The lawyers at Stern Shapray have extensive experience representing clients charged with Aggravated Assault and reaching favourable outcomes for them. It is vital that one charged with this offence seeks out the legal advice of an experienced criminal lawyer in order to put forth the best possible defence(s) before the Court or pursue alternate ways to resolve the matter without going to trial.
When assessing whether to hire a lawyer when charged, it is important to first be aware of the legal consequences in the event one is found guilty of Aggravated Assault.
Aggravated Assault is a straight indictable offence. There is no statutory minimum sentence the accused will be subjected to if found guilty. The maximum jail sentence an accused can receive is 14 years.
Less extreme sentences are available, such as a suspended sentence, fine with or without probation, and intermittent sentence. That being said, the ultimate sentence imposed on an accused will largely depend on the circumstances of the case.
Elements of Aggravated Assault
For an accused to be found guilty of Aggravated Assault, the Court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that each of the following requirements has been met:
- The accused intentionally applied force on the complainant;
- The complainant did not consent to the application of force;
- The complainant sustained injuries due to the application of force;
- The complainant was wounded, maimed, disfigured or had their life endangered as a result of the injuries; and
- Bodily harm to the complainant was reasonably foreseeable.
There are various ways in which charges of Aggravated Assault can be defended, ideally by raising a reasonable doubt toward one or more of the required elements, such as:
- identity of the accused,
- whether or not the accused applied force intentionally,
- the complainant consented to the application of force (subject to certain exceptions under s. 268(4)),
- the accused honestly believed that the complainant consented to the application of force (unless the exceptions under s. 268(4) apply),
- the complainant’s injuries did not result from the accused’s application of force,
- the complainant was not wounded, maimed, disfigured or had their life endangered as a result of the injuries,
- bodily harm to the complainant was not reasonably foreseeable, and
- the accused acted in self-defence.
For reference, the offence of Aggravated Assault is outlined in the Criminal Code as follows:
268 (1) Every one commits an aggravated assault who wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.
(2) Every one who commits an aggravated assault is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
(3) For greater certainty, in this section, "wounds" or "maims" includes to excise, infibulate or mutilate, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a person, except where
(a) a surgical procedure is performed, by a person duly qualified by provincial law to practise medicine, for the benefit of the physical health of the person or for the purpose of that person having normal reproductive functions or normal sexual appearance or function; or
(b) the person is at least eighteen years of age and there is no resulting bodily harm.
(4) For the purposes of this section and section 265, no consent to the excision, infibulation or mutilation, in whole or in part, of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a person is valid, except in the cases described in paragraphs (3)(a) and (b).
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