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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In criminal law, an offence against the person usually refers to a crime which is committed by direct physical harm or force being applied to another person.

They are usually analysed by division into the following categories:

  • Fatal offences
  • Sexual offences
  • Non-fatal non-sexual offences

They can be further analysed by division into:

  • Assaults
  • Injuries

And it is then possible to consider degrees and aggravations.

Offences against the person are usually taken to comprise:

The crimes are usually grouped together in common law countries as a legacy of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

In the United Kingdom, the expression "offence against the person" is used as a term of art in section 3 of the Visting Forces Act 1952 (15 & 16 Geo.6 & 1 Eliz.2 c.67) and is defined for that purpose by paragraphs 1 (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) and 2 (Scotland) of the Schedule to that Act.

Although most sexual offences will also be offences against the person, [3] for various reasons (including sentencing and registration of offenders) sexual crimes are usually categorised separately. Similarly, although many homicides also involve an offence against the person, they are usually categorised under the more serious category.

See also

Offences Against the Person Act


  1. ^ Often referred to as administration of a noxious substance in legal parlance.
  2. ^ Some legal systems have two separate crimes: occasioning grievous bodily harm, and intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm.
  3. ^ For example, it would be legally impossible to rape another person without also committing a battery against them

External links

"Bronitt". Retrieved 2008-10-16.   A textbook on offences against the person.



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