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Assault Charges Lawyer

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Assault Charges Lawyer

A conviction for assault in Canada has severe penalties. Luckily, our assault lawyers have many years of experience defending individuals facing assault charges. We know how to assess an assault charge and create a defence to such charges, gather and preserve sufficient evidence relating to your case, and present that evidence during trial to get the most favourable outcome for our clients.

Also, we can use our wealth of knowledge of the criminal justice system and our extensive experience in handling assault cases to negotiate withdrawals or other resolution options before your assault charge goes to trial. There are instances when a court trial cannot be avoided. In such cases, our lawyers can help prepare you for trial and can persuasively tell your story in a courtroom.

All our assault lawyers have a proven track record of handling assault cases successfully. We can present your evidence by preparing you to testify, cross-examine the victim, and use the law and facts to persuasively argue your defence, particularly in closing submissions. Therefore, if you are charged with assault, contact us and schedule a free consultation.

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What’s an Assault?

According to Section 265 of the Canadian Criminal Code, a person commits an assault when the accused applies force to another person without consent. The intentional physical force may have been applied directly or indirectly.

Assault can also occur when an individual threatens or tries to apply force on another person intentionally. For instance, a gesture to apply force to another individual may make the victim believe on reasonable grounds that they can suffer harm. This constitutes assault.

The ‘Force’ Element

An individual can be charged and convicted of assault if they impede or accost another person while openly wearing or carrying an object considered a weapon or an imitation of a weapon. Note that the accused doesn’t have to cause physical harm to the other person for assault to occur. Therefore, it’s possible to commit an assault even when no degree of power or strength is exerted on the alleged victim.

However, the force must be offensive or an affront to the victim’s dignity. According to Canada’s Criminal Code, any level of intentional touching can constitute intentional ‘ physical force’ application. That means ‘force’ in the context of forceful or violent contact isn’t necessary to ground an assault conviction. Note that some cases may be dismissed if the accused applied force considered minimal.

What if you hit another person accidentally? Well, a reflex action doesn’t constitute an assault. However, hitting someone intentionally while trying to hit another person cannot be a defence. It won’t matter who the intended victim was as long as the accused intended to apply force to a person. It’s still an assault.

Types of Assault

Depending on the circumstances of the assault, there are different types of assault offences. These include:

Simple Assault

Also known as a common assault, simple assault is the least form of assault crime. It’s often associated with minor injuries or no bodily harm at all. Like many other criminal offences, the prosecutor can proceed with a summary offence or by indictment.

A summary conviction carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or up to $5,000 in fine. The prosecutor often proceeds by summary conviction when the victim didn’t suffer any bodily harm. An indictable offence usually carries a term of imprisonment of not more than 5 years.

Assault with a Weapon

An assault with a weapon or an assault causing bodily harm is a serious offence. It involves using a weapon or threatening to use it to cause bodily harm. It doesn’t have to be a knife, gun, or any other actual weapon. Thus, the use of a weapon or imitation of a weapon to choke or suffocate another person constitutes an assault.

Note that an assault with a weapon doesn’t relate to the severity of the injury inflicted on the victim. It relates to whether the accused used a deadly weapon or object. Weapons may include clubs, bats, knives, guns, and more. Similarly, encouraging another person or a dog to bite – causing bodily harm – can result in charges of assault with a weapon.

If the Crown office proceeds summarily, a conviction of assault with a weapon carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. On the other hand, an indictment conviction for this offence carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

Aggravated Assault

Section 268 of the Criminal Code highlights aggravated sexual assault as a severe offence that involves disfiguring, maiming, wounding, or endangering another individual’s life. While other indictable offences can result in injuries that interfere with the comfort or health of the victim, aggravated assault often causes severe bodily harm – often of a permanent nature.

Unlike common assault and assault with a weapon, aggravated assault causing bodily harm is usually treated as an indictable offence. If found guilty of aggravated assault, the offender faces up to 14 years imprisonment. Assaulting a police officer carries the same penalty.

Sexual Assault

Section 271 of the Criminal Code defines sexual assault as making advances or contact of a sexual nature without the other person’s consent. It is a serious assault offence, whether it involves touching or rape.

If tried as indictable offences, sexual assault crimes are punishable by up to ten years in prison. This penalty can increase to 14 years if the complainant is under 16 years. In addition to these maximum penalties, you may be required to register as a sex offender.

Sexual assault causing bodily harm, either using a prohibited or restricted weapon, carries up to fourteen years imprisonment. If you are accused or arrested for sexual assault, it’s recommended to seek help from our experienced lawyers. We will create a strong defence strategy and protect your right to a fair trial.

Domestic Assault

This refers to situations where assault happens to people who are married or have been having a domestic relationship of that nature, like a recently separated couple or people who are dating. There are no specific crimes listed in the Criminal Code. Thus, all assault offences under this category are prosecuted as domestic assault charges.

However, the Crown, judges, the law, and police officers can treat a domestic assault offence as a serious crime. Furthermore, the fact that a relationship exists (or existed) between the offender and the alleged victim can be considered an aggravating factor for domestic assault charges.

Assault charges are one of the most serious violations. If convicted, you could face up to a decade in prison or even longer imprisonment depending on the specific crime committed. That’s why it’s important to hire our experienced defence lawyers. Our legal professionals will guide you through all relevant legal processes and protect your rights.

Let Us Help You

Facing assault charges can be overwhelming, but the skilled legal team at Costa Law is here to help you. We understand the seriousness of assault charges and the potential impact they can have on your future. Here’s how our lawyers can help:

Assess your Assault Charge and Create a Defence Strategy

All our skilled criminal lawyers will carefully evaluate your assault charges and analyze the details of the assault charge against you to create a solid defence strategy tailored to your specific situation. We explore various potential defences, including:


If the complainant consented to the use of force, we can argue this as a valid defence, except in cases where the act results in severe bodily harm or death. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances to establish the presence of consent, which could significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Mistaken Belief in Consent

Even if consent did not exist, we can argue that you genuinely believed the other party consented to the use of force. Demonstrating an honest but mistaken belief in consent can serve as a defence against assault charges.


Our lawyers can assert your right to self-defence, emphasizing that you acted reasonably to protect yourself, close family members, or property. Our lawyers understand self-defence and criminal law deeply. We can show that your actions align with legal standards.

At Costa Law, we leverage our proficiency and strategic approach to achieve the best possible outcome for clients facing assault charges. This way, we protect their rights and prospects. Trust us to advocate for you and for guidance throughout the legal process.

Get Simple Assault Charges Dropped

Before you are convicted of assault, the prosecutor must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you had the intention to commit an assault and you committed the offence. One way to get the prosecution to drop the assault charges against you is to challenge the prosecution’s case and show there’s no reasonable prospect of conviction.

Our lawyers will carefully scrutinize the evidence presented by the Crown attorney to identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies. By questioning the validity of witness statements and scrutinizing the available evidence, we can create reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s case.

Depending on the circumstances of your assault charge, we may also negotiate with the prosecution for alternative outcomes. This could involve seeking diversion programs such as counselling or anger management, which may result in the charges being dropped upon successful completion. We may also advocate for reduced charges with less severe penalties, such as community service instead of incarceration.

Throughout the legal process, we will ensure that your rights are upheld and that you receive fair treatment under the law. We will provide guidance and support every step of the way, from pre-trial hearings to courtroom proceedings.

Costa Law is a reputable criminal defence law firm. We have a team of highly skilled and dedicated lawyers with many years of experience in handling cases involving assault causing bodily harm. Our law firm has the resources that enable us to guide our clients to understand their assault charges, investigate their cases, and gather credible evidence.

We aim to defend the assault charge against you and get the best possible outcome. Whether you are charged with an assault causing bodily harm or aggravated assault, we can help.

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