An assault charge is any charge that relates to a crime of physical force used against another person. You can be charged with assault for participating in a bar fight, for threatening someone with a gun, or even for shoving someone hard enough to hurt them.
The lawyers at Merchant Law can help if you’ve been accused of assault. Our experienced team will review the facts of the case and will develop a strategy for eliminating or mitigating the consequences of your arrest.
Even a minor assault charge can have lifelong consequences. Take them seriously!
Assault Causing Bodily Harm
Committing assault is a matter of applying intentional force to another person’s body, either directly or indirectly. If the assault causes an injury then the charge is “assault causing bodily harm.”
This harm can be be caused with weapons, a fist, or an open hand. The Crown will be making the case that it was not accidental, reflexive, or careless.
In these cases the extent of the injury to the victim can make a difference to your sentencing. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.
Assault With a Weapon
Using any kind of weapon during an assault doesn’t increase the penalty, but carrying a weapon can increase your chances of being indicted on an assault charge. This is because you can be charged with assault even if your only crime is threatening someone with a weapon of any kind.
This includes “improvised” or “makeshift” weapons. Threatening someone with a pool stick is the same as threatening them with a knife if it is clear you intend to use the pool stick as a weapon.
An assault is said to be “aggravated” when the assault severely wounds, maims, or disfigures the victim. It carries a maximum penalty of fourteen years. If the victim dies of their injuries then the Crown will add a murder charge as well.
Domestic violence charges are common in Canada. If you’re in the middle of a divorce you’re in particular danger of being accused of domestic assault as it can be a common tactic in custody battles.
If you’ve been accused you should speak only to your lawyer about your case. Don’t try to defend yourself to your family members or your friends until you’ve been acquitted in court, or until we’ve been successful in having your charges dropped.
Domestic assault carries no special penalties. It’s treated like an assault charge. However judges do often order counseling, and if you do have children these charges can be grounds to limit your access to them.
Why Merchant Law?
Our team of experienced criminal defence lawyers has the skills to help you defend your case. We have a long track record of helping people just like you get their charges dismissed or reduced. We’re tough in the courtroom, too, which means you have a better chance of being acquitted when you work with us.
Are you in trouble? Get help today. Call our office to schedule a free consultation.