CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
One of the most commonly charged offences in Calgary, Brooks, Cochrane, Lethbridge and throughout Alberta is assault. Incidents of assault occur in a plethora of circumstances; ranging from more trivial exchanges such as pushing and shoving to fist fights, to domestic incidents and sexual assault. In law, assault occurs whenever a person intentionally touches another, directly or indirectly, in a non-trivial manner. Proof of assault does not require proof of a specific degree of force. Merely pushing a person using minimal force could be an assault. Of course, the seriousness of an assault escalates as the level of force used to touch the person increases or takes on a more nefarious purpose.
The Criminal Code recognizes several different kinds of assault. Though “common assault” (or simple assault) is the most usual and the least serious, assault also includes assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, assault peace officer and aggravated assault. Though “domestic assault” is not specifically designated with its own section in the Criminal Code, it is a category of assault that attracts special attentio from law enforcement.
The elements for proving the different versions of assault generally speak for themselves. For example, assault with a weapon requires proof that the assault was committed while using a weapon. Assault causing bodily harm requires proof of injury that is neither trivial nor transitory. Aggravated assault requires proof of a reasonable foreseeability that the assault will “wound”, “maim” or “disfigure”. Sexual assault is a particular breed of assault where the touching is alleged to be sexual in nature.
DEFENDING AN ASSAULT CHARGE
The importance of defending an assault charge is obvious. If convicted you will likely earn a criminal record. Since assault is a crime of violence, there is some possibility that your ability to travel abroad will be restricted. Travel to the United States will almost certainly be impaired.
David Chow is a Calgary criminal lawyer who regularly defends clients charged with all varieties of assault. He is an experienced cross-examiner and trial lawyer.
CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
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