Committing an assault is a criminal offence and warrants grievous sentences by law. Assault inflicts pain and suffering, and assault charges are in place to maintain justice and reduce violence in society. We’ll define what assault is, the types and the gravity of assault charges. Employing a criminal lawyer is your best course of action if you face an assault charge.

What Is Assault?

In Canada, an assault charge signifies deliberately using physical force against someone without their consent. The offence encompasses a broad range of actions, including minor scuffles and more serious incidents resulting in severe bodily injuries.

The legal repercussions of assault charges extend beyond imprisonment to long-term consequences such as criminal records, which can impact employment opportunities and personal freedom. The severity of the charge depends on factors such as the nature of the assault, prior criminal history and the level of harm inflicted.

Types of Assault

The most common types of assaults are:

  •  Simple assault
  •  Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm
  •  Gggravated assault
  •  Sexual assault
  •  Manslaughter, murder and attempted murder

Understanding the Seriousness of Assault Charges

Assault charges are among the most severe offences in the Canadian legal system. Those convicted of assault face grave consequences, including imposing penalties and repercussions that leave a lasting impact on their lives.

Criminal Consequences

Within the purview of criminal offences, assault charges attract drastic penalties under the Criminal Code of Canada. A conviction can lead to imprisonment, substantial fines, probationary periods and mandatory counseling or treatment programs. The severity of the penalties hinges upon the gravity of the offence and the circumstances that surround it. For example, an assault resulting in bodily harm is treated as a more serious offence than a simple assault, thereby attracting harsher penalties.

Long-term Consequences

The implications of assault charges extend beyond immediate legal consequences, leaving a lasting impact on various aspects of a person’s life. An assault conviction can tarnish your reputation, strain personal relationships and impede future employment prospects. A criminal record – particularly one involving violent offences – can even lead to losing licenses or professional certifications.

In addition, people with assault convictions may face challenges finding suitable housing. Many landlords conduct comprehensive background checks, including criminal records. Furthermore, travel restrictions may be imposed on individuals with assault convictions, hindering their ability to visit certain countries and limiting their freedom of movement.


Despite the seriousness of assault charges, there is potential for rehabilitation within the Canadian legal system. During sentencing, courts consider mitigating factors such as the offender’s prior criminal record, level of remorse and the circumstances surrounding the offence. These factors may lead to reduced penalties or alternative sentences like community services or mandatory counseling to facilitate rehabilitation.

The consequences of assault charges in Canada are profound and far-reaching. A conviction can result in imprisonment, financial penalties and enduring personal and professional repercussions. The seriousness of this offence emphasizes society’s steadfast dedication to protecting individuals from harm and maintaining principles of justice. Understanding the gravity of assault charges is crucial, serving as a reminder to promote non-violence and cultivate a safe and secure society.



Your Vancouver Criminal Lawyer

If you have been accused of an assault, contact the law office of Tom Doust. Mr. Doust is a reliable and knowledgeable criminal lawyer with over 20 years of experience. He has the legal insight and resources necessary to successfully defend your case and protect your best interests.

Contact us at 604-618-7994 or complete our online contact form to request a consultation and get started on your defence.