Our Criminal Defence Lawyers defend all types of assault charges, which may include: “common” assault, domestic assault, assault causing bodily harm (ACBH), assault with a weapon, sexual assault, or aggravated assault.
warning: The Information on This Page is Provided to Assist the Reader and Is Not a Replacement for Legal Advice from A Qualified Lawyer.
“Common” or “Simple” Assault is the typical name of an offence under Section 266 of the Criminal Code.
A person will have committed assault if they intentionally apply force to another person without their consent. This can be done directly or indirectly. A person may also commit assault if they attempt or threaten to apply force to another person.
The broad definition of assault under the Criminal Code makes it very easy to commit assault. Essentially, any contact with another person without their consent is enough to charge a person. This includes a simple push or shove. Even just a physical gesture towards another person may lead to you being charged with assault.
Although the threshold for assault is not very high, it is crucial that you understand the requirements. For example: What does it mean to apply force? What is intention? What is an attempt or threat? What does it mean to consent?
Our Criminal Defence Lawyer, Lucas Pearce, can meet with you, listen to your circumstances, and give you legal advice on what to do if you are concerned that you have been or may be charged with assault.
Although there is no special criminal code section relating to domestic assault, in recent years, there have been many policy changes that now characterize specific types of assault as domestic assault. As a result, certain police and government mandates illustrate the unique and tricky nature of defending these types of assaults.
Domestic situations may be characterized by husband and wife, common law spouses or potentially just significant others. Due to the complexities of domestic relationships, assaults in these situations require a much different approach than other assaults. For example, there may be children involved or there may be a history of violence.
Whatever the uniqueness of the situation is, it is important to understand how charges of domestic assault are received and reviewed by the government, as often it starts right when the 911 call is received. If you are involved in a domestic assault situation and need to know your options, get in touch with Pax Law as soon as possible.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm (“ABCH”)
One offence under Section 267 of the Criminal Code is committed when someone assaults another person and causes bodily harm to that person. Much of the same requirements as assault must be present.
Understanding the nature of bodily harm is very important if you have been charged under this section, which may include any injury to a person that interferes with someone’s health or comfort. For example, minor bruising or swelling may constitute bodily harm. Like assault, it does not require much to cause bodily harm to another person.
It is also important to understand that a person cannot consent to bodily harm. In other words, if you are charged with ACBH, you cannot claim that you obtained consent from the person you caused bodily harm to.
Assault with a Weapon
Another offence under Section 267 of the Criminal Code is committed when someone uses or threatens to use a weapon when committing assault of another person.
Most people understand some of the more obvious definitions of what a weapon is. For example, guns and knives. However, understanding the Criminal Code definition of a weapon is important. Under the Criminal Code almost anything can be used as a weapon if it is designed or intended to be used as such. This may include things such as, a pen, a rock, a car, a shoe, a water bottle, or a stick.
As you can see, assaulting someone with the use of any item may result in being charged under this section. It is not just the conventional and obvious items that can be used as a weapon under the Criminal Code.
An offence under section 271 of the Criminal Code is committed when any assault occurs in circumstances of a sexual nature. Like many forms of assaults, the difficulties arise due to the broad nature of the section and what constitutes “sexual nature.” It is hard to distinguish horrific acts of sexual assault from momentary non-consensual touching.
In sexual assault cases much of the result depends on the credibility of witnesses. It is often a case of he-said-she-said when determining the truth of what has happened. Both the victim and the alleged offender typically have very differing views as to the circumstances that led to the charges.
There are also defenses to sexual assault that are based on what the alleged offender believed in the circumstances. As such, careful review of the police reports and witness statements is paramount when dealing with charges of sexual assault. It is crucial that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible if you are concerned that you may be charged with sexual assault.
An offence under section 268 of the Criminal Code is committed when someone wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of another person. Aggravated assault is an extremely serious criminal charge.
Whether someone has wounded, maimed, disfigured or endangered the life of another person will always be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some examples are breaking someone’s bones, dislocating someone’s joint or giving someone a concussion. It is important to understand that there is no exhaustive list as to what qualifies as wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of someone. A careful review of any injuries sustained is very important when considering the a charge of aggravated assault.
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Domestic Assault – What happens if I call the police on my spouse or significant other?
Domestic Assualt – How do I drop the charges against my spouse or significant other?
In BC, the police are the ones who recommend charges to Crown Counsel (the government). It is then up to Crown Counsel whether your spouse or significant other will be charged with a criminal offence. It is important to understand that it is NOT up to you whether your spouse or significant other will be charged.