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Sunday, July 14, 2024

What is assault in the criminal code?

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Ever felt like someone is threatening, miming the act of hitting, punching or kicking you? If you have experienced such events, this is an assault according to the criminal code of Canada.

But there is more to it. And for any assault, it is advised to contact experienced criminal defence attorneys immediately to find justice.

In the following article, we will discuss assault criminal code along with different types of assaults in Canada. Keep reading.

What is an assault criminal code?

Under section 265 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, a person is said to have committed an assault under the following conditions:

  1. a) If someone willfully uses force against another person directly or indirectly without their consent.
  2. b) If one tries or threatens to use force through his expression or any activity, thinking s/he has the power to do anything s/he wishes to or has a valid ground for committing this act.
  3. c) While openly showing or carrying a deadly weapon and threatening the person to kill.

Only physical force isn’t always necessary to be qualified as an assault. Instead, if someone points out a dangerous weapon or threatens to cause physical force or harm to someone, this kind of situation also falls under assault.

In this case, no visible signs of physical damage, like bruising or injuries, are present. But there must be a particular goal and intent behind the assault.

Therefore, to ensure every right is reserved, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused have resorted to physical force on the victim despite the victim’s lack of consent.

Although these standards apply to all types of assault, some assaults require special and stricter treatment than others.

6 Types of Assault in Canada

Under the criminal code of Canada, there are numerous kinds of assault, each of which has different penalties and punishments along with the severity level.

Let’s know about them:

1.   Simple Assault (Section CC 266 of the Criminal Code)

Also known as common assault. It is the most typical form of an assault charge.

Simple assault refers to unintentional attacks, indicating less force than other kinds of assault. For instance, threats, physical fights during disputes, or other similar forms of behaviour.

Here, for first-time offenders of simple assault, it rarely results in prison. However, if you are found guilty of a severe degree of simple assault, you can even get up to as long as 5 years of serving time in jail.

2.   Assault with a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm (Section 267 of the Criminal Code)

This accusation refers to inflicting physical damage, choking, strangling, or threatening someone while using or showing a dangerous weapon. Such assault results in harsh penalties, including up to ten years in prison.

3.   Aggravated Assault (Section 268 of the Criminal Code)

Aggravated assault is the most serious type of assault, with serious penalties and a maximum prison time of 14 years. It refers to when an offender intends to cause severe damage to other persons through disfigurement or risking their valuable lives.

4.   Assaulting a Peace Officer (Section 270 of the Criminal Code)

Whether it is a first-time offence or not, you can never attack a police officer. Doing so, you will have to face severe punishments. The maximum punishments for this assault are similar to the assaults mentioned above.

However, depending on the severity, the punishment can vary; thus, one can get harsher penalties.

5.   Sexual Assault (Section 271 of the Criminal Code)

Whenever a person’s sexual integrity is attacked, it is known as sexual assault. This can be either threatening or physically touching someone inappropriately without their consent falls under sexual assault.

A person accused of this assault can spend a maximum period of 10 years in jail. In case the victim’s age is less than 16 years (legal age of consent), the sentence will increase and become 14 years. The sentence duration varies based on the victim’s age and the number of offences someone has.

6.   Domestic Assault

Domestic assault occurs when a family member or a current/former spouse threatens the other partner while staying in the relationship. The penalties and punishments for this assault frequently vary based on the severity of the violence.

Each domestic assault tends to violate the relationship’s trust expectation, resulting in a more serious penalty and repercussions.


Whether simple or aggravated, an assault is a crime as per the criminal code of Canada. Upon committing such an act, you will have to face severe punishments as per the laws. Therefore, if you or any of your family members are undergoing similar problems, take legal support as soon as possible.

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