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Assault - Hobson & Reeve

Assault is one of the most common types of violent crime committed in Canada. An assault conviction may stay on your record for the rest of your life, and punishment may include jail time, probation, fines, or some combination of the three. The court may also mandate that the defendant attend anger management or some other form of counseling.

Understanding Assault Charges

Assaults may be classified as either simple assault or aggravated assault. Simple assault involves making another person apprehensive of a pending physical attack, or negligently causing physical injury to another person through use of a weapon. Aggravated assault is an assault that occurs in conjunction with any attempt to cause serious injury, or in the commission of another crime. In many cases, a deadly weapon may be involved. There are circumstances where a defendant may be convicted of aggravated assault even if the victim was not physically injured.

Assault and battery, while often used interchangeably, are in fact different in their definition. If the victim has actually been touched by the person committing the crime, then a battery has occurred, but if the victim has not been touched, but threatened, then the correct term is assault. Even in legal circles, however, the distinction has become somewhat blurred, and either type of offence may be charged as assault.

Defences in Assault Cases

The defences to an assault charge may include, but are not limited to, self-defence, defence of another person, and lack of intent (i.e., it was an accident). In a case where self-defence is an issue, the court will examine questions such as:

Which party was the aggressor? (i.e., Who started it?)

Did the defendant have reason to believe that the use of force was necessary to avoid the threat?

Was the force exerted by the defendant reasonable?

Because each case is different, you should discuss the specifics of your situation with an experienced criminal assault lawyer. Your lawyer will help craft a strong defence on your behalf and make sure that your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.

Hobson & Reeve Barristers

The lawyers of Hobson & Reeve have over 60 years of combined experience in criminal law, and have worked hard to establish a solid reputation as formidable opponents in court, as well as effective negotiators when it comes to plea bargains. David Hobson and Dennis Reeve have each served as Crown Attorneys as well as criminal defence lawyers; this perspective enables them to protect their clients’ rights and craft the best defence on behalf of each client. They are committed to putting their years of experience to work for you. Their offices are located at 34 Eagle Street, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 1J1, or they can be reached by calling (866) 815-2745.