Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the requisite elements of assault. Such charges may be laid if an individual is accused of having applied force to another individual in an intentional and non-consensual manner. An attempt, or threat of an attempt to apply such force may also be enough for these charges to be laid. Finally, interfering with another individual while in possession of a weapon may be deemed as assault.
Assault charges can have long lasting impacts on an individual’s career, aspirations and life. If found guilty, you may be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years if the Crown proceeds by indictment, or to two years less a day in jail and/or a $5000 fine if the Crown proceeds summarily.
If convicted, a DNA Order or Weapons Prohibition Order may be imposed on a discretionary basis.
According to Section 267 of the Criminal Code any individual may be charged under this section if it is alleged that they carried, used, or threatened to use a weapon in the commission of an assault, or caused bodily harm to a complainant.
Assault charges with a weapon or causing bodily harm carry a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in the case of an indictable election, and a sentence of up to 18 months in the case of a summary election. Depending on the Crown’s election and the eventual verdict, you may also be compelled to provide a DNA sample, and be subject to a Weapons Prohibition Order.
Aggravated assault is the most serious form of assault. There is no Crown election as to how to proceed, and such charges are always considered to be indictable offences. Section 268 of the Criminal Code states that an assault will be aggravated if the complainant is wounded, maimed, disfigured, or has their life endangered during the commission of the offence.
The elements of this offence are made out if the wounding, maiming, disfigurement or endangerment of life was caused by the accused’s conduct and a reasonable person would have realized that this conduct would lead to such bodily harm. In these instances, it is not necessary for the Crown to prove that the accused intended to cause such bodily harm. Instead, it is enough to prove that the accused had objective foresight that their actions would wound, maim, disfigure or endanger the life of another person.
Offences under Section 268 are straight indictable. If convicted, such charges carry a maximum sentence of 14 years and are accompanied by a DNA order and Weapons Prohibition Order.