Unpacking The Different Types of Assault Charges in Canada
Assault charges in Canada and Ontario can carry serious consequences, whether it was intentional or not. In addition to causing physical and emotional harm, being charged and convicted of assault can result in severe penalties or even a criminal record if you are unable to defend yourself. The severity of the punishment ultimately depends on the degree and type of assault you are charged with by the prosecution. As such, a criminal assault defense lawyer can assist you with navigating the complexities of assault charges and building a sound defence that may increase your chances of innocence.
At Semyonov Law, lead criminal defence lawyer Vladimir Semyonov and his team will inform and guide you on how the judicial process works and what you can expect if you have been charged with assault. We will work on your behalf to make sure you have access to good legal representation when you need it and navigate you through the complex legal system.
The Canadian legal system does not tolerate violent acts against anyone and the type of assault charge levied against you can bring its own penalties. We will break down what constitutes as assault in Canada and the different types of assault charges you may face.
What Constitutes An Assault in Canada?
In Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada, assault is defined as the intentional application of force upon another person, directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent. An assault charge is considered a serious offence in Canada, carrying severe consequences if you are convicted.
Making a threat of assault is also considered assault because that is all that is needed for a charge to be filed by the police. Even if no injuries have occurred, the threat of assault carries just as much consequence as the physical action of doing so. For example, this can range from a threat or attempt to physically strike a person, regardless if contact was made. Additionally, the complainant does not have to be aware of the danger they are in for it to be considered assault.
The key point to assault charges is if the person intentionally caused harm to that person without the other’s consent.
What Are The Different Types of Assault in Canada?
There are many types of assault you can be charged with in Canada. Some carry minimal penalties while others may result in jail time, heavy fines, and/or a criminal record.
Simple assault is the most basic form of criminal assault charge and occurs when no weapon is used and injuries on the victim are not major in nature. This type of assault can be prosecuted through either by summary conviction or by indictment. A summary conviction usually results in less severe consequences. On the other hand, an indictable conviction carries much more severe consequences.
Aggravated assault is when a person seriously wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of the complainant. This is a very serious charge that carries with it very serious consequences.
Sexual assault involves the threat or use of force against someone in non-consensual sex, rape, molestation, sodomy or a similar sexual offence. Depending on the severity of the offence itself, it can be prosecuted either by indictment or summarily. Sexual assault is considered a very serious charge in Canada and a conviction for it can have devastating effect on your life.
Assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm are other assault charges you should be aware of. Assault with a weapon refers to when someone carries, uses, or threatens to use a weapon (whether it is an imitation weapon or a real one). Assault causing bodily harm is an assault that causes very serious injuries.
What Are The Penalties For Assault in Canada?
Every assault charge is different and the severity of penalties is dependent on many factors and circumstances regarding the assault. Consequences can range from receiving fines, probation time, and other issues associated with having a criminal record, such as firearm bans, employment challenges, and international travel restrictions.
For example, simple assault penalties can be less consequential, resulting in a criminal record and, at maximum, a 5 year jail term. If you have been charged with assault causing bodily harm and prosecuted by summary conviction, you could face jail time for as long as 18 months.
Indictable assault convictions often result in the harsher penalties. The maximum jail term for an indictable assault causing bodily harm is 10 years in prison. A sexual assault conviction may result in life sentences in prison, depending on the age of the victim, the extent of the assault, and whether or not violence was used in the incident.
Domestic assault conviction may result in five years in jail, along with mandatory counseling and probation. Meanwhile, an aggravated assault conviction may result in 14 years of jail time.
Contact Vladimir Semyonov today at (647) 292-3377 if you have been charged with assault in Canada. Our legal term will provide you with good legal representation in your time of need. Work with us now to secure your legal defence.