When a Calgary Assault Charge is Tried as an Indictable Offence

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Assault remains one of the most common reasons for arrest by the Calgary Police, and one of the most common charges to lead to cases in the Calgary Courts. This is in part due to the way the law regarding assault in Alberta, and Canada-wide, is written, in which any unwanted physical contact can be grounds for assault. While accidents such as bumping into someone on a crowded bus won't result in charges, any contact that appears to be purposeful or that suggests a threat of violence—even brandishing a weapon or otherwise physically trying to intimidate someone without actually making physical contact—can result in an assault charge.

There is clearly a great deal of room for misunderstanding in these situations, but all too often these misunderstandings result in a criminal charge and the need to raise a defence—typically with the help of an experienced Calgary defence lawyer—in the Calgary courts. While many common assault charges are tried as summary conviction offences, with faster trials (generally speaking) and lower penalties, an assault charge can also be tried as an indictable offence. While both types of charges are quite serious, when you are facing an assault charge that is to be tried as an indictable offence, years of your life could be at stake.

Indictable Assault Offences in the Calgary Courts

There are a number of reasons why the Crown prosecutor, usually after consulting with the Calgary Police or other law enforcement agencies, might choose to proceed with a common assault charge as an indictable offence. The severity of any injuries caused by the alleged assault, the nature of the alleged assault itself, and other circumstances such as an existing relationship and/or pattern of behavior between the victim and the accused might all factor into this decision, which can make the difference between a penalty of six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine—the maximum allowable penalties for summary conviction assault offences—to far more excessive fines and jail sentences the run several years or more.

Contacting an experienced defence lawyer is in your best interests even when your assault case is proceeding as a summary conviction trial, but if the Crown prosecutor decides to proceed with your case as an indictable offence, having a Calgary lawyer who knows their way around an assault defence is all the more important. There is a great deal at stake in these trials, and you shouldn't consider your assault charge lightly—get the insight, knowledge, and experience that a trained and long-practicing legal professional can provide.

Compassionate Defence for All in Calgary Accused of Assault

You don't want to face law enforcement, Crown prosecutors, and the pressures of a criminal defence trial on your own. You want a lawyer by your side who understands your situation and who knows how to fight for your rights. If you've been charged with assault in or around the Calgary area, contact the offices of Susan Karpa immediately for a free consultation.

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