The Criminal Code of Canada defines assault as any intentional use of force against someone without their permission. This includes everything from pushing another person in anger, to hitting or punching them, scratching or spitting at them, pulling their hair, and even injuring them with an object. Simple assault is the least serious type of assault charge but it’s still a criminal offence.
If you’re charged with assault, it’s important to seek legal advice right away. A conviction for assault will have a major impact on your life. It could result in both jail time and a criminal record. A criminal lawyer can review the evidence against you and advise you on your best options for defending yourself against the charge. They may be able to argue that you were acting in self-defence or that the other person was the aggressor.
Simple assault: Assault can be committed in many ways, including pushing someone. Although there must have been some physical contact for it to qualify as an assault charge. Simply threatening violence could also count towards this crime if done purposefully and maliciously enough without any other examples of harm coming from your actions.
Assault causing bodily harm: When an assault results in physical harm, such as a black eye or a similar injury to the complainant’s face, the charge can be upgraded to the more serious charge of assault causing bodily harm.
Assault with a weapon: The charge can result from an assault involving a weapon such as a knife, firearm or even a random object such as a beer bottle or towel.
Aggravated assault: A simple assault can turn into aggravated assault if it results in serious injuries, such as a broken arm or leg, or endangers the complainant’s life.
Domestic assault:The charge involves a conflict between two parties in a domestic relationship.
The criminal defence lawyers at LZZ have extensive experience successfully defending against all types of assaults. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately to help determine the best defence. Call us at (416) 613-0416 or (416) 595-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Common Questions Regarding Assault
What is Considered an Assault?
An assault is the application of force without consent. According to the Criminal Code, an assault occurs when an individual:
• applies force intentionally to another person, directly or indirectly;
• attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has the ability to affect his purpose; or
• while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation, a person accosts or impedes another person and/or begs.
This definition applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault.
What is Consent?
An individual can consent to the application of force, such as a hug or other touching. Also, individuals can consent to a fight, so it is a full defence if the trial judge found that it was a consent fight.
There are times when an individual cannot consent to the application of force. One example is someone cannot consent to grievous bodily harm. The Criminal Code also limits consent to where the complainant submits or does not resist by:
- the application of force
- threats or fear of force
- the exercise of authority
How do I Defend my Assault Charge?
Common defences to assault charges include:
• consent, e.g. a consensual fight;
• self-defence of yourself, others or your property; and
• defence of someone under your protection.
Are there Different Forms of Assault?
The Criminal Code defined different types of assault, such as:
Assault (also known as Common Assault, Simple Assault or Assault Simpliciter): An assault occurs where one person applies force upon another person. A common assault, usually involves no injury or very minor injuries
Domestic Assaults: though not a specific charge in the Criminal Code, it is an important classification of an assault that occurs in a domestic context. The Crown must prove the nature of the relationship.
Assault with a Weapon: Is the application of force with a weapon or while in possession of a weapon.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm: Is when an assault caused injuries which are more than trifling or minor in nature.
Aggravated Assault: Is when an assault maims, disfigures, wounds, or endangers the life of the victim. This is considered the most serious form of assault since the injuries required to constitute an aggravated assault are more severe than the other forms of assault.
What Should I do if I am Charged with Assault?
You should contact the lawyers of Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh to discuss your matter. We are experienced at representing people charged with all forms of assault. LZZ has successfully defended people charges with assault in all the Toronto courthouses including Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, College Park, Old City Hall, and the Superior Court of Justice. Please contact us at 416-613-0416 or at email@example.com to schedule a consultation.