Aggravated Assault, Assault Causing Bodily Harm, & Assault Level One

Assault Lawyer

Penalties Of Conviction Of Assault

The penalties for a conviction of assault will vary depending on the specific set of circumstances, the criminal record of the accused, and the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factors. An example of an aggravating factor may be a young child being a bystander, or the use of confinement.

A mitigating factor could be, among other things, it being a first-time offence or the accused having mental health issues. It is very important you have an experienced and fearless assault lawyer on your side.

What Is Assault?

Section 265(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code sets out three scenarios that will constitute an assault:

  1. a) When a person intentionally applies force to another person, either directly or indirectly, without their consent.
  2. b) An act or gesture will constitute an assault if (1) a person uses such an act or gesture to attempt or threaten to apply force to another person and (2) if this causes the other person to believe on reasonable grounds that the alleged attacked has the present ability to effect his or her purpose; or
  3. c) When a person accosts or impedes another person or begs, while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof. Assault also requires the absence of consent from the complainant. However, a complainant cannot consent to a criminal act, such as assault cause bodily harm, which may cause serious hurt or non-trivial bodily harm.

What Is Assault Causing Bodily Harm?

Section 267 of the Canadian Criminal Code sets out that an assault causing bodily harm occurs when an individual commits an assault, as in those three scenarios in Section 265(1) and during the commission of that assault, causes bodily harm to the complainant.

What Is Aggravated Assault?

Section 268 of the Criminal Code sets out that an aggravated assault occurs when an individual during the commission of an assault, as seen above, wounds maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

This is a very serious charge, and sometimes, depending on the strength of the Crown’s case, may be able to be reduced to a lesser assault charge.

Domestic Assault

A significant portion of assaults each year takes place in the domestic context, or in other words, by a spouse or commonlaw partner. Domestic assault is a very serious charge and can come with a range of penalties. Unfortunately, the allegations that stem from this type of charge often are false, and are sometimes made to help the complainant with custody and access in family court proceedings. Regardless of the context, you should contact a domestic assault lawyer to protect your rights. Our law firm offers free consultations to help individuals that find themselves in a precarious legal situation. We know that sometimes family members become involved in these proceedings, and it can be a very difficult and trying time for any family. Assault allegations are taken very serious by the Crown when they take place in the domestic context.

Every criminal case is different, but sometimes these cases are a one-off - the result of bad night. It is also not uncommon for the complainant to want to drop the charges. We can discuss all of this at the initial consultation.

Sexual Assault

Section 71 of the Criminal Code defines sexual assault in Canada. Sexual assault is a very serious crime in Ontario, Canada, and even the mere stigma of having these charges looming over ones head can be extremely difficult. Like any assault case, if you are charged with sexual assault, you need an experienced sexual assault lawyer to fight the charges at all costs. Aggravated sexual assault is an even more serious charge and is like sexual assault, but with a component of violence. Regardless of which you or a loved one are charged with, it is imperative that you have the best representation possible with these very serious criminal charges.

Sexual assault is committed in circumstances of a sexual nature such that the sexual integrity of the victim is violated. It involves some type of sexual activity and usually the application of force, from more minor such as touching, too the most serious such as penetration. Generally, the allegations also result from the lack of consent of another person.

The court generally looks at the part of the body that has allegedly been touched, the nature of the contact, any personal injury, and any words or threats that accompany the conduct along with the intent of the accused including any sexual gratification. Sexual assault cases are very common in Ontario and come with terrible consequences ranging from probation to serious time in the penitentiary along with other consequences such as having one's name added to the Sex Registry and having very serious terms and restrictions imposed on a lengthy period of probation. More times than not, the Crown will be seeking significant jail time with sexual assault charges.

Contact A Lawyer Before Pleading Guilty

Often times, individuals who don’t have run-ins with the law may find themselves charged with some form of assault. Assault charges are one of Bernstein Law Group’s focuses of practice and we would be pleased to review your file. Our lead lawyer Stephen Bernstein has over 40 years of experience in criminal law. If you or a loved one has been charged, a knowledgeable and reputable criminal defence lawyer is what you need. Our lawyers are familiar with the law and the Criminal Code of Canada and have the resources needed to fight for your rights. Stephen Bernstein and the rest of the Bernstein Law Group are a widely recognized law office representing clients with very serious allegations. Our law firm knows that when the stakes are high, it is critical to be extremely prepared and show a meticulous attention to detail.

The Crown must prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the job of your lawyer to do whatever ethically possible to fight your case and stand in the way of the crown meeting its onus. A number of factors come into play with these types of cases including medical evidence, and the credibility of the complainant. One of the best ways to prevail in these cases is through extensive preparation and exhaustive cross-examination. In that sense, it is very important that a sexual assault lawyer conducts a well-planned and skillful cross-examination of the complainant. With so much at risk, it is important you hire the right criminal lawyer. Whether your charges are indictable or the Crown is proceeding by summary conviction, any criminal record could have a profound affect on your life. There are many forms of assault, from domestic assault charges, to sexual assault charges. Regardless of the type of charges, you deserve an experienced and skilled criminal lawyer.

We know that the criminal justice system in Canada is difficult to understand and criminal cases are not always straightforward. That is why our law office takes extra care in explaining the process and making it as bearable as possible. Most importantly, we focus on results and will do whatever ethically possible to win the case at trial, or resolve it before trial with a favourable resolution.  Our law office proudly services Hamilton, Brampton, Toronto, Mississauga, Oshawa, Brantford, Oakville, and the rest of Southern Ontario.

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Bernstein Law Group



250 James St S, Hamilton, ON L8P 3B3


Our legal team provides services in all languages throughout Ontario.  Our Hamilton criminal defence lawyers specialize in drug offences,  sexual assault, theft/robbery, weapons offences, and youth offences.