All forms of assault, intentional or provoked, is considered an illegal act. Even when you feel tempted to stop an assault, you could be placing yourself at risk of being charged. An assault, in any form, can potentially cause physical and/or emotional injuries. If you are convicted, it can mean both penalties and creating a criminal record. There are different types of assaults under Canadian criminal law, with different types and severity of punishment based on the type and degree of assault.

So, what are these different types of assaults? Find out in this guide.

What is an Assault?

Assault is defined under Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada. It is referred to as the use of force, direct or indirect, against another individual without their consent. It is considered a criminal assault if an attempt or threat is made to physically strike an individual, no matter whether contact was made or not.

Types of Assaults

Assaults under criminal law can be classified under the following categories:

Assault with a Weapon

When someone uses a weapon to threaten or uses the weapon to assault a person, it is called an assault with a weapon. The weapon can be a real one or an imitation. It is classified under Section 267(a) and can lead to injuries or death.

  • This can be treated as an indictable offence or a summary conviction
  • The maximum punishment is 18 months in prison for summary proceedings and 10 years in indictment proceedings

Simple Assault

This is the most basic form of criminal assault charge. Some of the key features of this type of assault charge are as follows:

  • No weapon is involved
  • The injuries are minor
  • Summary conviction involves less severe charges and the judge passes the sentence without any jury or jail sentence

You should consult an experienced criminal lawyer such as Martine Thibodeau Avocate Criminaliste to learn about your circumstances and whether it will be a summary conviction or an indictable offence.

Assault Leading to Bodily Harm

If an assault results in significant injuries, you will be charged with an assault causing bodily harm. The penalties for such an assault are similar to those for an assault with a weapon charge. The maximum punishment for a summary conviction is 18 months and for the indictable offence, it is 10 years.

Aggravated Assault

If an assault leads to an individual being wounded, disfigured, or maimed, it will be classified as an aggravated assault. Endangering the life of an individual also falls under this category. It is the most serious form of violent crime and is just short of homicide. This form of assault can cause long-term crippling injuries or even death. It is considered an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of 14 years imprisonment.

Sexual Assault

This form of assault involves the use of force or threatening a complainant and resulting in non-consensual sex or other forms of sexual offences. It can be a summary conviction or indictable offence based on how severe the offence is. The maximum sentence in the case of a summary conviction is 18 months and 10 years in the case of an indictable offence. The punishment is different if the assailant has not yet completed 16 years of age. The punishment for aggravated sexual assault can be more severe.

So, these are the different types of assaults under criminal law. Whether you are a defendant or complainant, it is important to hire the services of an experienced and reputable criminal attorney. Make sure the lawyer has handled the type of case you have and has a proven track record of success.