Domestic Assault Defence | Understanding the Nuances Between Self-Defence and Assault Charges

If you find yourself confronted with an assault charge, navigating the intricate Canadian legal landscape can be a daunting task. In such challenging times, having a seasoned defender by your side is crucial. Vladimir Semyonov, a distinguished domestic assault defence lawyer in Toronto, stands ready to bolster your defence strategy. With extensive experience encompassing various assault charges, Semyonov Law is committed to tailoring your defence to match your unique circumstances.

At Semyonov Law, we not only represent you in court but also provide consistent updates on the progress of your case, allowing you to focus on your professional and familial responsibilities. Our tenacious and committed legal assistance is available 24/7, ensuring you receive the support you need during this trying period.

Under section 265 (1), a person commits an assault when:

(a) “without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly.”

(b) “they attempt or threaten, by an act or gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect their purpose.”

(c) “while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, they accost or impedes another person or begs.”

Levels of Assault in Ontario

Common Assault Level 1 – Outlined in section 265(1), common assault involves actions like pushing, slapping, punching, and face-to-face verbal threats.

Major Assault Level 2 – Defined by section 267, this level includes a more serious form of common assault, incorporating the use or threat of a weapon and causing bodily harm.

Major Assault Level 3 – Under section 268, major assault level 3 involves aggravated assault with severe consequences, such as wounds, maiming, disfiguration, or endangerment of life.

Both major assault levels 2 and 3 are considered indictable offences if convicted.

Understanding self-defence extends beyond mere physical confrontation; it encompasses protecting oneself, property, and loved ones. According to Section 34 of the Criminal Code of Canada, an accused person may be found ‘not guilty’ if they can prove:

  • “The accused person had reasonable grounds to believe that the force was being used against them or another person or that a threat of force was being made against them or another person”;
  • “That the assault was committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from the use of that force”;
  • “The act committed was reasonable in the circumstances.”

There are numerous ways in which the Crown can dismiss charges based on the Canadian Charter of Rights violations, a lack of intent at the time of the incident, the consent for the use of force that occurred as a result of a fistfight or impaired circumstances and the raising of reasonable doubt that raises discrepancies in the case. 

When faced with an assault charge, entrust your defence to our experienced legal counsel. Vladimir Semyonov’s expertise can be instrumental in securing a favourable outcome. Don’t navigate the complexities of the Canadian legal system alone—let Semyonov Law be your unwavering ally.