Assault cases are common in every court system. While this is a very general area of law, it is also an area where charges are regularly filed in accordance with material case facts as determined by prosecutors. After reviewing by the court, charges are usually narrowed down and defined according to specific sections of the Canadian criminal code. There are four basic types of battery charges aside from general charges, most of which will require a criminal lawyer to defend the claims.
Assault with a weapon
Some of the more serious cases occur when a weapon is used in the act. A weapon can be a gun, knife, or club of some sort, but actually any instrument other than a body part of the assailant could result in a charge of this level. Charges involving a weapon are prosecuted under Section 267(a) of the Canadian criminal code and can carry up to 10 years incarceration. However, lower level charges with a weapon can be finalized in summary judgement and carry much less in potential jail time, with a maximum of 18 months possible. Serious cases can be indictable from a grand jury and can carry a stronger sentence, and will always require representation by a criminal lawyer.
Charges involving sex are also serious crimes, even when material case factors are minimal, as there are specific guidelines for what is or is not a crime. Actual physical harm can be a part of the final determination, but emotional damage is also a consideration in sexual battery cases. It is important to point out that consent can be an issue in all cases involving sex as a material case fact. These cases are prosecuted under Section 271 of the criminal code and can carry significant jail time based on the egregious nature of the crime.
Assault on a police officer
This situation occurs in higher numbers than many people realize, and attacking a police officer can be done quickly and responsively when suspects are combative or resisting arrest in some manner. This is an elevated charge that is prosecuted under Section 270 of the criminal code, which allows for enhanced penalties because the victim is an officer of the court.
Any type of charge against an assailant can be worsened by aggravated status. Aggravation can be a wide ranging issue, and many times this more serious charge is based on continual battery and physical bodily harm suffered by the victim. Aggravated cases of any classification are very serious and could result in a release denial in a bail hearing when the judge has not set bond release terms. Domestic violence cases can also result in protection orders that shield the victim for subsequent attacks in certain aggravated situations.