Andrew Captan is a Toronto criminal defence lawyer with significant experience in representing individuals charged with Assault related offences, including common Assault.
Common Assault is the lowest level Assault offence in the Criminal Code of Canada. It is a commonly laid charge, given the broadness of the definition of Assault.
The term “assault” is defined in s. 265(1) of the Code:
“A person commits a an assault when:
(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 gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe upon 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.”
In short, there are three separate ways in which the offence of common Assault can be committed. The first two (under paragraphs (a) and (b)) are the most common in practice. Under paragraph (a), the offence is committed where an individual intentionally applies force to another individual, without the other individual’s consent. The Code does not specify the level of force required in order for physical contact to amount to an assault. Courts across Canada have found that even minimal levels of force, such as the squeezing of a wrist, can constitute an assault. Moreover, an “injury” to the complainant is not a prerequisite for someone to be charged with Assault.
Under paragraph (b), someone can be found guilty of an assault without making any physical contact with the complainant. A common lay person misconception of the offence is that physical force is required to be charged and found guilty of Assault.
Call Captan Law today at (647) 878-6355 to speak to a Toronto criminal lawyer who has significant experience in defending individuals charged with Assault.