ASSAULT WITH A WEAPON
ASSAULT WITH A WEAPON & ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM
The offence of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm is found at section 267 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Where an assault is defined at section 265(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada as: when a person,
(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 a 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.
To elevate a charge of assault to assault causing bodily harm, there has to be bodily harm that was actually caused to the victim.
Section 267 Criminal Code of Canada – Assault With a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm
This section reads as follows:
Everyone who, in committing an assault,
(a) carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation thereof, or
(b) causes bodily harm to the complainant,
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.
What is Considered a Weapon and Bodily Harm?
Bodily harm and weapon are defined at section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada as,
Bodily harm: “any hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the health or comfort of the person and that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature [short amount of time and minimal injury].”
Weapon: “anything used, designed to be used or intended for use, (a) in causing death or serious injury to any person, or (b) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any persons”
It is important to note that even if the accused person did not possess the weapon at the time, the simple threat of the use of a weapon is sufficient to be charged under this provision of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The charge of assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm is considered an hybrid offence – that it is within the discretion of the Crown to either proceed on indictment (serious offence) or by summary (less serious). The effect of this election can be enormous as far as possible liability and jeopardy for the accused person.
There are also certain charges where the discretion of the Crown is not available and the accused person may be subject to a mandatory election be means of indictment.
Been Charged with Assault with a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm?
If the Crown proceeds by way of indictment, the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years; however if the matter proceeds by summary conviction, the maximum term of imprisonment is 18 months and/or a maximum fine of $5000.
The result of a conviction can have long term repercussions on family, career, travel and employment. It is for this reason that it is important to hire an experienced criminal lawyer to represent you.
If you require a lawyer, please call us at 905-497-7200