Assault has a very broad definition according to the Criminal Code of Canada. Assault is basically when a person applies intentional force to another person without consent. It also includes threatening or even just attempting, through actions or gestures, to apply force. The accused must have or must seem to have the present ability to affect the purpose of assaulting. Holding a weapon, or even just an imitation weapon, in order to hinder another person is also assault. Physical harm does not necessarily need to occur in order to be accused of assault. In fact, there may be applied force without consent and that can already lead to an accusation of assault. Under assault also are the following different provisions:
The consequences of simply pleading guilty and eventually having a criminal record may be very severe, not only to yourself but also to your family. Your ability to obtain work may be compromised for the rest of your life due to a criminal record. The criminal justice system can be very harsh to those who are processed under it. If a person is found guilty of assault with an indictable offense, the punishment is imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. A person can be convicted of an offense punishable on summary conviction offense,summary conviction as well.
If the accused used a weapon (or an imitation thereof) or caused bodily harm, the accused may be guilty of an indictable offense liable to a maximum of ten years imprisonment, or a summary conviction liable to a maximum of eighteen months imprisonment. An aggravated assault, where the accused wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers another's life, is an indictable offence liable to a maximum of fourteen years imprisonment.
Instead of imprisonment, there may be other alternatives to carry out the sentence, such as fines, suspended sentence, diversion or discharges. Much depends on the expertise of your criminal defence lawyer and the strategy they execute in delivering your defence. It also depends on the facts and circumstances, as to whether the court decides to label your actions as assault.
Be aware that there can be a number of valid defences when accused of assault. This may even include self defence, the consent of the person, as well as the violation of rights as defended by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You can state that you assaulted as a method of self defence or to defend others or even your property and that you did not provoke any assault.
Consent means that the person expressed or implied consent to being assaulted, whether it was an honest decision or a mistaken belief. If the complainant submits or doesn't resist due to the application of force to the person, threats of the application of force, or the exercise of authority, then no consent can be obtained. There are many strategies that a skilled criminal lawyer can follow to overturn an assault charge. If you have been charged with Assault, contact Kruse Law to learn how we can help you.