R. v. I.L.
R. v. I.L.
(Calgary, P.C. - Assault). There are generally 4 paths to defending an assault or assault type allegation: (1) did not occur, (2) identification, (3) self defence or (4) consensual fight. Had the case of IL going to trial, it is likely that three of four defences would have applied. The Crown must prove all elements of the assault beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown must also negative self defence and consensual fight to this same standard.
In this case, IL was accused of assaulting another person by spitting. Assault is generally defined as a non-consensual touching of another. No degree of force is required to prove assault. Since spitting is a kind of touching, it can be considered assaultive behaviour. Depending on the circumstances, assault by spitting is often considered quite serious. This so because of the risk of transmitting communicable diseases. Having said that, it is not uncommon for person's involved in a heated verbal dispute to accidentally spit. Indeed, it is not uncommon for people to transfer spit during an ordinary conversation.
In IL's case, there was a heated verbal dispute between parties -- each who were unknown to each other. The Crown would have been required to identify IL as the alleged assailant. Given issues with identification, this would have been difficult. Assuming this hurdle was crossed, IL disputed spitting altogether; however, even if it had occurred, it was an unintended consequence of a consensual verbal dispute between the parties. IL is instructive because it shows how a trial defence can be multifaceted.
There are many criminal defence lawyers in Calgary who defend assault cases. If you have been charged with assault, call an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Alberta for a free initial consultation.