I’ve been charged with Assault. What do I need to know?

There are different types of assault, including:

  1. Simple Assault
  2. Assault with a Weapon
  3. Assault Causing Bodily Harm
  4. Aggravated Assault

You commit the crime of Simple Assault if you:

  • touch someone on purpose without their permission, or
  • physically threaten to touch someone without their permission

Examples of Simple Assault include:

  • pushing
  • slapping
  • spitting
  • grabbing

It's still an if you don't injure the person.

These situations are not assault:

  • Touching someone by accident. For example, if you accidentally bump into someone on a crowded bus.
  • Using only words to threaten someone. It's only an assault if you use your body while you make the threat, such as raising a fist or lunging at someone.

Assault with a Weapon is when you commit a Simple Assault while you carry a weapon that the other person can see, or if you threaten to use a weapon.

Assault Causing Bodily Harm is when you commit a Simple Assault and the person you assault is injured. The injury can be physical or mental, but it must be more than just a small scratch or bruise. Examples of Assault Causing Bodily Harm include:

  • breaking a bone
  • an injury that requires stitches
  • psychological trauma that lasts a long time

Aggravated Assault is when you commit a Simple Assault and the person is either seriously injured or their life is put in danger. Examples of Aggravated Assault include when the person's injury:

  • is life threatening
  • significantly affects their life, such as crippling them or causing brain damage
  • changes their appearance, such as a big scar on their face
  • permanently damages their body, such as causing them to lose an eye

Sentences for Assault

For Aggravated Assault, the maximum is:

  • 14 years in prison, or
  • life in prison if this is your second or more time committing Aggravated Assault against a romantic partner

For the other types of assault named above, the maximum sentences are:

  • If the Crown proceeds :
    • 2 years in jail
  • If the Crown proceeds by :
    • Simple Assault: 5 years in prison
    • Assault with a Weapon: 10 years in prison
    • Assault Causing Bodily Harm: 10 years in prison
Hide this website