I want to talk to you today about an interesting subject is what is the range of sentence in Ontario and Canada under the Canadian Criminal Code for assault causing bodily harm? Interesting question. There’s a vast range of sentences. You know, the first thing to know is the maximum jail term if the Crown elects by indictment is 10 years. That’s pretty rare. It would have to be the worst case, worst offender in the world to get 10 years. If the Crown elects by summary the maximum sentence is 18 months. So that’s what you’re looking at for summary.
So what’s bodily harm mean under the Criminal Code? Well, it doesn’t take much to get bodily harm. I mean, bodily harm is any harm that’s more than just minimal or trifling. So for example, there’s a lot of case law that says mere bruising is bodily harm. So that’s how minimal it can be up to like broken limbs and broken arms and that sort of thing. I mean, aggravated assault is quite something, these are much more serious, wounding, maiming, endangering life and disfiguring. So those are pretty serious injuries. But, you know, brain injury, I suppose could be not necessarily be aggravated. It could be in certain situations if it endangers life, but it could qualify as merely bodily harm. So with that in mind, let’s look at the range of sentence. It’s a very vast, there’s a lot of sentencing options, first of all for bodily harm. So it’s mere say, just some bruising where maybe a punch somewhere caused some bruising and it’s kind of an overcharge a little bit. They probably should’ve charged as assault but it is bodily harm if they stick to their guns the Crown, you should probably be able to avoid a jail term. You might even get a conditional discharge in that particular situation. Moving along the continuum. Most bodily harm situations probably range in the two months up to probably about one year range. You know, when you start talking about the broken arms and legs you’re looking at that 9, 12, 15 month range. Brain injury might be more serious. It might even be in the pen time. So most cases fall in the two months or one year although there’s more serious cases that of course. Rare for conditional discharge. So worst case, worst offender, like you’ve got a person with multiple convictions for bodily harm and aggravated assault, I mean, that person could and it’s a terrible bodily harm case that person could face close to 10 years, I suppose in certain narrow cases, but I have seen situations where people face pen time, but oftentimes when the crown when the police overcharge, you know, I would say even though it’s bodily harm, just mere bruising is probably an overcharge. We should be able to negotiate that down to assault and avoid criminal record by getting a conditional discharge. And there’s ancillary orders, there’s going to be no weapons conditions probably and things like this. Stay away from the, ancillary orders means supporting orders in addition to the jail and whatnot. So you know, non-contact, no weapons, a DNA, you’re going to have to provide a DNA blood sample, that sort of thing. All these sort of things go with it. So serious repercussions, there’s no question and it’s a serious offence that requires serious jail time. There’s no question about it. I’ve represented many clients over the years who didn’t have a defence, and we’re simply trying to negotiate the best possible sentence by getting them into counselling, rehabilitation and convincing the Crown that they shouldn’t go to jail for a year, they should go to jail for six months. As an example. That’s the defense counsel’s role when the client admits their guilt and there’s no defense. I can tell you 90% of practicing criminal law is actually negotiating resolutions and appearing for people to get the lightest possible sentence. And when I say a lightest possible sentence, the appropriate sentence I mean, the Crown’s always asking for the moon, defense counsel’s I’d love to ask for the Middle Earth, Moon, Middle Earth, it’s usually it’s something in between junctions that bring us to our senses. And oftentimes, we arrive at a joint submission which could make sense to. So there’s often a middle ground. And that’s appropriate. I mean, if a crown attorney is asking for too much a judge is going to look at them like crazy, if I’m asking too low, the judge will look at me like I’m crazy. So you have to know the ranges, you have to know the case law. And by the way, there’s hundreds, if not thousands of cases, on these ranges where you can find similar cases involving a broken arm that’s going to say six, nine months. Bruising is going to say conditional discharge. I can find all these cases, but I’m not going to bore you with that and cite case law. I’m just talking about general ranges. It’s a wide variety right up from as I say, the bruising right up to you know, some of them breaking every bone in your body. That’d be a pretty serious case. So there you have it a very wide range available for sentencing for assault causing bodily harm in Canada. Thank you for watching our video. We are absolutely committed to bringing you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense and Ontario and require our services, please click on the link in description below.