(Taber, P.C.J.) The accused was charged with domestic assault in relation to an incident that involved his girlfriend. The trial verdict was not guilty. The case was successfully defended as a result of testimony contradicting the complainant’s version of events by the accused.
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In criminal law “assault” is any direct or indirect intentional and non-consensual physical touching of another person. The concepts of “direct” and “indirect” physical touching are important because to commit an assault a person need not actually (or directly) touch the complainant. An assaultive gesture may constitute an indirect assault. With this in mind, it is important to understand that a criminal assault does not require a degree of force.
There are a variety of types of assault. The most basic kind of assault is often called a “common assault”. This kind of assault usually attracts the lightest type of sentences. More serious kinds of assault are those that involve weapons and/or bodily injury. Accordingly, there are separate charges for “assault with a weapon”, “assault causing bodily harm” and “aggravated assault”. The elements to each of these aggravated versions speak for themselves. For example, assault with a weapon entails the use of a weapon. Assault causing bodily harm results in injury that is neither trivial nor transitory. Aggravated assault involves reasonable foreseeability that the assault will “wound”, “maim” or “disfigure”.
As the seriousness of the assault increases, the sanction or sentence attracted increases.
The importance of defending an assault charge is obvious. If convicted you will likely have a criminal record. Since assault is a crime of violence, there is some possibility that your ability to travel abroad may be restricted.
Defending an assault involves consideration of a myriad of defences: self defence, consent, identification, de minimus, mens rea and actus reus.
I understand all of the available defences. I have researched the law relating to all types of assaults and have experience cross-examining complainants regarding their role in the altercation. I routinely successfully defend assault allegations and regularly obtain favourable results without having to litigate the charge(s) at trial.
Recent Case Results
Client charged with assault with a weapon for purportedly drawing a firearm and attacking the victim with knife. The case was set for trial and the charges were stayed just prior to the start of the case due a combination of problems with the witness evidence and a Charter Notice that had been filed.
Client acquitted of attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawfully discharging a firearm due to frailties in the identification evidence along with evidence of the accused.
Client was charged with a serious home invasion involving a firearm. Defence argued "identification" and that the D.N.A. evidence could not be relied upon. After a lengthy trial, and written argument, the judge was left with a reasonable doubt and the client was acquitted.