If you have been charged with assault the best way to protect your rights is to seek an experienced criminal defence lawyer to analyze and work on your case.
Listed in the Criminal Code are multiple different types of assault charges. Some charges relate to the assault of a specific type of person (i.e.: assaulting a peace officer), however there are 3 general types of assault. In addition, Sexual assault is related to assault in that it is non-consensual contact, but it must be of a sexual nature. Sexual assault is a vastly different offence in comparison to assault in general, so for the purposes of this article, we will strictly be focusing on ordinary assault.
In general, assault is an offence where someone applies uninvited force or threatens/attempts to apply force to another person without their consent. For an example, if someone allowed you to push them on the swing, this would not be considered an assault, but pushing someone without their consent would be a form of assault.
A simple assault can include contact with minimal force even if there is not significant pain or harm caused, it would still be classified as an assault. Simple assault is a hybrid offence. A hybrid offence allows the crown to choose how to proceed by either indictment or by summary conviction. If the crown chooses to proceed by indictment, the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment and if the crown chooses to proceed by summary conviction the maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment.
Assault With A Weapon Or Assault Causing Bodily Harm
Another type of assault mentioned in the Criminal Code is Assault with a Weapon and/or Assault Causing Bodily Harm. The name of the offence is self explanatory. If the occurred assault injures a victim or if an assault involves the use of a weapon, it will qualify for this offence. A weapon can be identified as any device or object used or intended to be used to inflict harm on another individual. The term weapon is very expansive and is inclusive to almost anything, such as an animal, a vehicle, a stick, etc. Similar to the previously mentioned simple assault, this offence is also considered to be a hybrid offence. However, the penalties are much more severe. If the crown wishes to proceed by way of indictment the maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment and if the crown wishes to proceed by way of summary conviction the maximum sentence is 18 months imprisonment.
Aggravated assault is classified as the most serious type of an assault charge. Aggravated assault entails an assault where the victim is wounded, maimed, disfigured or their life is endangered. It expressly includes cases of female genital mutilation. In contrast to the previously mentioned assaults aggravated assault is considered an indictable offence punishable by a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.
Having an assault conviction can potentially impact your ability to find employment and travel. Having a violent crime on your criminal record may also impact you in a negative way regarding family law proceedings or immigration applications. Ensure that you contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible if you are charged with the offence of assault. Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation can work with you to protect your rights.