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FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND ASSAULT CHARGES IN GUELPH.  1-866-DEFENCE.

Our office has expertise handling any assault charges our clients may be facing, including assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault, and domestic assault. Whether you are work in law enforcement, finance, government, medicine, banking, or construction; whether you are a student, retiree, or a young professional, we have experience defending people like you who have been charged with assault. We will work tirelessly to avoid the imposition of a criminal record if this is your first offence, and if you have been charged before, we can fight for you to retain your freedom. Our primary objective is to confidentially deliver a fresh start without a Criminal Record.

Donich Law has experience handling charges such as these throughout Ontario, and while we are based in Toronto, we look forward to representing clients in and around Guelph.

Based on 2016 data, assault rates in Guelph currently sit below the nation rate of 370 per 100,000. The rate in Guelph is 181.87 per 100,000. The sexual assault rate in Guelph is higher than the national average, with the nation average being 56.56 per 100,000 and the average in Guelph being 64.22 per 100,000, based on 2016 data.

The Guelph criminal courthouse is located at 36 Wyndham St S, Guelph, ON N1H 7J5. The closest intersection is Wyndham St S and Fountain St. This Superior Court of Justice has jurisdiction over all criminal matters occurring in the province of Ontario, and specifically hears serious criminal offences occurring in Guelph.  The courthouse can be contacted at 519-826-4431. As well, the courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm. The Guelph courthouse offers services in English, French, Quebec Sign Language, and Interpretive Services.

To locate information regarding an upcoming court appearance, click here. Click here for services and contact information.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Assault?
How Does the Crown Prove Assault Charges in Guelph?
What are the Penalties for Assault in Guelph?
What is Assault with a Weapon?
What are the Penalties for Assault with a Weapon in Guelph?
What is Assault Causing Bodily Harm?
What are the Penalties for Assault Causing Bodily Harm in Guelph?
What is Sexual Assault?
What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Guelph?
What is Domestic Assault?
What are the Penalties for Domestic Assault in Guelph?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening

What is Assault?

The term assault can be used to describe a wide array of physical interactions. Section 265(1) of the Criminal Code states that an individual is guilty of assault when;

  • he, without the consent of another person, applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
  • 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 on reasonable grounds that he has, the present ability to effecthis purpose; or
  • while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

As a result of the broad description provided by the Code, there is a broad spectrum of actions that could be considered assault. On one end of the spectrum are situations where one person lightly pushes another person without their consent. On the other end of the spectrum are situations where an individual violently hits another individual.

Assault is a specific intent offence meaning the accused must have intended to assault the complainant. If the accused lacked intention they generally cannot be convicted.

How Does the Crown Prove an Assault Charge in Guelph?

As with any criminal offence in Canada, the burden of proving that the accused person committed the offence as charged rests solely with the Crown. To secure a conviction for assault, the Crown must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused committed all elements of the offence. The Crown must prove that the accused directly or indirectly applied force to the complainant without the complainant’s consent. Alternatively, the Crown may show that the accused threatened or attempted, either by an act or a gesture, to apply force to the complainant, and that the complainant genuinely believed that the accused had the present ability to carry out the assault. Finally, another alternative is that the Crown may prove that the accused impeded, accosted or begged another individual while carrying a weapon or an imitation weapon. To secure a conviction, the Crown is only required to prove one of these alternatives to the Court.

What are the Penalties for Assault in Guelph?

Due to the broad definition of assault and the many physical interactions that may be considered assault, the range of possible sentences also varies significantly. Assault is considered a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown has discretion over the maximum sentence that may be imposed on the accused if they are convicted. In cases of minor assaults, the Crown will elect to proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is is two years less a day imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both. In cases involving more serious assaults, the Crown will elect to proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is five years’ imprisonment.

In addition to simple assault, there are also the offences of assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault. These are discussed more below.

What is Assault with a Weapon?

An individual is guilty of the offence of assault with a weapon where they commit an assault and while committing that assault they carry, use or threaten to use a weapon or imitation weapon. An individual may be charged with assault with a weapon even where they do not actually use the weapon. If an individual assaults another individual and threatens to use a weapon in the process they will also be guilty of assault with a weapon. If the weapon was not actually used, the Crown must prove that the complainant genuinely believed that the accused had the present ability to carry out the assault.

What are the Penalties for Assault with a Weapon in Guelph?

Assault with a weapon is a serious offence and will be prosecuted vigorously in Guelph. Assault with a weapon is a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown will have discretion regarding the maximum penalty that may be imposed upon the accused if they are convicted. In more minor cases, the Crown will elect to proceed summarily and the maximum penalty the accused will face is eighteen months’ imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both. In more serious cases, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty will be ten years imprisonment.

What is Assault Causing Bodily Harm?

An individual is guilty of the offence of assault causing bodily harm when they assault another individual and cause physical injury to that person. An individual will also be guilty of assault causing bodily harm where they choke, suffocate or strangle the complainant.

What are the Penalties for Assault Causing Bodily Harm in Guelph?

Assault causing bodily harm is considered a serious criminal offence in Guelph and is prosecuted aggressively. Assault causing bodily harm is a hybrid offence. This gives the Crown considerable discretion regarding the maximum penalty the Court may impose if the accused is convicted. In less serious cases, the Crown will proceed summarily and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is eighteen months’ imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both. In more serious cases the Crown will proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is ten years’ imprisonment.

What is Sexual Assault?

An individual is guilty of sexual assault when they make physical contact of a sexual nature, either directly or indirectly, with another individual without that individual’s consent, and where the sexual integrity of the complainant is violated.

What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Guelph?

While the offence of sexual assault may encompass a wide variety of interactions, sexual assault is of the most serious offences listed in the Criminal Code. Sexual assault is a hybrid offence which gives the Crown discretion regarding the maximum penalty imposed on the accused if they are convicted. In cases of minor sexual assaults, the Crown will proceed summarily and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is eighteen months’ imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both. Where the complainant is under the age of sixteen at the time of the assault the maximum penalty will be two years less a day imprisonment and a mandatory minimum of six months’ imprisonment.

In more serious cases, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is ten years’ imprisonment. If the complainant was under the age of sixteen at the time of the assault, the maximum penalty will be fourteen years’ imprisonment and a mandatory minimum of one-year imprisonment.

What is Domestic Assault?

In Canada, there is no separate offence for domestic assault in the Criminal Code. Rather, an individual who is accused of assaulting their domestic partner will be charged with assault. Though it is not a distinct offence, domestic assaults are treated in a unique way by Ontario courts. Crown attorney’s in Guelph prosecute domestic assault charges more vigorously than other assault charges and often advocate for harsher sentences upon conviction. The Court will view the fact that the assault occurred in a domestic relationship as an aggravating factor which can be used to justify a more severe sentence upon conviction.

What are the Penalties for Domestic Assault in Guelph?

As mentioned above, domestic assault does not have a distinct section in the Criminal Code. As a result, the potential range of sentences available are the same as those available in a simple assault case. Since assault is a hybrid offence, the Crown will determine the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused with their election. In less serious cases, the Crown will proceed summarily and the maximum penalty the Court may impose is two years less a day imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both. In more serious cases, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty the Court may impose on the accused is five years’ imprisonment.

If you have been charged with an assault related offence in Guelph, our Firm can assist you in navigating the criminal justice system and obtaining a favourable outcome in your case. We have experience defending assault, domestic assault and sexual assault charges and regularly obtain favourable results for our clients.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623