The definition of assault can be found in the Criminal Code, specifically s.265. It states that an assault occurs when a person intentionally applies direct or indirect force to another person without that person’s consent.
It is important to note that any amount of intentional touching may constitute an application of force, however common sense also applies. If you brush someone by accident while walking on the road, or give your friend a high five, these things will obviously not be taken seriously by lawyers or the court.
If the assault is serious though, the consequences of being found guilty are significant. The maximum jail sentence depends on whether the Crown prosecutes the case by summary conviction or whether the proceed by an indictment.
For the former, the sentence in two years less one day. For the latter, the sentence is five years. Note that if you are found guilty of either assault, assault causing bodily harm or aggravated assault, you may face challenges securing employment or traveling abroad. Some of the defenses to assault are the following. Consent by the aggrieved party, mistaken belief in consent and self-defense.
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