What is assault causing bodily harm?
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What is assault causing bodily harm?
Assault causing bodily harm is a crime under section 267(B) of the Criminal Code. Just like it sounds, it is committed by assaulting someone in a way that causes them bodily harm.
Assault is intentionally applying force to someone without their consent (and can also be committed by threat of force).
Bodily harm is an injury that, according to the Criminal Code, interferes with the injured person’s health or comfort and is “more than merely transient or trifling.” A “transient” injury is extremely short-lived; quickly passing. A “trifling” injury is so minor that it is unimportant or trivial. The hurt or injury does not have to last for a long time or be very serious, but it does have to be more than a moment of minor pain.
For example, a slap to someone’s face that makes their cheek sting for a few seconds but has no longer lasting or more serious effects will not be assault causing bodily harm. However, broken bones, concussions, cuts, and even bruises or scrapes may be “bodily harm.”
Putting it all together, you may have committed assault causing bodily harm if you intentionally applied force to someone, and that force caused them to suffer an injury that interfered with their health or comfort in a way that is at least somewhat serious and lasts for more than a very short time. For example, if you intentionally punched someone hard in their face, and that punch broke their jaw, then you probably committed assault causing bodily harm. It does not matter if you did not intend to break their jaw, so long as it was “objectively foreseeable” that the punch could have caused them some kind of bodily harm.
What’s the difference between assault and assault causing bodily harm?
Assault causing bodily harm and assault are two different crimes, although they both involve assault. Assault causing bodily harm is essentially a specific and more serious type of assault, where the assault caused the victim to suffer bodily harm, and where it was “objectively foreseeable” (i.e., a reasonable person could have seen it coming) that the assault could have caused some kind of bodily harm. Assault causing bodily harm usually results in a harsher sentence than simple assault.
What’s the difference between assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault?
Assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault are two different crimes, although they are both specific and more serious types of assault. Aggravated assault is more serious than assault causing bodily harm, and it is committed by an assault that “wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of” the victim, which means a very serious injury, often one that permanently changes someone. For example, while an assault that causes a cut to someone’s arm that will heal in a week may be considered assault causing bodily harm, it will likely not be aggravated assault. Examples of aggravated assault may include beating someone nearly to death (which may also be attempted murder) or assaulting them in a way that causes a permanent limp, or brain damage. Less serious assaults may also be aggravated assault. Aggravated assault usually results in a harsher sentence assault causing bodily harm.
Is it assault causing bodily harm if it was consensual?
According to the Criminal Code and caselaw, you cannot consent to bodily harm. That means that consent cannot be used as a defence to an assault causing bodily harm charge, even though it can sometimes be used as a defence to simple assault. For example, if two people get into a fistfight and are charged with assault, they may be able to avoid an assault conviction by arguing self-defence. However, if the assault caused bodily harm, then the consent may be “vitiated,” meaning that it is as if there was no consent at all.