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How Can I Get The Charges Withdrawn or Reduced?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 unravelling 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.
I came to Stephen Hebscher with a somewhat irregular case. Both my spouse and I had been mutually charged with domestic assault, a legal situation that neither of us had wished upon each other. While my spouse's lawyer had been content to seek mutually binding peace bonds, Stephen was able to get in front of the case and negotiate a withdrawal of both of our charges- the best possible outcome on BOTH sides of the table – once we successfully completing the PARs program. I remain entirely pleased with Stephen's competency, professionalism and accessibility, and would not hesitate to recommend him as a criminal defence lawyer. L.A.
Mr. Hebscher: I would like to thank you for your excellent representation of me in relation to the domestic assault charges that you worked so hard to have withdrawn. You have made a critical difference in my future and I am very happy with the outcome. I also appreciate your hard work, and the extra time and effort you have put in to deal with all the other issues that came along. I thank you for being a phone call away (or email) even when you did not have to be. I will gladly recommend your services to any of my friends or family should they ever need it. I am very grateful for what you have done.
I am impressed especially after our meeting on Monday – I was resigned that something bad would befall me, so I am very blessed to have this outcome. I thank you for the hard work that you have put into this case, and the dedication on getting me this fantastic outcome! I am so glad that we retained you as my lawyer! You have done an outstanding job and allowed me to now rebuild my life. Thank you, Bruce Karten.
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.
J.N. (Toronto, Ontario)
Mr. Hebscher is a very professional lawyer who takes pride in his work and because of this the end result was the judge ruling me not guilty and I got my innocence and life back. My family and I would like to thank you again Stephen Hebscher for doing a wonderful job and also being a very supportive man.
Chris T. (Scarborough, Ontario)
I am happy to report that Bruce’s superior negotiation strategy and ability to present facts effectively helped convince the Crown to reduce his position. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bruce for getting my charge withdrawn and keep my criminal record clean.
J.S (Toronto, Ontario)
I looked and found Barrister Stephen Hebscher I introduced myself and my case and after listening to all details he was able to ensure me that my case would go well. All charges against me have be thrown out and my life is back to normal.
Blair H. (North York)
Bruce ...The care and concern you showed us during our dealings certainly helped to reduce the stress we were under. I would recommend you without a second thought. Your winning record is a bonus as well. My husband and myself can't thank you enough for all you've done for our family.
Debi T. (Mississauga, Ontario)
Dear Mr. Hebscher...There are not enough words to express my appreciation for your...giving me your undivided attention at all times, work in my case with your heart and soul, that makes you "ONE OF A KIND" lawyer.
Ahmed A. (Brampton, Ontario)
Mr. Bruce Karten was able to help to extricate me from a very serious criminal case containing severe charges, including weapons –threat to use weapons, death threat, harassment,etc. He succeeded in winning my case. I was discharged; was able to keep my career, and no criminal record. This was a tremendous accomplishment, and I am very appreciative of that.
Nickolai V. (Toronto, Ontario)
Again, from the depth of our hearts we sincerely thank you very much for being my Counsel on this case. We now can say you are the BEST and we will surely recommend you to our friends and anybody here we know who needs the best Lawyer in Ontario. You have done an extremely good job and we are very happy with the outcome this morning.
Roman A. (Markham, Ontario)
Mr. Hebscher was the only lawyer who gave me hope and made me feel like I had a real fighting chance. I am extremely satisfied with the quick results that he delivered, and I am happy to say that he was able to convince the court to drop the charges against me and clear my name.
Tina M. (Toronto, Ontario)