The main reason you should hire a defence lawyer for assault charges is the severity of the potential consequences of being convicted. As a criminal offence, anyone charged with assault not only faces tougher penalties but can also be given a criminal record.
That can make it difficult to travel, volunteer, obtain employment, or purchase firearms. And it may require you to give a sample of your DNA. A conviction for assault may even lead to your deportation from Canada depending on your status and the sentence received.
In simple terms, the Criminal Code of Canada considers assault to be the intentional application of force, or the threat of applying force, against someone else, directly or indirectly, without that person’s consent
Types of Assault Charges
The Criminal Code outlines several different categories of assault charges. Just the number of different types of offences means there is no one way to fight assault charges and you need a defence lawyer who knows how to defend you against your particular charges.
Even this simplest assault has its complexities. Depending on the severity of the case, it may be handled as a summary conviction, which is less serious and, or as an indictable offence, both of which will result in court appearances.
Also, and this is true for many different assault charges, you can be charged with assault without having touched or harmed anyone, and even when you were defending yourself.
Our lawyers know how to advance any possible defences to the Crown and Court. Knowing you have a lawyer that best understands your circumstances is key to protecting your rights.
Domestic assault charges are laid in cases where there are aggressive or violent acts, gestures or uttering of threats between people that have some sort of relationship to each other. The relationship could be a romantic one, a common-law marriage, or a familial relationship.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm
Of course, if a victim was injured during an assault, the charges and consequences can
be more serious. Even for a summary (less serious) conviction, the maximum penalty is 18
months in jail, and probation up to 3 years.
Did you know that if you were involved in a consensual fight and the other party received serious injuries you can be charged? The law in Canada indicates that no person can consensually agree to bodily harm.
Assault with a Weapon
As the name implies, these charges are made when a weapon, like a gun or a knife, is used during the assault. But, very often, the “weapon” isn’t what some people would call a weapon. It could be anything that could harm a person if used against them, like a vehicle or piece of wood.
When the assault is more severe, involving a level of force and violence that may result in serious injury, long-term consequences for the victim or the victim’s life was endangered, it is considered an aggravated assault and carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
The Criminal Code holds that a sexual assault is an act that is sexual in essence and that violates the sexual virtue of the victim. The assault does not depend solely on contact by or with any particular parts of the body, and a sexual assault can occur when there is a threat of unwanted sexual contact.
Whereas most typical assaults involve an unwanted application of force, the Criminal Code also prohibits certain threatening behaviours. Even in the heat of the moment if someone uses terminology where they will hurt another person or destroy property you can be charged with a threat. This extends to all property and animals owned by someone.
Typically known as stalking, these laws were designed to protect people from all forms of continuing harassment. Did you know that under certain circumstances if someone asks you to stop calling, watching, following, or communicating with them you could be charged with this offence? You can even be charged with criminal harassment if the harassment is directed at a related person.
If you face criminal charges of assault, X-Copper’s experienced team of former police officers and top criminal defence lawyers for assault will use their expert knowledge of the laws, law enforcement and court procedures to protect your rights and get the best results possible.
To learn more about the consequences of a criminal record, check out our article, “How Long Does A Criminal Record Last For Theft?”.