Assault Causing Bodily Harm Canada
Assault charges in Canadian criminal law are divided into different levels. Moreover, assault causing bodily harm is the second least serious level, which can be punished with up to 10 years in jail. These types of assault usually show up in several altercations and other crimes, so the prosecution tends to combine the charges. In this article, we are going to learn everything about assault causing bodily harm and how it is usually handled in court. Keep reading to know more about this.
What Is Assault Causing Bodily Harm?
Assault causing bodily harm consists of physically attacking another person and causing injuries without consent. This assault is considered a hybrid offence classified in the criminal code under the “offences against the person and reputation” segment. Threats and attempts of bodily harm also fall under this category.
What Is Sexual Assault Causing Bodily Harm?
On the other hand, sexual assault causing bodily harm is considered a straight indictable offence and is liable with much more severe punishment. These charges are laid upon those who cause injuries to the victim while sexually assaulting them. Therefore, these charges are usually combined at court.
Although these assaults are already severe, aggravating factors can be present if some criteria and scenarios are met, such as committing the crime in a domestic situation.
These factors are going to determine the severity of your penalties. They can directly affect things like your ability to find a job, keeping your children in a custody case, or travelling to foreign countries.
Proof of Offence
Nonetheless, several things need to be proven in court to be prosecuted for these assaults. There should be evidence of the following items:
- Date, Time, and Location of the Offence
- Identification of the Accused
- Proof that Bodily harm was inflicted on the victim
- That the accused intentionally used force
However, to know whether a term applies or not to the case, we need to know what that term means. In this case, bodily harm means any injury that interferes with a person’s wellbeing. This injury could be physical or psychological and could develop over time, as not all damages appear right when the event occurs. Interference of this sort must be more than just a short-term or minor inconvenience, and it must have an impact on the person’s daily activities. For example, when someone punches someone in the face and breaks their nose.
There must be a direct correlation between the assault and the bodily harm results. It can’t just be a factor of minimal interference in the act but an active cause with an objectively foreseeable consequence. One good example of this is shooting a gun. It can be predicted that the bullet may cause an injury to the person it’s pointed at.
The Difference Between Assault Causing Bodily Harm and Aggravated Assault
The main differences between these two circumstances are the severity of the injuries found on the victim. When referring to actual bodily harm, we mean bruises, cuts, and not transient or trifling injuries. Nonetheless, victims of aggravated assault tend to be disfigured or have life-threatening injuries. The penalties for aggravated assault are more severe.
Penalties for Assault Causing Bodily Harm
After being found guilty, the judge is going to determine the adequate penalty for the case. Even though the highest penalty is 10 years in jail, these cases are sporadic and heavily depend on the aggravators. Sentences can range from a non-custodial disposition to a period of incarceration.
Investigation of Assault Causing Bodily Harm Cases
In order to prosecute someone for this charge, a police investigation must be done. The police officer is going to gather all the evidence by talking to witnesses and reviewing anything relevant to the case. After collecting all this critical data, a file of the case must be created for the prosecution to evaluate and take to court.
Bail Process and Conditions for Assault Causing Bodily Harm Charges
A formal bail hearing might be required, especially in circumstances that involve domestic violence. This should happen within 24 hours after the arrest. However, you should be in constant communication with your criminal defence lawyer to start creating a good defence for your case during that time.
Defending Assault Causing Bodily Harm Charges
There are a number of ways to defend against assault causing serious bodily harm. The first one is to allegate factual innocence by challenging the presented evidence if it isn’t strong enough to convict you automatically. Moreover, the second one is by alleging that you were defending either yourself, others, your property, or your constitutional rights.
There are also circumstances in which the physical contact was, in fact, an accident. A person is not guilty of assault if they did not have the necessary mental intent to commit the attack as a result of any unintentional application of force.
After reading this, you should know almost everything you need to know about these criminal offences. However, if you see yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is call up a lawyer who can help your case and guide you through the court process. Luckily, we offer a free consultation in Ontario, Canada. Don’t hesitate to give us a call.