One dimension of the charge of aggravated assault is that the injury sustained by the victim from the acts of the accused must constitute a permanent disfigurement. The question arises as to what kind of disfigurement is contemplated by this definition and what factors arise to minimize liability for aggravated assault if a permanent disfigurement results from the acts of the accused.
Again, as in all criminal charges, the facts often determine the type of defence that the accused can raise. For instance, in aggravated assault, the disfigurement cannot be a trifle. Thus, a superficial scratch, a small puncture wound the size of a syringe, a small incision near the hairline and even the removal of a part of the earlobe cannot usually be considered as ‘grievous bodily injury’ for the purposes of conviction for aggravated assault.
However, there are cases where a small cut, incision or puncture wound can be a grievous bodily injury. For instance if the victim suffers from Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and his wounds do not heal easily or quickly, a festering wound from a small cut can be argued as a grievous bodily injury for it causes pain and suffering and threatens the health of the victim.
A small cut on the lip may not be a grievous bodily injury for a construction worker, or for a professional rugby player or wrestler. For a fashion model who earns a living from being photographed for beauty shots, a small cut on the lip is a disfigurement that may threaten his psychological health.
A bruise or cut on the face of a fashion model may mean rejection and disqualification from work as a model. This not only threatens the livelihood of the victim, it also threatens his self-image and self-confidence to face the camera.
Again, the seriousness of the injury sustained by the victim is determined by the separate and distinct facts of each case. Defences may arise from the factual allegations and proof offered by the prosecution. In these types of criminal charges, the professional opinion and advice of an experienced criminal lawyer is paramount to mounting an effectual defence.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.