Types Of Assaults And Their Consequences In Alberta

October 28, 2022


Movies that often falsely portray striking someone across the face or spitting on them is not a big deal amongst rivals. However, in a civilized country like Canada, where provinces take stringent measures to protect the rights of every individual, even spitting or coughing in someone’s face can land you behind bars. In Canada, assault can take various forms, each carrying a different level of severity and varying penalties.

In order to distinguish between the level of grievance and designate appropriate punishments, the Criminal Code of Canada sets forth some distinguishing factors to discern various categories of assault and their consequences.

As a result, you can face different types of assault that require distinct legal counsel and defence techniques. Only a highly reputed and experienced criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton can save you from such charges.

Read Also: What Is A Criminal Lawyer’s Responsibility To The Client?

In order to help you carry out an initial assessment of your situation, we have compiled a list of the different types of assault in Alberta in this blog post.

Definition Of Assault As Per Section 265 (1)

Besides categorizing assault into different sections, the Criminal Code also provides a general definition applicable to all types of assault.

According to Section 256(1) of the Code, A person commits an assault when

A. without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly,

B. he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose, or

C. While openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

From the above definition, it is clear that:

  • Assault does not only occur when the perpetrator applies physical force,
  • Brandishing a weapon or threatening someone constitutes as assault
  • The perpetrator’s intention matters the most. Thus, the victim must have reasonable grounds to believe that the perpetrator has the ability to follow through with their intention.

So if you think raising your fist at someone or intimidating them with a knife is harmless as long as you do not touch them, reconsider your actions.

This basic definition paves the way for the factors that distinguish various assault types. Let us discuss each type and its consequences in detail.

Simple Assault

This is the least severe type of assault offence in Alberta. In this case, the victims sustain little to no injuries. In this regard, the level of aggression is entirely inconsequential, and there is no use of weapons.

Although first-time offenders do not earn a jail sentence for simple assault, they are liable for a jail period of anything between six months (for a summary conviction) and five years (for indictment). Nonetheless, you will get a tainted criminal record.

Assault With A Weapon Or Causing Bodily Harm

This is whereby a victim sustains serious injuries that interfere with their comfort. The perpetrator may or may not have used a weapon to cause ‘bodily harm’ to the victim. According to the Code, bodily harm means ‘any hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the health or comfort of the person and that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature.

Section 267 states that:

Every person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, in committing an assault,

(a) carries uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation thereof,

(b) causes bodily harm to the complainant, or

(c) chokes, suffocates or strangles the complainant.

If the Crown proceeds by summary, this assault type can land you behind bars for eighteen months. However, if the court proceeds by indictment, you will be held in prison for a maximum period of ten years.

Aggravated Assault

This is the most agonizing form of the general assault. In this case, the perpetrator severely disfigures, wounds, or endangers the victim’s life. Section 268 (1) defines aggravated assault as follows:

Everyone commits an aggravated assault who wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of the complainant.

This offence results in fourteen years of imprisonment.

If you are facing aggravated assault or any other assault charges, Let Daryl Royer help you with his criminal defence services.

Sexual Assault

In light of the sensitivity of matters involving forced sexual interferences, sexual assault is treated separately from general assault offences. It involves any sexual act, major or minor, without the consent of the victim. It could range from something as simple as a touch or a kiss to sexual violence or forced penetration.

Thus, the Code further divides this offence into subcategories, including:

  • Sexual assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm
  • Aggravated sexual assault

About Daryl Royer

Through his vast experience in the realm of criminal law and a deep understanding of defence techniques, Mr. Royer stands out as a superior criminal defence lawyer in Canada. Learn more about Mr. Royer and his success story.

Looking for someone to defend you against assault charges? Contact Mr. Royer now.

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