What are the typical penalties for assault with a weapon in Canada? First of all, under Section 267 of the Criminal Code, an assault with a weapon is defined where you do an intentional application of force to another person while using a weapon, carrying it openly or threatening to use the weapon. So there’s a wide range of sentencing for this and I’ll talk about the range of sentence in a moment. But first of all, the crown can elect summarily or by indictment, so it’s a hybrid offence.

If the crown elects summarily you could be facing a maximum sentence of two years less than a day and or a follow up to a $5,000 Fine. If the crown elects by indictment the maximum sentences is 10 years in jail so that’s pretty significant is it’s one step up above assault. So what penalties are we facing this? Well, it really depends on the factual situation like for example, let’s say you assaulted someone while you’re holding a handgun.

Well, you’re going to be faced with other charges but the handgun but that’s a serious offense. So you, you could be facing months and months and months in jail for that particular offense. On the other hand, weapons vary wildly defined. I mean, any household item that you’re holding that’s being threatened to use, it can qualify as a weapon. So if person is not injured say is your wife or friend, you may be able to avoid jail term if there’s no injuries than you were just kind of threatening it and slap the person for example with your other hand.

And so it really depends I mean, you could be facing, if there’s significant injuries, they’re going to charge you with assault causing bodily harm as well. So the assault with the weapon is completely magnified. Let’s say there’s broken bones and your using a baseball bat, I mean, you could be facing years in jail.

So it really depends. I mean, in very rare instances, you might be able to get a conditional discharge if it’s the kind of a household item you threaten to use it. You didn’t use it, you slapped the person no injuries first time offense. That’s a rarity, though, in most if not all cases of an assault with a weapon, you may wind up in jail unless its towards that lesser end of the scale. You’ll be facing other things too. You could get a period, if you’re if your sentence is less than two years less a day you could face up to three years probation typically at a first offence, it’s a supervisory order the court. There’s probably going to be a DNA order, if it’s a summary conviction offence, you’re going to have to forfeit any weapons. There’s going to be a firearms, mandatory firearms prohibition.

If it’s indictable offences automatic ancillary order for weapons of forfeiture, and firearms, of course.

It’s a wide range. It’s a loaded question. I mean that the bottom line is the assault weapon can range from the most innocuous event where you grab a household item, threaten someone, maybe give them a light slap. That’s technically an assault with a weapon, avoiding jail maybe even a conditional discharge up to you know, assaulting someone with a baseball bat breaking a bunch of bones and facing, you know, three years in jail as an example. So that’s kind of the range, there’s something everywhere they call a crime, we talked about range of sentencing in Canada and your sentencing for this particular crime based on the facts and this particular offender based on their background.

So I’m talking about first time offenders here. If the persons had got a past criminal record with violence, things escalate is called the jump principle. You know, instead of facing six months in jail, they might face 12 as an example, and that’s because of their past record. So there you have it, it’s a very wide spectrum of assault with a weapon. And really the severity of it, in my mind depends on first of all, the type of weapon you’re holding like a firearm is very serious and the degree of bodily harm that may or may not have beena cause.

These things are going to determine where you are that spectrum from maybe a conditional discharge and the most innocuous matter, right up to multi years in jail was someone who’s breaking legs with a baseball bat.

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