Defined in the Criminal Code as any hurt or injury that interferes with the health or comfort of a person and is more than ‘transient and trifling’ in nature, assault causing bodily harm is a serious offence. Trifling and transient in nature refers to “a very short period of time where an injury is very minor in nature and there is a very minor degree of distress.”

The most common charges under an assault offence:

  • Assault – Criminal Code section 265 or section 266 of the Criminal Code
  • Uttering Threats – Criminal Code section 264.1
  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm – Criminal Code section 267(b)
  • Assault with a Weapon – Criminal Code section 267(a)
  • Aggravated Assault – Criminal Code section 268

The Penalties

  • Criminal record
  • Jail time of up to 10 years
  • Probation
  • Fine of up to $5000
  • Victim fine surcharge
  • Court ordered to have no contact with victim
  • May be required to complete a dangerous offender application

Common Questions

What is the difference between an assault, an assault with a weapon, an assault causing bodily harm and an aggravated assault?

The difference between an assault and an assault with a weapon is the vehicle used to deliver the force. Typically an assault, or "simple assault", is caused by the unwanted application of force from the hands, legs or feet (kicking, punching, etc.) As assault with a weapon involves the application of force with in inanimate (bat, knife, stick, etc.) object. When speaking about the difference between assault, assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault, it is the harm suffered as a result of the application of force. To be considered an assault causing bodily harm, there must be an injury which lasts more than a short period of time, but will likely heal without lasting consequences.  Severe bruising and minor broken bones could be examples. In order for an assault to meet the definition of an aggravated assault, the injury must be much more substantial. Any sort of injury that wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of another meets the definition of an aggravated assault. The degree of harm cause by an assault will dictate the type of sentence imposed if convicted.