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What Are the Maximum Possible Sentences for Assault Charges?

Being accused of assault is a very unpleasant experience and can lead to spending a couple of years in jail, which certainly requires having skilled and experienced lawyers on the case. Let’s have a look at the maximum possible sentences for these crimes.

1) Assault (Criminal Code, sections 265 – 266)

For assault by application of force or threats to apply assault, one can get a maximum of 5 years as indictable offence or 6 months in jail/$5,000 fine for summary offence. The most common definition of assault is the use of force on another person without their consent. Such force doesn’t have to be a person’s full strength. Actually, a simple touch in some situations qualifies as an assault. The emphasis is on the fact that there is no consent on the victim’s side and that the assault is intentional. There is also an assault based on carelessness. In some circumstances people can get charged for assault even if no physical contact occurred during the assault. Threats fall within this type of crime.

2) Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm (Criminal Code, section 267)

As one might expect, the maximum possible sentence for these types of assault is higher than for a threat or assault based on carelessness. It goes up to 10 years as indictable offence or 18 months in jail/$5,000 fine for summary offence. In these situations the definition of a weapon and whether it was visible to the victim can be very important for the case. Anything that can hurt a person can be defined as a weapon. If there are bodily or psychological injuries, they are also taken into account, but again, it all depends on different definitions of what constitutes an injury.

3) Aggravated assault (Criminal Code, section 268)

The maximum penalty for aggravated assault is 14 years in jail. The sentence is pretty high because it involves a victim which was hurt, mutilated or disfigured. The definition relies on common sense, but it means that consequences for the victim are severe.

4) Unlawfully causing bodily harm (269)

The sentence is 10 years in jail or 18 months for summary offence. In this case, an act which causes bodily harm is any illegal act, it doesn’t have to be criminal.

5) Assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest (270)

The maximum sentence is 5 years as indictable offence or 6 months in jail/$5,000 fine for summary offence. This is a special type of crime which involves public officials.

As you can see, the maximum possible sentences are harsh, so getting a practiced and capable lawyer on the case is crucial for success.