Assault Allegations

Attentive legal representation for assault allegations
Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham

If you are accused of assault it can cause long-term damage to your reputation and even lead to a criminal conviction resulting in a maximum prison sentence of life imprisonment. As one of the UK’s leading criminal defence solicitors, recognised by the Legal 500, here at Cartwright King, we provide effective legal advice at all stages of your case to achieve the best possible outcome and minimise the negative impact of the assault charges made against you.

As accredited police station representatives, we can take on your case and support you from the moment you have been detained by the police. Our extensive experience with such cases enables us to take immediate action to best defend your best interests. Our attentive assault solicitors will scrutinise the evidence against you, in detail, to ensure that a reliable criminal defence strategy is put in place to protect your rights and your future.

If you have been detained by the police or charged with assault, get in touch with our criminal defence solicitors as soon as possible on 0330 127 8501 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

How Cartwright King can help you 

If you’re arrested or charged with assault, Cartwright King can help you with:

  • Police station representation 
  • Representation at the Magistrates Court and Crown Court
  • Seeking Legal Aid

Our criminal defence team has a proven track record of success in defending cases involving criminal charges of varying complexity, including:

  • Section 18 Assault – Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – Wounding (with intent)
  • Section 20 Assault – Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – Wounding (without intent)
  • Section 47 Assault – Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
  • Section 39 Assault – Common Assault

Get in touch now to talk to the Cartwright King Criminal Defence team and see how we can help you defend yourself against various assault charges.

Free legal advice at the police station

If you’re arrested on suspicion of assault, Cartwright King’s experienced Assault Solicitors are available day and night to offer free legal advice if you are under arrest at the police station. Our priority is to ensure that your position is protected and your defence is properly presented.

You have the right to choose who you want to represent you legally. Tell the police you want to be represented by Cartwright King, and one of our specialist Criminal Defence team will be there when you need us most, no matter where you are in the UK.

Why choose Cartwright King for your defence against assault allegations?

Criminal defence is our strength that’s why our lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that you have legal representation when you need it most. 

70% of our cases involve defending against criminal charges, including assault. Our reputation is built on successfully clearing people accused of criminal activity. We’re trusted, resourceful  and calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on. 

Unique advocacy services

We can represent you at every stage of your case. Our unique advocacy services give you legal representation from the police station through to the Higher Courts. When you need us most, we will be there with the legal know-how and calm head to guide you through your case.

Free, Initial Phone Conversation

If you have already been spoken to by the police or have been told that the police wish to speak to you, get in touch now to speak to one of our Criminal Defence lawyers for a free, no obligation chat. When facing assault allegations, there’s no substitute for talking to a specialist lawyer.

The discussion is completely free, informal and confidential and allows us to:

  • Understand your circumstances
  • Find out which police station you’re at
  • Send a Criminal Defence lawyer near to you

Legal fees

If you find yourself arrested on suspicion of assault and taken to a police station, remember you have the right to free and independent legal advice. 

Instructing Cartwright King means you’re choosing the leading provider of Legal Aid for criminal defence services. Any  representation and advice we provide you in the police station is entirely free.

To receive calm, collected legal representation, and an immediate, 24/7 response, please call us, or email your enquiry.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What sentence could I face?

Cartwright King will do everything we can to help you avoid prosecution, giving you sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance throughout legal proceedings.

If you are convicted, a number of factors can be taken into account prior to sentencing, including whether there was any injury, the severity of injuries inflicted, whether they were inflicted intentionally, the vulnerability of the victim and more. Sentencing is often more severe if injuries are inflicted intentionally.

Sentences for assault can include:

How long can I be detained by the police for an assault charge?

As a general rule, the police can detain you for up to 24 hours before having to officially charge you or release you. 

Depending on the circumstances of your case, the police can apply to hold you in custody for up to 36 or 96 hours. This usually applies to serious criminal offences, such as murder. 

What are the most common types of assault offences that I can be charged with?

Under the assault law in the UK, you can face the following assault charges:

  • Common assault (Section 39) –  this involves causing someone to fear immediate, unlawful violence. You don’t need to have physically assaulted someone or caused an injury to be charged with common assault
  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH – Section 47) – a minor, short-term injury must be caused to the victim (i.e. bruises and scratches)
  • Unlawful wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH – Section 20) – serious bodily harm must have been sustained by the victim (i.e. broken bones, significant blood loss, disfigurement, loss of sensory function)
  • Wounding/causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent (Section 18) – to satisfy this offence, the GBH must have been a premeditated or repeated act (deliberately carrying a weapon, breaking a bottle to use as a weapon in an attack, making threats, etc)

GBH vs ABH: What is the difference?

Actual bodily harm (ABH) consists of causing harm, such as scratches, bruises and bite marks. To be found guilty of an ABH charge, the prosecution must prove that you have acted with the intent to apply unlawful force, regardless of whether you intended to cause injury or not. 

Grievous bodily harm (GBH) is a more serious offence that consists of causing severe injuries, such as broken bones, permanent disfigurement or other injuries that significantly impact the life of the victim in the long term. 

What’s worse: ABH charges or GBH charges?

ABH and GBH  are both considered criminal offences under the Offences against the Person Act 1861. However, a GBH charge is more serious than an ABH charge and can carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. 

What is the maximum sentence I could face for an assault charge?

This depends on the charges raised against you. For example, you could be looking at the following:

  • Common Assault (or Section 39 Common Assault ) carries a maximum sentence of up to 6 months in prison but usually, sentences include community service and/or a fine instead
  • Actual Bodily Harm (ABH, or Section 47 Assault) carries a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison as decided by the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court
  • Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH, Section 18 Assault or Section 20 Assault) carries a maximum sentence of life in prison 


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