What is an assault?
An assault is any direct or indirect intentional application of force to a person without the consent of that person. Attempting to apply force can also be considered an assault as well as aggressively approaching or impeding someone.
Being charged with any type of assault allegation is very traumatic experience. Those charged with domestic assault under s. 266 of the Criminal Code will face additional challenges because bail restrictions imposed on the accused person for this type of allegation typically prevents contact with their loved ones while their cases slowly wind their way through the criminal justice system.
Common types of assaults:
- Domestic Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault Causing Bodily Harm
- Assault with Weapon
- Threatening death
- Assault Peace Officer
- Assault Resist Arrest
- Sexual Assault
What are the Penalties for an Assault?
A finding of guilt on one of these charges can have long term consequences including a criminal record, probation, counselling or even a jail term and then immigration consequences depending on a variety of factors.
The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person is guilty of applying force to someone without their consent. Consent may be express or implied.
Some fights are not regarded as assaults if both parties agreed to fight
It is lawful to act reasonably to defend yourself.
Mistaken Belief in Consent
If consent did not actually exist, the accused may still be able to argue that he/she honestly believed the other party had consented to the application of force. An honest but mistaken belief in consent will also afford a defense to an assault charge.
R. v. O.O
CASE Our client was charged with assaulting his wife by hitting her over the head repeatedly and causing some bruising to the arm area.
TRIAL Our client’s wife testified about how she was assaulted and described her injuries. Our client testified that the injuries were caused by him pushing his wife away, when she was assaulting him. He testified that he was attempting to push his wife away when she got angry that her in-laws were not talking to her properly
RESULT The Judge felt that given the evidence of the wife and husband, they both appeared to be giving a credible version of events. Given this was a criminal case of assault, the Judge needed to be satisfied “beyond a reasonable doubt” that our client assaulted his wife. The Judge could not be satisfied of this. He felt that our client’s version of events “could” have been true and as a result he must give him the benefit of the doubt and acquit him of the charges.
R. v. P.V.
CASE Our client and his wife were separated but still living under the same roof with their child. On a particular day, the wife started arguing with our client about laundry issues. Our client wanted to avoid a confrontation and simply tried to leave the house. His wife continued to follow him outside and continued to yell at him. When she couldn’t get her way, she called the police and reported that he had pushed her.
TRIAL Our client described for the court the tensions that existed in the house and the fact that he did not push his wife that day.
RESULT The court found our client to be very credible and could not be satisfied that he actually pushed his wife. The charges were dismissed.
R. v. R.K.
CASE Our client was charged with assaulting his wife by pushing her and hitting her in the shoulder area.
TRIAL Our client completed a counseling program recommended by our firm. This treatment showed insight into our clients anger issues and in turn, looked favorably upon him. His wife also assisted in saying some favorable things about him. As a result of his wife’s input and our client’s advanced treatment, the Crown exercised their discretion to drop the charges and simply have our client sign a peace bond. (Note: it is not common practice for the Crown to exercise this form of discretion; however, in the right case and right circumstances it does happen.
RESULT Charges dropped and a peace bond signed by client.
R. v. S.P.
CASE Our client was charged with some allegations of serious bodily harm. His wife had some serious injuries as a result of our client repeatedly striking her in parts of her body with a stick. The injuries were consistent with being struck repeatedly.
RESULT Client entered a guilty plea to simple assault and received a sentence including probation and counseling. Our client was able to quickly go home and try to mend his relationship with his wife. He knew that he had done something wrong and was prepared to accept responsibility for his conduct.
R. v. S.B.
CASE Our client was sponsored from India by his wife. After living with her for two months in Brampton, she went to the police and alleged that he had sexually assaulted her and pushed her down the stairs. She had injuries to her chest area which appeared to be bite marks and an injury to her ankle and knees. We conducted a trial in Superior Court without a Jury.
RESULT We attacked the wife’s story by alleging that she was lying in an effort to get her husband deported from Canada. She had motive in doing so because she had previously sponsored a person from India and got divorced from him immediately after he arrived in Canada. Her second marriage (which was with our client) resulted in a very lengthy sponsorship process because Immigration was suspicious of her true intentions of marriage (marriage of convenience).
We discovered through face book that our client’s now former wife (complainant) had gotten remarried to a person in Montreal (We learned that he was a Refugee). We suspected that she was having an affair with this person while married to our client. We suspected that she wanted our client deported so that Immigration would not suspect that this 3rd marriage was a marriage of convenience
We were able to have all charges dismissed by showing the complainant’s motive to lie and her attempts to hide from the Court the immigration status of her 3rd husband and our client’s very credible evidence that he was innocent
R. v. M.H.
CASE Our client was a 20 year old person who was introduced to a girl for a possible marriage proposal. The girl was 18 years of age and attending High School. It was alleged that he met her at the High School and forced her to have sex in the back of his car. The girl did not go to the police until 3 months later.
RESULT We had cell phone records to show that the girl continued to have continued lengthy telephone conversations with our client after the incident of sex. They spoke on the phone for over one hour the day after the incident. She couldn’t recall having these lengthy conversations (however, the telephone bills were clear evidence of the conversations). She admitted that it was our client who dumped her two weeks after having sex. She admitted that she was hurt when he dumped her. She said that at no time after the incident of sex did she confront our client and say that he had done something wrong and that she was mad at him.
Crown. Further she was unable to explain how he forced her to have sex and how her tight jeans were removed in the back seat of the car. She came across as a person who was having our client charged because he had sex with her and promised her marriage, but didn’t carry through with that promise.
After hearing the girls evidence, the Crown Attorney, withdrew the charges against our client.