Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault: When Does an Assault Become "Aggravated"?

A person can be charged with aggravated assault if their actions cause another person to be injured, disfigured, maimed, or if they place someone's life in danger.

  • A wound occurs when the skin is broken.
  • Maiming refers to injuring someone to such an extent that they become unable or less able to defend themselves.
  • Disfigurement involves causing harm that goes beyond temporary physical impairment.
  • Endangering someone's life involves posing a real threat to their safety, even if no physical harm has been inflicted.

What Prosecutors Must Demonstrate in an Aggravated Assault Case

The Crown prosecutor must first establish the time and location of the offence and the identity of the perpetrator. Then, the prosecutor must prove that:

  • The accused intentionally applied force to the victim and foresaw that bodily harm could occur;
  • The victim suffered injuries that were more than trivial or temporary; and
  • The injuries caused the victim to be wounded, maimed, disfigured, or placed their life in danger.

Unlike other criminal offences, the Crown prosecutor does not need to prove that the accused intended to maim, wound, or disfigure the victim. The required intent is simply the objective foresight of bodily harm.

Defending Against an Aggravated Assault Charge

The most common defence against a charge of aggravated assault is self-defence. To establish self-defence, the accused must demonstrate that they believed they were being assaulted and that their actions were reasonable given the circumstances.

In cases of aggravated assault, unlike in simple assault, you cannot use consent as a defence. This is because aggravated assault involves serious injury, and legally, one cannot agree to suffer serious harm. However, if you were part of a fight where both parties agreed to it and there was no intention to cause serious harm, then consent might be considered a valid defence.

Possible Penalties for an Aggravated Assault Conviction

A conviction for aggravated assault is an indictable offence that carries a maximum penalty of fourteen years imprisonment. If you are facing criminal charges, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a criminal defence lawyer who can assist you with the legal process and help you mount an effective defence.

Complete the Form Below for a Free Legal Consultation with a Criminal Lawyer

Contact Form for Criminal Law Inquiries Only

Invalid Email
Invalid Number
Please check the captcha to verify you are not a robot.