminal offence under Section 47. These types of assaults are described as serious, but do not leave permanent damage to the victims.
Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) on the other hand is a offence under Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 and is regarded as a more serious offence than ABH. Serious injuries such as broken bones or permanent disfigurement would come under the umbrella of Grievous Bodily Harm. Differing from ABH, there is a serious question of intent.
Distinct from ABH, there is a question of intent involve with GBH. GBH offences that come under Section 18 involve some aspect of intent, whilst Section 20 offences are still unlawful and malicious, but lack the intent to cause really serious injury. Intent can be portrayed through examples such as using a weapon with purpose or threats to a person.
Another area the two offences can vary is in sentencing. Actual Bodily Harm offences carry a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Grievous Bodily Harm offences on the other hand can carry longer sentences. If you sentenced under Section 20, then the maximum sentence is 5 years, but if you are sentenced under Section 18, then you can only be tried in a Crown Court, and the maximum sentence for this is life imprisonment.
Find out more about GBH on our dedicated page.
Sentence for the offence of Actual Bodily Harm
This is an offence which can be heard in the Magistrates’ or Crown Court. If the circumstances of the allegation are very serious the case will be sent to the Crown Court. There are several advantages and disadvantages of having a trial in either. This is something we cover in detail with all our clients, so that they can make an informed choice of where to have the case heard.
If a person pleads or is found guilty of Actual Bodily Harm, the Court will take into consideration the circumstances of the offence, including the aggravating and mitigating factors and will determine an offence category.
ABH is a serious offence and one which can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years.
|Offence Category||Starting Point (Applicable to all offenders)||Category Range (Applicable to all offenders)|
|Category 1||1 year 6 months’ custody||1 year – 3 years’ custody|
|Category 2||26 weeks’ custody||Low level community order – 51 weeks’ custody|
|Category 3||Medium level community order||Band A fine – High level community order|
AGREED FEE CRIMINAL LAWYERS
Our Agreed Fees for Private Crime cases start from;
£1500 + VAT
When Should You Contact Our Specialist Criminal Solicitors?
If you are suspected of committing a crime, have been asked to attend the police station or have recently been charged, please contact us as soon as possible. Seeking legal advice at an early stage will significantly increase the prospects of a successful outcome and will ensure that your defence is properly established from the outset. Contacting us at an early stage of the investigation or immediately after charge will enable us to advise you of the cost of representation, how you ought to plead and the options available to you.
How Much Will a Private Solicitor Cost Me?
Each client, and each case is individual and different, for that reason there are no set fees for our cases, because the cost will be determined by the number of offences, the nature of the offence and the evidence in the case. If you are interested in appointing us as your lawyers, please call us and we can provide you with an estimate on the cost to take your case to trial.
Our fees for representation at the First Magistrates’ Court Hearing start from £1,500+VAT and this will include a meeting with one of our lawyers, initial detailed legal advice and representation at the Magistrates’ Court.
What Will Happen When You Contact Us?
When you call us regarding your case, you will be transferred to one of our Qualified Private Criminal Defence Solicitors. Here we will take some initial details regarding the allegation made against you. Once we have a basic understanding of the allegation, and your version of events, we will be able to provide you with our initial thoughts on the options available to you and how we can assist.
We will also provide you with an indication of the likely cost to defend your case and will provide you with a fixed fee for appointing us as your legal team.
As such matters can be life-changing, we cannot provide detailed advice on how you should plead or the strength of your case during the initial phone call. Detailed advice will be provided once we are formally instructed as your lawyers and once, we have considered the evidence in the case.
The Process of Appointing Our Lawyers
Once you have spoken with us and been given an initial case assessment and fee for representation at the First Magistrates’ Court Hearing. If you wish to proceed with formally appointing us, please notify us as soon as possible.
A Fixed Fee invoice will be e-mailed to you, and full payment of the invoice will need to be made via BACS or online transfer. Once we have received payment of the fee, a file will be opened, and an appointment will be booked for you to meet us at our offices. This will either be in Birmingham, Milton Keynes or London in person. Here we can discuss the allegation with you and provide you with detailed initial advice.
How to Challenge an ABH Allegation
If you have been charged with ABH, the prosecution evidence would need to be considered to determine whether the circumstances of the offence amount to ABH. It is not uncommon for the Prosecution to charge Defendants with offences that are more serious than the actual allegation.
Once the evidence has been considered, and provided the charge is correct, we will advise you on whether you have a defence and ought to plead not guilty and progress the case to a trial.
The differences between ABH and a Common Assault / Battery Offence
The key difference between Actual Bodily Harm and a charge of Assault by Beating contrary to Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 is the level of injury which is alleged to have occurred. A more severe injury sustained by an alleged victim will increase the chances of the Charge being one of ABH rather than a Section 39 Assault.
Another difference between the two offences is that because ABH is more serious than common assault, the sentence the Court can impose for ABH is up to 5 years imprisonment.
What defences are there to a charge of ABH?
In certain circumstances the entire allegation placed by the prosecution and the alleged victim may not have occurred as the alleged victim has stated. If no assault took place, then a trial may take place where the prosecution would need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Defendant committed the offence of ABH.
Self Defence is available to a charge of Actual Bodily Harm, if this is raised the force you used should not be excessive. You do not have to wait until you are hit before defending yourself, it is enough to show that you thought you were going to be attacked.
Consent from victim is another defence which may be applicable to ABH however, there are limits to this. A person cannot consent to a very serious injury and whether a person is able to consent will be determined by the facts of each case.
We represent the full range of clients from ordinary people, through to high-net worth individuals, business owners, sports personalities and actors. We are instructed by individuals that are in a financial position to pay privately for legal representation and those that appreciate the benefits of doing this, as opposed to using public funding.
We have significant experience in successfully defending:
What our Clients Say
“I would have no hesitation in recommending Kang & Co Solicitors. They were so professional with a great personal touch.” – Mr D. Evans
“For personal service, security and efficiency I recommend Kang & Co. A complete service with the comfort of a clear and understandable process directed by high quality staff.” – M Clarke
“Superb service, very thorough. The best part of this practice is that Mr Kang took the time to get to know me and understand my situation. He is proactive and understands each case is different. would highly recommend the practice.” – Ben
“Great communication took me through everything I needed to know in detail. Got me the result I needed. Barrister assigned to me on the day did a great job. Thanks” – David
“Their approach has been a refreshing change: so professional focusing on the client and not themselves. They make the complex clear and concise and the team are supportive throughout. Thanks guys.” – Mac
We are also recognised as a Best Rated law firm in Birmingham and Milton Keynes for Criminal Defence Law. This reputation has been developed by providing unrivalled expertise, practical advice, communication and court advocacy.
If you choose to appoint us to defend your case, we guarantee that you will be provided with the best legal representation available, which in turn will provide you with the best chance of a successful result at Court.
How Can Kang and Co Help?
We are a specialist private funded law firm and do not offer Legal Aid. Our clients are usually unfamiliar with the Criminal Justice System and require skilled legal advice and an understanding approach with robust Court advocacy.
If you appoint us to represent you for the offence of Actual Bodily Harm ABH you will benefit from a dedicated Qualified Solicitor or Barrister and will experience first-hand why we are a best rated Criminal Defence Law Firm.
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