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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Assault?
What are Other Charges Stemming from Assault?
What is Assault with a Weapon?
What is Assault Causing Bodily Harm?
What is Aggravated Assault
What is Sexual Assault?
What are Domestic Assaults?
What are Penalties?
Assault is defined in section 265(1) of the Criminal Code to include three scenarios:
- When a person intentionally applies force to another person, either directly or indirectly, without their consent.
- An act or gesture will constitute an assault if (1) a person’s 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 attacker has the present ability to effect his purpose; or
- When a person accosts or impedes another person or begs, while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof.
If you did not intend to meet the criteria above, or if the complainant consented, you cannot be convicted of assault. But this bar is not absolute; Canadian law places limits on peoples’ power to consent to certain acts, including assaults which may cause “serious hurt or non-trivial bodily harm.”
Other Charges Stemming from Assault
Other forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault, are derived from this provision. To be held liable for any of these crimes under the Criminal Code, one must commit an assault while also engaging other specified factors. Any accusation of a crime is serious, but being charged under any of these provisions is particularly hazardous, as they risk greater penalties than assault alone. We have experience handling all manner of assault charges throughout the Toronto and Guelph regions.
Assault with a Weapon requires the accused to have met all of the requirements of an assault outlined above, and to have carried, used, or threatened to use a weapon or imitation of a weapon during the commission of the offence. As with assaults generally, penalties for Assault with a Weapon vary widely depending on the circumstances, but tend to be higher than for Assault. Assault with a Weapon can result in a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment under section 267.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm requires the assault to have resulted in “Bodily Harm”; in Canadian law, the threshold for an injury to constitute a “bodily harm” is low; any interference with health or comfort that is more than “transitory or trifling” can constitute bodily harm. Any assault that results in harm meeting this threshold can constitute an Assault Causing Bodily Harm.
Section 2 of the Criminal Code defines “bodily harm” as “any hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the health or comfort of the person and that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature”. Assault Causing Bodily Harm is outlined in section 267 of the Criminal Code.
Aggravated Assault occur when the accused commits an assault, and in the process, wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant, and can result in penalties of up to fourteen years’ imprisonment.
Section 268 of the Criminal Code outlines when an Aggravated Assault occurs.
Sexual Assault requires an assault to have taken place, but also involves a number of more complicated evidentiary, social, and legal factors than non-sexual assaults. For more information, see our page summarizing sexual assault law and our experience in the area. We also handle a wide range of sexual offences, including Sexual Interference, Sexual Exploitation, Internet Luring, Child Pornography, Voyeurism.
The Criminal Code outlines in section 271 the offence of Sexual Assault. It describes it as an assault which is sexual in nature and also violates the sexual integrity of the victim. As well, section 272 outlines Sexual Assault with a Weapon, Threats to a Third Party or Causing Bodily. Finally, section 272 outline Aggravated Sexual Assault.
Domestic Assaults are any assaults occurring in the context of an “intimate relationship”. They are a subset of assault, one that society and especially the criminal justice takes particularly seriously, embodied in the Crown Policy Manual’s statement that they will prosecute domestic abuse “with vigour”.
One does not need to be married to be charged with domestic assault, and relationships of varied duration and formality can result in convictions for domestic assault, including current or former dating partners, common law spouses, or married couples.
Disputes between spouses or cohabitants can escalate into allegations of domestic assaults quickly and without warning. Ontario Crowns maintain the policy of bringing charges regardless of whether the alleged victims want to or not, seeing this as in the public’s interest in fighting a prevalent scourge. If the police are uncertain of which party is the aggressor, they may charge both partners. However, this policy can occasionally escalate disputes that are not well-suited to resolution through the criminal law.
In light of the broad definition of assault above, penalties for an assault conviction can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, the offender, and the complainant, or the presence of “aggravating” or “mitigating” factors, which result in greater and lesser penalties respectively.
In serious cases, the Crown may proceed by indictment under section 267, which can result in penalties of up to five years imprisonment.
We have experience defending people in all walks of life from all manner of assault charges. We know that no matter what you do for a living or how old you are, misunderstandings and mistakes happen, and we want to work with you to receive the most favorable result possible.
Please contact us at 416-DEFENCE, or at [email protected], if you have been faced with any of the above charges in Guelph and feel that you need a criminal lawyer on your side.