Vancouver Criminal Law – Assault

The Criminal code defines Assault in Section 265(1). A person commits 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 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.

The language used in the Criminal Code can be confusing and difficult to fully understand. It is often hard to decipher precisely which actions constitute criminal offences. It is important to break the section down, to make sure you get it.

First, assault can occur when force is applied directly or indirectly to another person, without their consent. The term “force” does not necessarily mean that the contact has to be violent. Mere touching without the other person’s consent may even be deemed assault.

Directly applying force refers to direct person-to-person touching. For example, under this definition, punching, pushing or kicking someone would constitute direct forms of assault.

Indirectly assaulting someone involves using another object or means other than person-to-person contact. Examples of indirect assault may include throwing a rock or spitting. These are just some of the types of actions that can be defined as assaults, there are many more that may fall into the assault category.

We handle a wide range of assault cases, such as:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Assault causing bodily harm
  • Assault with a weapon
  • Domestic assault
  • Bar fights
  • Gang Assault
  • Uttering threats

An assault conviction could have serious and long lasting effects on your liberty. If convicted you may face jail time, steep fines and probation. You may also be required to attend anger management classes and be subject to firearms and hunting prohibitions. Additionally, a conviction could permanently affect your ability to get a job or apartment.

There are many defences we can explore in preparing your case. Were you acting in self defence? Were you defending your property? Was it simply an accident? We will consider these questions and others as we help you pursue a successful result.

KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

“Officer, I know my constitutional rights. Firstly, I refuse to speak with you, other than to identify myself. I further refuse to consent for you to search my person, or my residence, or my motor vehicle. I wish to speak to my lawyer immediately. If I am not under arrest, I wish to leave.”

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