Cause Harm / Serious Harm

Cause Harm / Serious Harm

The charges of Causing Harm or Serious Harm sit within a complex area of criminal law, which can be difficult to navigate. As such, we recommend speaking to our expert lawyers as soon as possible.

There are two scenarios that could lead to a charge of Causing Harm or Serious Harm, where:

  1. A person either intended to cause harm to another or, although they may not have intended to, they acted in a reckless way that caused harm regardless.
  2. A person has the knowledge that something will cause harm to another, but makes an omission or does not act to ensure harm does not occur.

Causing Harm

Maximum penalties here depend on whether a charge is aggravated or not and intended or reckless the penalties can vary on the degree of intention or recklessness.

  • For a basic offence, 3 years imprisonment
  • For an aggravated offence, 4 years in prison
  • Causing harm with intent to cause harm, basic offence, 10 years imprisonment
  • Causing harm (aggravated) with intent to cause harm, basic offence, 13 years imprisonment
  • For an unintentional offence (reckless), 5 years imprisonment
  • For an aggravated unintentional offence (reckless), 7 years imprisonment

Serious Harm

An act would be considered to be Serious Harm if it endangers a person’s life, results in serious impairment to a person’s physical or mental functions, or results in serious disfigurement.

Maximum penalties depend on whether a charge is based on committing the harm or omitting in a situation that would cause harm. They also vary on whether the charge is aggravated or not.

Causing:

  • For an intentional offence, 20 years in prison
  • For an aggravated intentional offence, 25 years in prison
  • For a reckless offence, 15 years in prison
  • For an aggravated reckless offence, 19 years in prison