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Understanding Assault Charges in Ontario

Assault charges have always been a serious issue in Ontario just like in the rest of Canada. Those who are found guilty of assault charges can face severe penalties.

What Defines Assault in Canada?

Any force that is applied to another person whether it may be indirectly or directly that happens without the person’s consent deemed as assault.

In the above definition, the force must be intentional. An example of this would be punching or pushing someone with intent which means that accidents don’t fall into the definition of assault.  

Note too that someone can be charged with an assault even though there was no actual touching involved. For example, if someone was to aggressively approach another person with a threatening stance or a weapon. Another situation for what is considered assault in Ontario is when one party believes that their safety is compromised by the other.

How To Prove Assault Charges in Ontario

The Crown Attorney or the prosecutor must prove that two things have occurred beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the accused did the act that the accused allegedly has done
  • That the accused have done the act with intention

If the prosecutor can prove the above, the accused can still be found innocent if the accused can show that there are legal justifications for the actions taken. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault and you don’t know what defence could be used; then, it is best to consult with a criminal defence lawyer in Ontario.

Can Assault Happen Without Injuries?

Assault does not have to cause injuries. Someone can be convicted of assault if the prosecutor was able to prove that they did unlawful acts or threatening acts that were intentional. This means that assault can happen without an obvious physical injury or bodily harm.

What Defines Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault occurs when someone harms another person causing bodily harm and the prosecutor is able to prove that the act resulted in the wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or the endangerment of the life of the victim.

One important concept, though, is that if the wounding, disfigurement, maiming, or life endangerment occurred in the context of a consensual fight, then that can be used as a defence.

Self-Defence In Assault

The law recognizes that there are cases where an individual is forced to protect themselves with force. In such instances, it is lawful to act with a reasonable amount of force in defence of one’s self.

In determining when a point of self-defence might be allowed in court, the court will look into the type of force or threat that was used as well as other factors such as the role of the person in the incident, the capabilities, age, and gender of the person involved, and any relationship that may have existed between the concerned parties.

Kinds of Assault Charges in Ontario

Assault charges in Ontario include assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, and aggravated assault. The penalties vary for each kind as some types of assault can cause more damage and label the perpetrator as a danger to society. Domestic assault and sexual assault are different cases that usually require special attention and defence.

Do you need a criminal defence lawyer in Ontario to protect your rights as someone who has been charged with assault or do you know someone who is looking for a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto? Call us and we’ll be happy to schedule a discussion with you at Calvin Barry Law.

Calvin Barry Professional Corporation