The criminal offence of assault occurs where one person intentionally applies force, or the threat of force, to another person without consent. The precise criminal charge that is laid is largely determined by other factors, such as whether the victim suffered any injuries and whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offence.
All assault charges are serious criminal offences. If you have been charged with assault, you should seek help from an experienced criminal lawyer.
Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP can help. Our lawyers understand the legal intricacies of these charges, including the special provisions in the Criminal Code that apply specifically to assault-based offences. In addition, we are aware of the defences available to an assault charge. We will ensure that your legal rights are protected, and we will work to achieve the best possible outcome.
TYPES OF CRIMINAL ASSAULTS
The Criminal Code of Canada defines several different criminal assault offences, including:
This is the most basic of all assault charges. The victim does not experience any long lasting consequences and the crime is committed without a weapon.
Assault with a Weapon
This type of assault occurs when a weapon is used to apply force or threaten to use force without the victim’s consent. A weapon is any object used to commit the assault, and it is not limited to just guns or knives.
Assault causing Bodily Harm
Injuries experienced by the victim are more than very minor or last for more than just a short period of time.
If the injuries experienced by the victim result in disfigurement, maiming, or wounding, or if the victim’s life is endangered, the accused may be charged with aggravated assault.
Assault on a Peace Officer (Police)
To be charged with this type of assault, the defendant must know they are assaulting a police officer. The officer does not have to be in uniform; the defendant must simply be aware they are assaulting a peace officer.
Assault while resisting Arrest
This charge is laid when a person commits an assault while being lawfully arrested.
It is up to the police to determine what charges to lay, based upon the legal definition of each type of assault. After that, the Crown will examine the circumstances surrounding the assault, the injuries inflicted on the victim, and if a weapon was used, when making its determination about how to proceed with the charges.
In addition to regular assault charges, there are two specific types of assaults that are treated differently and require special attention: sexual assaults and domestic assaults. For more information about these offences, please see the appropriate criminal offences page.