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Charged with Assault? Book an appointment today!

Everyone's situation is unique, and the article below should be used for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. The article SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON as legal advice, nor is it intended to create a solicitor-client relationship. If you are charged with an offence, please retain and instruct counsel immediately. I do not guarantee the accuracy of any articles on this website and reserve the right to change its contents without notice. For more information please refer to the website's usage policy.

Assault is defined in section 265 of the Criminal Code. It states:

  • (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

  • (b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or

  • (c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

The language contained in the code allows an assault to be committed without actual physical force being applied to another person. The provision covers threats of violence if the threat is reasonably believed.  An assault can also occur if there is a weapon involved under 265(1)(c). This weapon does not actually need to be a real weapon - it may be a toy gun or a stick.

Other forms of assault, such as aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and assault causing bodily harm are all modifications on the act of simple assault (defined above). For aggravated assault, for example, an assault had to have occurred but the assault was of such severity that it "wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant." (Criminal Code 268(1)).

Consent (agreeing to fight, for example) does not always save you from a charge of assault. Consent can only fend off the charge if the damage done to a person is minimal. The theory goes that people cannot consent to bodily harm.

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