Are you charged with an assault in Canada? If yes, then the first thing that will strike your mind is how to beat an assault charge in Canada. We all know how hectic and challenging this situation can be. And what will happen if it stays for a lifetime.
In fact, you will be surprised to know that it is deemed as one of the most serious violations of law and falls under the criminal act in Canada.
So no matter who the person is, if anyone is charged with this assault, then s/he needs to prove that they are not guilty. Otherwise, no one can save them from getting severe punishments.
It is where an experienced lawyer can play a crucial role. They will know all the tactics and strategies to make your case stronger by analyzing everything.
However, before heading into details, let’s know about what is an assault and the types of assault:
What is Assault?
Any kind of threat or attempt that harms another person is considered an assault. As a human being, it is normal that you will get angry at someone or may have misunderstandings issues, but that doesn’t mean in any way that you will into a fight or harm that person.
No matter how badly someone has hurt you, broke your trust, you get into a constant fight or any other reason, harming someone can never be a solution.
However, sometimes we mix up our conscience with our rage and let the anger control our minds. And thus, we end up harming someone but forget that every action has a way of coming back.
Therefore, it is more than necessary that we control our emotions and don’t do anything that goes against the law and moral ethics.
Types of Assault Charges
There are several kinds of assault, and in case you are charged with an assault, you must know the type of assault you are charged with. Why?
Well, it is because the kind of your charges will play a crucial role in determining your punishment and prison time.
Such as if you are charged with sexual assault, then, in that case, it will directly depend on the extremity of the situation. And for weapon assault, it may vary depending on the weapon you have used.
Moreover, depending on the severity of the charges, these are further categorized as summary conviction and indictable offences.
Let’s know about all the types of assault charges in detail, so you have a clear idea about them:
Simple assault is those attacks where there is practically no use of the weapons and can range from no injuries to causing minor wounds.
This kind of assault is also known as “Common Assault.” So if you are charged with this one, then a judge will handle this matter in the provincial court.
Here, the maximum prison sentence is about 6 months. But in case you are accused of an indictable offence of assault, you may have a jury hearing in the supreme court. And thus can get a jail sentence of about 5 years, depending on the severity of your case.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm
When any attack results in hurting someone seriously, then all these kinds of attacks ultimately fall under this category. If this assault is considered a summary offence, then the suspect may encounter a punishment of about 18 months in prison.
And for an indictable offence, based on the seriousness of the wounds, it can lead to a maximum jail sentence of around 10 years.
Any kind of injuries, deformities, or posing a life threat to another person falls under aggravated assault.
It is one of the serious criminal offences and thus is categorized as an indictable offence only. As a result, the punishment is also severe, and thus the culprit can face imprisonment of 14 years.
This type of assault basically includes everything right from touching inappropriately to forcing someone to conduct any sexual activities without their permission. It is another severe kind of assault that comes with harsh punishments. After all, a no means no.
It is something that can have a lifetime impact on one’s mind. Hence, its penalties are also strict compared to other assaults. However, based on the offence severity, the punishment can vary from case to case.
For summary conviction, the maximum punishment set is 18 months imprisonment, and if the culprit is less than 16 years old, they can face a maximum punishment of 2 years.
For indictable offence, the maximum imprisonment is up to 10 years. However, if the culprit is less than 16 years, they can face a maximum punishment of 14 years.
Another crucial thing to note is the minimum sentence for the 1st time criminals is 5 years to a maximum life sentence, based on the victim’s age and the number of crimes s/he has committed.
Assault with a Weapon
Assault with a weapon basically means assaulting someone using a deadly weapon. Here, various factors will play a vital role in determining how the charge will be dealt with. Such as, it can be a gun or any plate thrown by force at someone.
If this falls under summary conviction, then the culprit will have to go through a jail sentence of about 18 months. In contrast, for the indictable offence, that sentence can be as long as 10 years.
Domestic assault is one of the most horrible things you can do to any of your family members. After all, family is all about taking care of one another and supporting each other.
But, here you are, instead of taking care of them, you are intimidating and beating them. This kind of assault includes threatening, coercion, physical abuse, and many more.
Domestic assault may result from any minor to major cause, but no matter what the reason is, it is one of the heinous things. And nothing can justify the reason that has led you to take this step.
The law is also extremely strict regarding this kind of practice and has strict punishments made ready for anyone who is a part of this assault.
Assault Against a Police Officer
Assaulting a police officer is another serious offence one can commit in their life. And you will be surprised to know that it has the same penalties as set for simple and aggravated assault.
Hence, don’t take these assaults lightly. If needed, take legal help but don’t take any drastic steps that may lead you to regret it later.
Are There any Defences Against Assault Charges?
Yes, there are. In fact, there are 3 defences against assault charges that everyone must have a complete idea about. However, for any kind of assault case, you will need an experienced lawyer to help you make the best defence.
Without further delay, let’s dig in:
In Canada, you have all the right to use force and fight back against someone, especially if that person poses a threat to your life in any way. To simply state, if a person attacks you, then it is your legal right to defend yourself and take action.
However, if the self-defence leads to any serious consequences, then, in that case, to prove your ground, you can always take your lawyer’s help to guide you.
They will give a brief idea about how to deal with these cases and how to come clean. Hence, if the situation takes a drastic turn, then consulting with a lawyer is always recommended.
Lack Of Intent
Here, you need to basically prove that the assault was not intentional. For instance, you wanted to simply throw a stone or an object.
But while doing that, it took a serious turn, and that person got severely injured. So, if anything such happens, you can always have a lawyer to prove that it was not intentional. Instead, it was just out of mistakes.
If you use any kind of force against someone without their consent and it has hurt them, then it falls under assault. This one is a bit tricky to prove compared to the above two defences. As here, you need to have solid ground that the other person had their consent.
Otherwise, without having a reasonable defence, it will be tough to prove that it was not intentional. Here the lawyer can play quite a big role to prove your grounds and be the game-changer for you. But obviously, that lawyer must be experienced enough to deal with these cases.
How to Beat an Assault Charge in Canada?
The assault comes in various forms and can range from normal offences to committing some serious offences, including bodily harm, use of dangerous weapons, sexual assault, etc.
So, in case you are charged with any assault charges, then your first and foremost duty is to hire an experienced lawyer immediately.
The more delay you will make, the more you will make the situation worse. For instance, you are innocent and thus have taken the situation too lightly, thinking it will not be necessary to take any actions.
Well, it will be one of the biggest mistakes of your life if you think and do anything similar to these. Remember, assault charges are severe matters and should never be taken lightly.
They are something that should be handle with extreme sensitivity and care. Moreover, you should never take things into your own hands or say anything wrong to the man in authority before or during the proceedings. All these things can damage your defence at court.
Hence, the smarter call is to hire an experienced lawyer who has the exact expertise and knowledge in dealing with this kind of case.
They can play a critical role at this time and be our true saviour at this moment of crisis. Based on your situation and the charges, they will strategize things and work accordingly to ensure that you are on the safer side.
Assault is a serious crime that comes with different kinds of punishments based on the charges. It is something that should never be practiced or supported in any circumstances. In fact, it is one of the terrible acts that you can do to another human.
Therefore, if you are charged with any assault charges at any time, then hire an experienced lawyer as quickly as possible. They will know how to handle every kind of situation and will give you all the necessary advice you will require to avoid making any further blunders.
Hopefully, this article was a helpful one and has helped you get an overall idea about how to beat an assault charge in Canada, along with other crucial things you should know.