Assault Offences in Canada

Assault is a Canadian criminal offence that you could commit through various means, including physical contact. The law considers assault as the intentional infliction of violence or force against another person without consent.

In Canada, assault crime has two types:

  1. Assault causing bodily harm.
  2. Assault without bodily harm.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that assault causing bodily harm involves an intention to cause serious injury or death, while assault without bodily harm does not.

Definition of an Assault Charge in Canada

In Canada, an assault charge is an accusation that someone has committed an assault against another. The crime includes violent acts against a person, such as hitting, punching, kicking, and pushing. It also includes threats to do any of these things. For an assault charge to be considered a criminal offence, it must be done intentionally and without consent.

Assault is a crime committed when there is intentional, unlawful contact with another person. The intent to hurt the other person or frighten them can be inferred from the nature of the contact. Assault can also occur when there is an attempt to commit a more serious crime such as rape or murder.

In Canada, assault charges are classified as either summary offences or more serious indictable offences. So it is advisable to consult a Toronto criminal lawyer to discuss your charges.

What is Assault in Canada, and What Are the Different Types?

Under Section 265 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, assault is the act of intentionally applying or threatening to apply force to someone without their consent. Note that assault does not always involve physical force. Several different types of assault can be classified by the degree of injury caused, which ranges from minor injuries to serious injuries and even death.

The main types of assaults in Canada are:

  • Assault Without Bodily Harm

Also known as simple assault, this type of assault is considered the most common type of assault in Canada. You could face charges for the crime for actions like a small shove to something more severe like a brawl. The possible penalty is up to five years in prison for a summary conviction or ten years for an indictable offence if found guilty.

  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm (ABH)

You commit assault causing bodily harm when you harm someone else using physical force, unlike simple assault. The law states that bodily harm could be a slight scratch to broken bones. If found guilty, you could serve time in jail under a summary conviction for 18 months or in prison for not more than ten years if prosecuted as an indictable offence.

  • Assault With a Weapon

You commit this offence when assaulting your victim with a weapon and causing bodily harm. The weapon could be a knife or gun. Depending on how you use cliche items, all these could be weapons, including a frying pan, bottle, or even a pen.

  • Aggravated Assault

The crime is its branch of assault under Section 267 of the Canada Criminal Code. Aggravated assault involves serious bodily harm, and in many cases, it is permanent. This is an indictable-only crime, and you face a maximum sentence of 14 years behind bars if found guilty.

  • Sexual Assault

This type of assault includes any form of unwanted sexual touching without consent, regardless if it’s between people who know each other or not. Sexual assault could take different forms, including groping, rape, and sexual abuse.

If charged as a summary conviction, possible punishment is serving time in prison for not more than 18 months. If your victim is below 16 years, possible punishment is serving time in prison for not more than two years and not less than six months.

If charged as an indictable offence, possible punishment could be serving time in prison for not less than five years to maximum life if your victim was below 16 years.

  • Sexual Assault with a Weapon

You are guilty of sexual assault with a weapon when you carry, use, or threaten to use a weapon to cause bodily harm to someone else. If you threaten to harm someone other than your victim, you still face charges. Also, you face prosecution if you were not the person holding the weapon.

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault

You face charges for aggravated sexual assault when your act of sexual assault maims, wounds, disfigures or puts your victim at risk of death. Like sexual assault with a weapon, aggravated sexual assault is an indictable-only offence. If found guilty, you could face a five-year to lifetime prison sentence.

  • Assaulting a Police Officer

This crime is further split into three:

  1. Assaulting a peace officer.
  2. Assaulting a police officer with a weapon.
  3. Aggravated assault of a police officer.

You could face a summary or indictable offence charge depending on your charge’s circumstance.

Don’t let a legal mistake ruin your future. Facing assault charges in Canada could affect your life and your loved ones. The consequences include serving lengthy prison terms or paying hefty fines.  you want to contact a Toronto criminal lawyer to help you build strong defences and have the charges dismissed

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