When You're Charged with Assault of a Calgary Peace Officer
Assault charges can be brought against Calgary citizens for any number of reasons, and in a wide range of scenarios. From a physical altercation at a sporting event to domestic violence to making threatening gestures in order to intimidate, the variety of incidents that can result in a charge for common assault is immense.
While most assault charges brought before the Calgary courts are for "common assault", there are also some special types of assault spelled out in the criminal code in effect in Calgary and throughout Canada. These other types of assault can carry harsher sentences than those imposed in common assault cases, and assault charges in these "special" cases can also arise from more innocuous-seeming acts.
Assaults involving peace officers , such as members of the Calgary Police Service and other law enforcement officers, are among these special cases.
Assaulting a Calgary Peace Officer Carries Serious Consequences
As you know from reading previous articles on this site, any unwanted touching or physical contact can, if intentional, result in a criminal assault charge. When such touching occurs between an ordinary Calgary citizen and a peace officer lawfully engaged in their duties, the citizen can be charged not just with common assault, but with assaulting a peace officer, a crime that can lead to a sentence of up to five years imprisonment even without causing any injury or bodily harm.
Due to the sometimes physical nature of a police officer's work, including making arrests and seizing property, the opportunities for unwanted touching to occur are much greater than they are in many other day-to-day interactions between the people of Calgary. Any physical resistance to a police officer attempting to arrest you (or anyone else) could potentially result in an assault charge.
These charges and potential punishments grow even more serious if the person who allegedly assaulted a peace officer uses, threatens to use, or is simply carrying a weapon when the assault occurs; this raises the maximum allowable punishment to ten years in prison. If the assault results in the wounding, maiming, or disfigurement of the peace officer, or if the assault endangers the life of the peace officer, the possible penalty increases to a maximum fourteen years in prison.
In short, when you have any interactions with the Calgary Police or other law enforcement agencies, it is as easy to be charged with assault of a peace officer as it is to be charged with common assault during interactions with other ordinary Calgary citizens. Resisting arrest or interfering with police officers lawfully engaged in their work can have a dramatic impact on the future of your life, even more so than a common assault charge.
Your Defence Against Calgary Assault Charges
If you or a family member has been charged with assaulting a peace officer in the Calgary area, or with any other assault charge, an experienced Calgary defence lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected, and that you receive the best possible chance at moving forward with your life with minimal interruption. When you need assistance with a Calgary assault charge, contact defence lawyer Susan Karpa for a free consultation.