Assault Charges

Have You Been Charged with Assault?

Assault Charges

Assault Causing Bodily HarmIf you are facing assault charges, it is important to have an experienced criminal defence lawyer who can help you develop a plan to address the allegations.

Common Allegations include:
  • Assault
  • Uttering Threats
  • Criminal harassment

Although the policy concerns are the same for all three types of allegations, each case is unique and requires a flexible approach. 

Assault – Criminal Code

Elements of the offence:

The prosecution must prove that the accused:

1.  Applied force, either directly or indirectly, to someone without their consent; or
2.  Attempted or threatened, through an act or gesture, to apply force to another person, causing that person to reasonably believe the accused had the ability and intention to carry it out; or
3.  While openly wearing a weapon, either begged or impeded another person.

To find someone guilty of assault, the prosecution must prove each element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
Attempted vs Threatened

The first issue the court must resolve is whether the alleged actions actually took place. Then, the court must determine if the person assaulted had the capacity to consent and willingly consented to the act, understanding the risks involved. In the case of attempted assaults or threats through acts or gestures, the court will assess the information available to the complainant to determine if they had reasonable grounds to believe the accused would follow through with the attempted or threatened act. If the court is not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of each element of the offence, the accused is entitled to be found not guilty.

Uttering Threats

The prosecution must prove that the accused knowingly made a threat that:

1. Caused the target of the threat, typically the complainant, to fear death or bodily harm to any person; or
2. Threatened to damage, destroy, or burn property; or 3. Threatened to hurt or kill animals.

To find someone guilty of uttering threats, the court must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that each element of the offence has been proven. 

Assault Criminal Defence Fact or Fiction 

The court must first determine if the alleged threat was actually made. Then, it must determine if the accused knowingly uttered the threat. Under this section of the Criminal Code, the threat must be intended to cause death or bodily harm to any person, or to damage, destroy, burn property, or hurt/kill animals.


The wording of this section allows for a defense if the alleged threat is not intended to cause "bodily harm." However, in such cases, the accused's statement may still be considered a gesture that could be deemed an assault. If the defense raises a reasonable doubt regarding any element of the offense, the court must acquit the accused.


Your Criminal Law Team in Hamilton

Hepburn Law has your best interests in mind, we know the court system and will help you navigate your specific situation in a professional matter.

With over fifteen years’ experience working in criminal law, Hepburn Law has the ability to get you the results you need. We strive to give our clients clarity and understanding during a very confusing and frightening time. We empower our clients through our knowledge and skill in the law coupled with our experience and relationships within the legal community.

Kaley Hepburn

Hamilton Criminal Lawyer

Sabrin Abbas

Paralegal in Hamilton
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