Calgary Assault Charges and Your Criminal Defence in Court

In a previous article, you saw that a common assault charge can arise far more easily than you might think. Any unwanted or nonconsensual touching with demonstrable intent could potentially result in an assault charge, a shove meant without malice in a crowded place, grabbing someone's shoulder in a gesture of restraint, or any other non-violent but unwanted contact can meet the definition of an assault according to the letter of the law.

In fact, there doesn't even have to be any physical contact between you and another person for an assault to have been committed. A threat or gesture that suggests an immeinent use of force or unwanted touch can also be considered an assault, as is clearly spelled out in Section 265 of the Canadian Criminal Code:

(1) A person commits an assault when
(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

When an Erroneous Calgary Assault Charge Lands You in Trouble

Obviously, given the broad definition of assault under the law's definition, there are many incidents that could be considered assault that do not result in criminal charges. Unwanted touching without intended violence occurs all the time, and Calgary Police are not interested in pursuing every instance of "assault" as defined by the law.

There are cases where a complainant causes an assault charge to be filed for incidents that are almost this innocuous, though, and this can lead to an accused person being required to provide a defence in Calgary courts. In such instances, it is possible to show that while the accused's actions, whether intentionally or otherwise, meet the legal definition of an assault, it is not in Calgary's, the court's, or the complainant's best interests to proceed with a criminal case. These erroneous assault charges can often be entirely dismissed, allowing everyone to resume their normal life without being encumbered by a criminal case or record.

A Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer and Your Assault Case

No two assault cases are the same, of course, and it's impossible to predict the outcome of your case without a full understanding of the facts and circumstances involved. Beating a bogus assault charge isn't as easy as telling the Calgary courts that you didn't intend any harm, or that the incident resulting in your assault charge was an accident. These cases are serious and often quite complex, and the advice of a legal professional who fully understands the law and has taken the time to understand the details of your case can be invaluable.

If you have been charged with assault in the Calgary area, regardless of the circumstances, you are entitled to the counsel of a licensed and experienced criminal defence lawyer. Calgary defence lawyer Susan Karpa offers free consultations to anyone accused of a crime, and is ready to help you understand what your assault charge means and how it can best be defended in Calgary court.