Assaulting a Peace Officer

All police officers are considered peace officers, but not all peace officers are actually police officers. It's vital to know this difference because attacks on peace officers are taken very seriously. 

Criminal Code Definition of Assaulting a Peace Officer

270 (1) Everyone commits an offence who

(a) assaults a public officer or peace officer engaged in the execution of his duty or a person acting in aid of such an officer;

(b) assaults a person with intent to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of himself or another person; or

(c) assaults a person

(i) who is engaged in the lawful execution of a process against lands or goods or in making a lawful distress or seizure, or

(ii) with intent to rescue anything taken under lawful process, distress or seizure.

Source: Canada Justice Laws Website

Have you been charged with assaulting a peace officer? Call (306) 585-1777 for a free legal consultation with a criminal lawyer.  

What is Needed to Convict Someone of Assaulting a Peace Officer?

To convict someone of assaulting a peace officer under s. 270(1)(a), the Crown must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These include establishing the accused's identity as the assailant, detailing the incident's date and time, and specifying the jurisdiction, including region and province, where the assault occurred. 

At the heart of the charge is the need to prove that the culprit indeed committed an assault upon the victim (meaning both the intent and the action required to commit an assault). Furthermore, it must be ascertained that the victim was a "peace officer" or "public officer" at the time of the incident. A pivotal aspect of this offence is proving that the culprit was aware that the victim was a peace officer or public officer during the assault. Lastly, it's essential to demonstrate that the peace officer was actively "engaged in the execution of his duty" when the assault occurred. 

If all these elements are proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused can be convicted of assaulting a peace officer. Call (306) 585-1777 to speak to a lawyer about the strength of your case. 

Potential Penalties for Assaulting a Peace Officer

Assaulting a peace officer is considered a hybrid offence under the Criminal Code. This means that the Crown prosecutor can elect to pursue the charge either as an indictable offence or by way of summary conviction.

Summary Conviction: Maximum 2 years less a day imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.

Indictment: Maximum of 5 years imprisonment.

There is no minimum penalty for assaulting a peace officer.

Aggravating Factors 

  • Assault Person Aiding a Peace Officer s. 270 (1)(a)
  • Assault to Prevent Arrest s. 270 (1)(b)
  • Assault Person Executing Duties s. 270 (1)(c)(i)
  • Assault Person Attempting to Rescue s. 270 (1)(c)(ii)
  • Assault Peace Officer with Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm s. 270.01
  • Aggravated Assault of Peace Officer s. 270.02

Dispositions Available for Assaulting a Peace Officer

Summary Disposition

  • Discharge
  • Suspended Sentence
  • Fine
  • Fine + Probation
  • Jail
  • Jail + Probation
  • Jail + Fine
  • Conditional Sentence
Indictable Disposition

  • Suspended Sentence
  • Fine
  • Fine + Probation
  • Jail
  • Jail + Probation
  • Jail + Fine

Call (306) 585-1777 for a free legal consultation with a criminal defence lawyer to understand your options and the potential consequences of being convicted of assaulting a peace officer. 

Don’t Face Your Assault a Peace Officer Charge Alone

An experienced criminal defence lawyer is essential when facing an assault peace officer charge. A lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, protect your rights, and develop a strong defence strategy tailored to your specific case.

Need a Criminal Lawyer? Get a Free Legal Consultation With Nicholas Robinson, Criminal Lawyer

Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have been charged with assaulting a peace officer. Call (306) 585-1777 to discuss your case with a criminal defence lawyer.

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