In Canada, an assault that causes bodily harm results in a more severe offence and penalty than a simple charge of criminal assault. Section 267 of Canada’s Criminal Code defines assault causing bodily harm as a situation in which the application of force to another person, without consent, results in bodily harm. The Code also defines bodily harm as any injury or hurt to an individual that interferes with the comfort or health of that person that is more than transient.
A criminal defence lawyer in Ontario can work with you if you are facing a charge of an assault causing bodily harm by designing a strong defence to win your case or by achieving a reduced charge or sentence.
The Difference Between Assault Causing Bodily Harm and Aggravated Assault
The primary distinction between a charge of causing bodily harm and a charge of aggravated assault is the severity of the injuries.
The former encompasses any assault that results in bodily harm to another individual. Cuts and facial bruising, among other injuries, have been held to be an assault causing bodily harm.
Sexual assault causing bodily harm, defined in section 272 of the Code, is a straight indictable offence. This means the prosecutor will submit that more severe penalties are warranted during sentencing, including a lengthier jail term. This charge is given to anyone who also causes bodily harm to the victim during the course of engaging in sexual assault.
Aggravated assault is the most serious type of assault and a conviction for same can result in lengthy prison terms
The Criminal Code defines aggravated assault in section 268 as an assault that involves wounding, disfiguring, or maiming the person filing the complaint or putting her or his life in danger.
What distinguishes aggravated assault from other types of assault is the severity of the injuries caused by the attack. If one party hits another leaving the injured party wounded, disfigured, or maimed, or if the life of the injured party was in danger, the assailant may be charged and convicted of aggravated assault.
Penalties for Assault Causing Bodily Harm
The penalty for an assault causing bodily harm will be handed down by a judge after an accused pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial. The severity of penalties associated with this crime are in line with the penalties given for assault with a weapon.
Assuming the crown proceeds by indictment on an assault causing bodily harm charge, a person can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison. If the crown proceeds summarily on an assault causing bodily harm charge, the maximum time behind bars is 18 months.
Work with a Defence Lawyer in Ontario Who Restricts Their Practice to Criminal Law
The charge of assault causing bodily harm, though not as serious as aggravated assault, is a crime with significant repercussions, especially if you do not have knowledgeable legal representation with extensive courtroom experience.
Facing these charges will be difficult, but you do not have to go through the process alone.