What Are The Consequences Of Being Charged With Assault?

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, there are different types of assault, each carrying varying degrees of consequence. Some penalties can result in as little as 6 months of imprisonment, while others can carry sentences of up to 14 years. If you or a loved one have been charged with assault, it is vital that you obtain legal representation from an experienced but affordable assault lawyer in Toronto to ensure that you receive the best outcome for your case.

Interested to learn more about the possible consequences of each assault charge in Canada? Keep reading:

Simple Assault

As the most basic assault charge in Canada, simple assault can be prosecuted in one of two ways: as a summary conviction or as an indictable offence. The less severe charge of the two is a summary conviction which can be processed directly by a judge with no need for a jury or a jail sentence.

However, when a simple assault charge is treated as an indictable offence — the more severe of the two — the accused must undergo a formal court process. As a result, the consequences of the charge can then vary depending on the severity of the case and the ruling of the judge.

While the maximum penalty for a summary conviction is an imprisonment term of up to 6 months, anyone who has been charged with assault as an indictable offence is liable for a term of imprisonment up to 5 years.

Assault with a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm

When notable injuries occur as a result of an assault, the charge is then escalated from a simple assault to an assault causing bodily harm. Whether this harm is caused with or without a weapon, much like simple assault, this charge will be prosecuted in one of two ways.

When prosecuted as a summary conviction, the accused can face a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail; alternatively, when the charge is processed as an indictable offence, the accused could face up to a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Assaulting a Peace Officer

Though assaulting a public or peace officer who is on duty carries heavy consequences on its own, it should be noted that if the accused resists a lawful arrest on the scene, they could be further penalized for this. According to the Criminal Code of Canada section 270,  the maximum penalty for a summary offence is 6 months prison, while the maximum penalty for an indictable offence of this nature is an imprisonment term of up to 5 years.

Aggravated Assault

If the victim of an assault is wounded, maimed, disfigured, or experiences other life-threatening injuries, the charge is then escalated to aggravated assault. According to section 268 of the Criminal Code of Canada, anyone who is charged with aggravated assault is guilty of an indictable offence and could face up to a maximum of 14 years in prison.

Sexual Assault

The absence of consent in any sexual contact is referred to as a sexual assault. Much like the other types of assault, this charge is prosecuted in one of two ways.

When prosecuted as a summary conviction, the accused can face a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison; however, if the victim is under the age of 16 years, then the accused can face a maximum penalty of 2 years less a day and a minimum of 6 months in prison.

When the charge is processed as an indictable offence, the accused could face up to a maximum of 10 years in jail, but if the victim is under the age of 16 years, then the accused can face a maximum penalty of 14 years and a minimum of one year in jail.

Do you or a loved one need legal advice and representation for an assault charge? Reach out to John Erickson, an experienced assault lawyer in Toronto, today to start building your defense.