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Assault Causing Bodily Harm
According to Canadian law, assault causing bodily harm is defined as a crime of intending to apprehend or cause crime to another person through offensive contact. This contact may be direct or indirect.
Threatening language or visual signs do not constitute this crime until contact has been made. A consensual fight is not considered a crime; however, the law does not recognize consent in bodily harm.
This is defined as an injury or hurt which causes discomfort or damage to the health of a person, where this hurt or injury is not trifling or transient.
Levels of Assault Severity
This is a multi-layered crime is also commonly charged alongside other crimes like violent kidnapping, domestic assault, attempted murder and resisting arrest. The severity of crimes involving assault with bodily harm are as follows (in increasing severity):
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Aggravated assault which involves wounding, scarring, maiming that may also involve rape, robbery, and intent to kill
- Attempted murder
- Manslaughter where death is caused without intent
Trial For Assault Causing Bodily Harm
The Canadian criminal code defines assault in section 221 defines assault as causing bodily harm by criminal negligence. Anyone who is guilty of such an offense of causing bodily harm to another person is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.
This crime is almost always charged with a dual or hybrid offense. It can be charged in a criminal or civil court. Some of the factors that weigh in on the case include the severity of the injuries suffered and the criminal record of the accused.
Where injuries are extensive, the prosecutor will charge the crime of aggravated assault, criminal negligence or attempted murder, asking for stiffer penalties. In cases involving sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon, or assault of a police officer, the prosecutor will go for the longer jail sentences. This is escalated higher when the crime is a repeat offense.
Penalties For Assault Charges
In the event of a conviction, the accused could be sentenced to a fine or a combination of fines, community service, or a jail term that could stretch up to 10 years for serious crimes.
What to do When Accused of Assault
Due to the serious nature of assault charges, it is important that you get legal representation as soon as you have been apprehended. An experienced criminal lawyer is able to advise you on what to say during interrogation and trial. We will also argue your defense in court trying to get you free or get you a less severe sentence.