Aggravated Assault In Canada
Aggravated assault in Canada is an Assault that results in the wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangers the life of the complainant (victim). Usually the alleged assault involves a weapon, such as a firearm or knife.
The level of injury inflicted on the victim, along with the personal circumstances of the accused, will likely determine the length of the jail sentence imposed by the judge.
Aggravated Assault Penalties
Being convicted of aggravated assault in Canada carries a very significant penalty. Depending on a variety of factors, you could be facing up to fourteen (14) years in prison. Aggravated Sexual Assault could be a life term. These life altering sentences can have a severe impact on your life. Finding the right lawyer to represent you is a critical decision and should not be taken lightly. We at The Criminal Law Team understand how daunting the process ahead of you may seem, and will handle your case with expert care and attention to detail. Using our years of experience, we will strive to get all your charges reduced or dismissed. Click here for a free consultation on your case.
How Can I Get The Charges Withdrawn or Reduced?
In most cases, The Criminal Law Team has succeeded in reducing charges of Assault Causing Bodily Harm to Simple Assault, or obtaining a withdrawal with or without a peace bond. We can evaluate your case with a free initial consultation. See what our other clients are saying about us. We can help you too!
Related Article: I’ve Been Arrested, What Should I Expect?
I Did Not Intend To Cause Bodily Harm
The defence of consent does not apply to aggravated assault charges, unless the accused did not intend to cause bodily harm to the complainant. In Canadian criminal law a complainant cannot consent to be wounded, maimed, or disfigured. However, circumstances may arise where, by accident, a complainant was seriously injured, and the accused only intended to commit a simple assault, and did not foresee the serious consequences of his actions. For example, if, during a consent fight, the accused pushed the complainant to the ground, resulting in a serious head injury that could not have been reasonably foreseeable, the accused would be not guilty of assault (and not guilty of a more serious assault, such as aggravated assault), unless his actions went beyond the scope of the consent fight.
For further discussion of the issue of consent, please see the discussion below of the offence of assault causing bodily harm.
I was Acting In Self Defence
Of course, self defence is an available defence to aggravated assault in Canada. The law recognizes that a person can use force to protect themselves, their family or property, so long as the use of force is subjectively reasonable. Most people mistakenly believe that arguing self-defence is very cut and dry. You may be tempted to believe that stating, “they attacked me first, and I was just protecting myself” will be the end of the case. However the reality is, because the complainant has usually sustained significant injury in an aggravated assault case, advancing a self-defence argument can be quite complicated. A criminal defence lawyer knows the ins-and-outs of the law of self-defence. Their knowledge and expertise is vital in demonstrating that the use of force was reasonable. Having the right lawyer representing you at trial can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.
Related Article: Assault Police / Assault Resisting Arrest.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm in Canada
Assault Causing Bodily Harm in Canada involves an assault (intentional application of force), without the consent of the complainant, that causes bodily harm. Bodily harm is defined as an injury that is more than mere trifling. For example, a scrape is a trifling injury, but bruising has been found to occasion ‘bodily harm’. Also see our full article on Assault Causing Bodily Harm.
Assault with a Weapon
Assault with a Weapon involves an assault, as per above, that involves the use or threat of a weapon. A charge of Assault with a Weapon carries essentially the same penalties as for the offence of Assault Causing Bodily Harm. A weapon can only be justified in self-defence if, in most circumstances, the accused had to resort to the weapon on the sudden to defend himself against an assault or a threat to harm.
If the accused intends to assault the complainant, resulting in bodily harm, he can be found guilty of assault causing bodily harm whether he intended or could foresee that bodily harm would occur. As mentioned above, in most situations, a complainant cannot consent to bodily harm. An exception, for example, is during the course of a consensual schoolyard fight, the complainant can consent to the inevitable black eye or bruise, i.e. bodily harm.
Our Toronto Criminal Lawyers will discuss your case with you in confidence. Many charges of assault- aggravated assault, assault bodily harm, assault with a weapon- are unfounded, and, with our over 60 years of experience defending criminal charges, we will get to the truth of the matter by unraveling the misunderstanding and lies, and expose them to the Court. We are available to help you 24/7 starting with a free evaluation of your case. Just click on the button below to speak in confidence with one of our experienced lawyers today.
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Dave B. (Ajax, Ontario)
We were referred to Stephen Hebscher when our child was in need of legal representation. He was charged with sexual assault. As parents, we were quite frightened for our child but Mr. Hebscher was the calm voice of reason. We are very grateful to Mr. Hebscher for the excellent results he got for our child, as the charges were dropped.
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