The one punch law is also colloquially known as the coward punch laws. The one punch laws state, “the person assaults another person by intentionally hitting the other person with any part of the person’s body or with an object held by the person “. This is under Section 25A(1), Assault causing the death of the Crimes Act.
The one punch laws were introduced due to numerous incidents where a single blow to a person’s head or neck resulted in death. The maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years.
In addition, an aggravated form of the offence where the person is intoxicated at the time of the offence was introduced. For example, a person guilty of Assault Causing Death when intoxicated, is liable to a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment.
The one punch laws were introduced in 2014 due to alcohol-related violence. The first man to be jailed for this offence was Hugh Garth aged 25. He was sentenced in May 2017 to more than 10 years in jail for fatally punching a man while intoxicated in 2014.
The NSW legislature introduced several one punch laws being;
Self-defence is the available defence to this charge. This is contained under section 418 of the Crimes Act.
The section provides that a person is not criminally responsible if they believe their actions were carried out in self-defence, and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as they perceive them.
You should speak to a criminal defence lawyer if you are charged under the one punch laws.