Assault Offences: What You Need to Know

The general definition of assault is to make a physical attack on another person or attempt to do damage to something. When you are assaulting another person, either directly or indirectly you may be charged with assault with the potential to be fined and sentenced to imprisonment.

You can also be charged with assault if you are attempting to threaten another person with a gesture or verbally. However, in this case the Crown must prove you are capable to carry out this threat. The threat must be of immediate personal violence. If you threaten to harm another person with no exact time or day it is not considered an assault. Simply using words one might deem as threatening is not always considered an assault by law.

Defence of Others and Self-Defence

There are times when you may need to defend yourself or others and this is called self-defence, which is not an assault. There are a few things you need to keep in mind about your actions for them to be considered self-defence.

Some of the factors to consider include, but may not be limited to, how much force was used and whether there were other options available to respond to the potential threat. Second, the nature of the assault or threat taking place that you are defending against. Third, your role in the incident, as well as the age, size, gender, and physical capabilities of everyone involved in the incident. Fourth, if anyone involved in the assault is using weapons or other objects in the altercation. Fifth, the nature and history of the individuals involved in the assault, which can include past altercations or threats. Finally, if your involvement is acting in accordance with the law in trying to stop further harm to be done on anyone involved in the assault. These factors are the same for self-defence as well as defence of others.

Domestic Assault

When it comes to domestic assault, you will find the police take these matters serious and will always respond to your emergency calls. However, what you may not realize is that many potential first time offenders are the ones accused, yet they were the ones who made the phone call to the police in the first place.

They will call the emergency line thinking law enforcement can come and help solve the dispute and after the police arrive, they will separate the couple and start asking questions. This is where many people end up getting themselves or their partner charged with domestic assault. Many first time offenders do not realize just how significant a seemingly minor physical contact, like a push, shove, or grab, is to the police until it is too late.

You have a right to have an experienced Ottawa lawyer with you when you speak with the police at any time, including while being questioned and after being charged in all types of assault cases. Depending upon the circumstances, the charges laid will vary and could range from simple assault or common assault to domestic assault and other such variants.

It is highly recommend to have the expertise of a criminal defence lawyer in Ottawa with you to ensure your rights are protected, like Céline Dostaler. I am always willing to help my clients understand their charges and protect their rights. Contact my Ottawa law firm at 613-695-8595 today for a free case evaluation and consultation.

DISCLAIMER: The above information is provided for reference purposes only and should not be construed as actual legal advice. For professional legal advice to find out your rights and options you need to arrange a consultation with a qualified Ottawa criminal defence lawyer, like Céline Dostaler.