Assault by Choking Criminal Code

Assault by Choking Criminal Code


There are a range of Assault charges in the Criminal Code of Canada.  The most serious is Aggravated Assault. The least serious is Assault Simplicitor (or Common Assault).  In between those Assault charges, you have Assault by Choking under the Criminal Code.

This article breaks down information surrounding:

  • A definition of the offence of Assault by Choking
  • How serious Assault by Choking under the Criminal Code is
  • Potential defences for Assault by Choking

If you’ve been charged with Assault by Choking in Toronto, you will want an experienced Toronto Criminal Lawyer to assist you with your case.

Relevant Section of the Criminal Code

According to s. 267 of the Criminal Code of Canada, “[e]very person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, in committing an assault,

  • (a) carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation thereof,
  • (b) causes bodily harm to the complainant, or
  • (c) chokes, suffocates or strangles the complainant.

The highlighted portion at paragraph (c) relates to the charge of Assault by Choking in the Criminal Code.

Definition of Choking, Suffocating or Strangling

The terms choking, suffocating or strangling are not defined under the Criminal Code. However, Judges have interpreted these terms in the case law.

Generally speaking, these elements are made out where the Crown proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused took some action “designed to block or constrict a person’s airway, such as by squeezing the neck or throat, or covering the nose and mouth: R. v. C.M., 2022 ONCJ 505 (CanLII), at para 96.

In order for the Crown to prove the offence, there must be an Assault in the first place, which is generally defined as the intentional application of force to another person without their consent.

Punishments for Assault by Choking

Assault by Choking in the Criminal Code triggers significant penalties.  If the Crown proceeds by summary conviction, an offender is liable of up to 2 years less one day in jail. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the offender risks up to 10 years in jail. 

These are maximum punishments. Most offenders do not ever receive the maximum punishments, unless they have extremely lengthy criminal histories and have not been deterred from offending from having received sentences lower than the maximums.

There are no minimum punishments for the offence.  The lowest possible sentence is a Discharge, which means the individual is guilty of the crime but the Court holds off the imposition of a permanent criminal record.

It is possible to secure an outcome that falls outside a “sentence” if the Crown Attorney agrees to withdraw your Assault by Choking Charge. Crown Attorneys tend to oppose withdrawing these charges, considering them serious Assault allegations. However, with the help of an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer in Toronto, the outcome is within the realm of possibilities.

You should consult with an Assault by Choking Lawyer in Toronto to discuss the facts of your case and what the best outcome might be.

Charged with Assault by Choking? Call Andrew Captan – Criminal Lawyer Today!

Defences to Assault by Choking Criminal Code

There are a number of different defences one can raise to this charge.  A careful defence strategy for Assault by Choking under the Criminal Code is crucial to the success of your case.  Here is a list of potential defences:

  • Self defence: this is considered a “justification” to a crime, and is a complete defence if successful
  • The defence of consent, which negates one of the elements of Assault (which is the root of this offence)
  • The defence of denial, which effectively is you taking the witness stand to deny engaging in any Assault by Choking at all
  • The defence of property, which is a justification, much like self defence, but relates to defending real or personal property, rather than your self

Contact a Toronto Assault by Choking Lawyer today to discuss which potential defence avenues you have available to you.

Andrew Captan – Assault by Choking (s. 267) Criminal Code Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with Assault by Choking in Toronto or the GTA, contact an experienced Toronto Criminal Defence Lawyer today for a FREE consultation.   Call (647) 878-6355, e-mail or visit this website HERE.

Andrew Captan has over 12 years of experience as a Toronto-based Criminal Defence Lawyer.  He offers a practical, down to earth and honest approach to your defence, making sure you are at ease throughout the court process.

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