Types of Assault Charges

Last updated
June 25, 2024

The act of violence may seem like a simple incident specifically during the time in which it takes place, but once things escalate and you get a glimpse of the consequence, that’s when it starts to become real. Any assault lawyer in Winnipeg can attest to the fact that violence in any form is a serious offense in Canada. The degree of violence and the punishment to its reference may differ, but assault is not tolerated either way. If convicted, it may lead to a criminal record leading up to more severe outcomes.

What is Assault?

Like many charges in the Canadian Criminal Code, assault is an umbrella that covers a wide range of activities. Assault in Canada can be anything from a punch to the face to a beggar asking aggressively for money. It can be a simple misunderstanding where someone calls the police, or it can be a serious violation of the person. In any case, an arrest is made to err on the side of caution.

An individual can be accused of assault when force is used deliberately, either directly or indirectly, to another person without consent. For example, pushing, kicking, punching, and even spitting. If a victim can prove to the court that the accused applied force without their consent, then it can lead to a conviction. An implied intention of causing harm can also lead to an assault charge. Since these cases are classic examples of ‘he said/she said,’ the existence of indisputable, supporting, documented evidence can make the difference between a substantial settlement and cents.

For context, in case of a hockey game, athletes who are body-checked or fight amongst each other cannot be accused of assault, or sue each other for personal injury, even though violence is evident. An athlete has given his consent as soon as he puts on equipment and steps in the rink. On the other hand, if a person walking on the street oblivious to a known threat is randomly struck on the face is a victim of assault, and the assailant would be charged as a criminal.

Assault with a Weapon

This assault is defined as the use of force with a weapon, as the name suggests, which can cause serious injuries or lifelong physical disabilities. Sometimes these assault cases can even lead to the death of the victim. Aggravated assault is indictable with punishment for up to 14 years in prison. Here the intent to harm is obvious and can be proved due to the visible injuries or death.

Sexual Assault

There are three levels of sexual assault:

1. Simple Sexual Assault

It means forcing someone to take part in sexual activities without explicit consent. It can lead up to 10 to 18 years of imprisonment based on the charge.

2. Sexual Assault with a Weapon

This includes the use of threat or a weapon to an individual, forcing them to take part in sexual activities. As per Winnipeg’s assault lawyers, this offense can range from 18 months to 100 years of jail time as punishment.

3. Aggravated sexual assault

This results when the victim is severely wounded, brutally beaten, or in danger of dying as a result of sexual assault.

  • If the victim does not give obvious consent, then it is sexual assault.
  • Intoxication either self or from other is not an excuse nor a defense
  • Being married is not an excuse.
  • The victim’s sexual history is not relevant to the assault charges.
  • Children under the age of 16 cannot consent as per the latest Canadian laws.

Assaulting a Police Officer

An act of assault against a police officer will have its own charge, but it will be prosecuted like all other charges. Based on the circumstances, an assault against a police officer can be an indictable offense or a summary conviction.

 Being arrested for assault is an unpleasant experience, to say the least, so make sure to call a top assault lawyer in Winnipeg so that you have the best chances for this scenario to turn out in your favor. Give yourself a fighting chance by making a timely decision and call the best help available.

Get Trusted Legal Representation

Each type of assault charge carries its own legal nuances and potential consequences, from fines and probation to lengthy prison sentences. Understanding the specific nature of the charges against you and the possible defences is crucial to navigating the legal process effectively.

If you are facing any type of assault charge, it is essential to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer. At Wiebe Criminal Defence, Gerri Wiebe brings nearly 20 years of experience in defending clients against various assault charges. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and develop a tailored defence strategy.