Assault Charges Vs. Self-Defence: Legal Perspectives In Edmonton

April 19, 2024


In Edmonton, navigating assault charges can be a complex and daunting task, especially when considering self-defence. Understanding the legal intricacies is crucial, and having the right guidance is essential. This blog delves into the nuances of assault charges versus self-defence from a legal standpoint, shedding light on what individuals need to know to protect their rights.

Whether you’re facing allegations or seeking to understand your options, having an experienced Edmonton assault defence lawyer by your side is invaluable. From deciphering legal proceedings to advocating for your case, they can provide the support and expertise necessary to navigate this challenging terrain effectively.

Understanding Assault Charges

Assault is a criminal offence that involves the intentional or reckless use of force or threat of force against another person without their consent. Assault can take many forms, such as hitting, pushing, spitting, biting, or even verbally threatening someone.

In Canada, there are different types of assault charges: common assault, assault causing bodily harm, and aggravated assault. Common assault is the least serious and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail or a $5,000 fine.

Assault causing bodily harm is when the victim suffers any injury that interferes with their health or comfort, such as a broken bone, a concussion, or a cut. This charge can result in up to 10 years in prison.

Aggravated assault is the most serious and involves wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the victim. This charge can lead to a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Exploring Self-Defence Laws

Self-defence is a legal justification for using force or violence to protect oneself or another person from an imminent threat of harm. Self-defence is not a crime but rather a defence that can be raised in court to avoid conviction or reduce the sentence for an assault charge.

However, self-defence is not a carte blanche to use any amount of force in any situation. Certain conditions and limitations apply to the use of self-defence in Canada.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, a person can use force to defend themselves or another person from an unlawful assault as long as they believe that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or to respond to the assault, and they use no more force than is reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

Legal Rights In Edmonton

If you are arrested or charged with an assault offence in Edmonton, you have certain legal rights that you should be aware of and exercise. Some of these rights include:

  • The right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or make any statements to the police except to identify yourself. Anything you say can be used as evidence against you in court.
  • The right to a lawyer. You have the right to contact an assault defence lawyer you choose as soon as possible after your arrest. You also have the right to have a lawyer present during any interrogation or questioning by the police. You can apply for legal aid or request a duty counsel if you cannot afford a lawyer.
  • The right to be informed of the reason for your arrest and the charge against you. You have the right to know why you are being arrested and what offence you are accused of. You also have the right to be given a copy of the information or indictment that lays out the details of the charge.

Role Of Assault Defence Lawyer

An assault defence lawyer is a legal professional representing and advising a person accused of a criminal offence, such as assault. A defence lawyer has many roles and responsibilities, such as:

  • Providing legal counsel and guidance to the client throughout the criminal process, from the arrest to the trial to the appeal.
  • Reviewing the evidence and the case against the client and identifying any weaknesses, errors, or violations of the client’s rights.
  • Negotiating with the prosecutor to obtain the best possible outcome for the client, such as a plea bargain, a withdrawal of the charge, a diversion program, or a reduced sentence.
  • Preparing and presenting a strong and effective defence for the client in court, such as challenging the credibility and reliability of the witnesses, introducing alternative theories or explanations, and raising reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge or jury.

About Daryl Royer

Meet Daryl Royer, an esteemed criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta. With a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2001, Daryl offers over two decades of dedicated legal expertise. His successful track record spans various cases, including murder, sexual assault, impaired driving, fraud, and theft. Count on Daryl for dependable representation, particularly in firearms and weapon-related cases.

Reach out today for expert counsel and support in Edmonton.

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