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Toronto Assault Lawyer

Assault is a serious offence in the Criminal Code with severe consequences. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault, you need to contact a criminal defence lawyer with experience in assault charges right away. If you are charged with a simple assault you face a maximum of five years in prison, or a maximum of 14 years in prison for aggravated assault.
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If you are convicted of assault you risk having a criminal record for the rest of your life. A criminal record could affect your ability to get a mortgage, travel, find employment, or volunteer. Pyzer Criminal Lawyers have successfully defended countless assault charges. We understand the significance of a criminal record, and we will prepare the best viable defence so that you avoid having a criminal record for the rest of your life.

Types of Assault

The Criminal Code contains several types of assault charges:

  • Simple assault, including assaulting a police office
  • Aggravated assault, including aggravated assault against a police officer
  • Sexual assault
  • Assault causing bodily harm
  • Assault with a weapon

Regardless of the specific assault charge, jail time and a criminal record can and will have a devastating impact. We know how stressful criminal charges can be, and how difficult it can be in finding an experienced assault lawyer. We offer a free consultation so that we can review your case with you and determine how we can offer the best legal defence.

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Understanding Assault

The Criminal Code defines what assault is in section 265(1). You commit assault if:

  1. without the consent of another person, you intentionally apply force directly or indirectly to the other person;
  2. you attempt or threatens, by an act or gesture, to apply force to another person, or you cause that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that you have the ability to follow through with your attempts or threats; or
  3. you accoste, impede, or beg another person while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation weapon.

Want to learn more about assault charges? Read our comprehensive guide on assault charges in Canada.

Assault Penalties

Criminal Code OffencePenalty for Indictable ConvictionPenalty for Summary Conviction
Assault s. 266Maximum 5 yearsAvailable
Assault causing bodily harm/assault with a weapon s. 267Maximum 10 yearsAvailable
Aggravated assault s.268Maximum 14 yearsNot available
Sexual assault s. 271

Maximum 10 years if complainant over 16 years old

Maximum 14 years if complainant is under 16 years old

Maximum 18 months if complainant over 16 years old

Maximum two years less a day if complainant is under 16 years old

Consequences of a Conviction

When you are convicted of an assault, not only do you face a significant number of years in jail, but you will have a permanent criminal record. Employers that require a criminal record check will see your assault charge. The ability to work, travel to the U.S., volunteer, rent a home, or pursue a career in teaching, childcare, or medicine will also be affected by a criminal record. If you are going through a custody battle with a former spouse, the judge can consider your criminal record as evidence of bad character.

Your Legal Rights

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects your rights and freedoms if you are arrested. All government agents, including police and Crown prosecutors, must obey your rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter. If your rights or freedoms are not obeyed, your assault charges may be dropped and will not show up on your criminal record. Other times, evidence may be excluded if your rights or freedoms were not obeyed. If you are charged with assault, remain silent and call an experienced assault lawyer. Pyzer Criminal Lawyers are Toronto assault lawyers with over 35 years of successfully defending assault charges.

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Your Rights Under the Charter

Right to Representation

If you have been arrested, section 10 of the Charter demands that police tell you of your right to speak to a lawyer. The police must tell you this as soon as possible. If the police do not inform you of your right to call a lawyer, the court may grant you a remedy. For instance, certain evidence from your case may be excluded, or the Crown may agree to enter a stay of proceedings.

Right to be Informed

Also under section 10 is the right to be informed why you have been arrested. As soon as possible after your arrest, police must tell you why you have been arrested. To learn more about unlawful arrest, read our comprehensive guide on unlawful arrest.

Right to Remain Silent

Often, one of the best ways you can help yourself if you have been arrested is to not talk to the police. If you are arrested, you will have to give the police your name, date of birth, and address, but you should not say anything else. We always recommend that you talk to a criminal defence assault lawyer before talking to the police.

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Types of Assault we Defend Against


Simple or common assault is found in section 265(1) of the Criminal Code and is the intentional application of force, either directly or indirectly, against a person without their consent. Simple assault is considered less serious than aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm, or assault with a weapon.

Assault Causing Bodily Harm or Assault With a Weapon

Assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon are contained in section 267 of the Criminal Code and occur when a person commits simple assault with a weapon, or causes bodily harm to a victim. Assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon have more severe penalties than simple assault because they are considered more serious. Anything that can injure another person can be considered a weapon if the accused used it in a way to cause death or injury.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is found in section 268(1) of the Criminal Code and is one of the most serious assault charge. Aggravated assault is when an accused wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of another person.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a serious crime in Canada found in section 271 of the Criminal Code. Sexual assault charges are often complex. Hiring an experienced sexual assault lawyer in Toronto is the best thing you can do if you are charged with sexual assault. To learn more about sexual assault, read our comprehensive guide on sexual assault charges in Canada.

Defences for Assault Charges

Self Defence

If you acted in self defence, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were not acting in self defence. Section 34(1) of the Criminal Code states you are not guilty of an offence if:

  • You believe on reasonable grounds that another person is using force against you; or
  • You believe on reasonable grounds that another person is threatening to use force on you; and
  • You assaulted the other person for the purpose of defending or protecting yourself from force; and
  • The assault you committed was reasonable in the circumstances.

In other words, if you assaulted another person because you needed to protect yourself, and your actions were reasonable in the circumstances, self defence may be an available defence.

Defence of Consent

If you and another person consent to fighting each other, assault will not be considered criminal. However, there cannot be consent where the alleged victim submits or does not resist the assault by reason of:

  1. the application of force to the victim or to a person other than the victim;
  2. threats or fear of the application of force to the victim or to another person;
  3. fraud; or
  4. the exercise of authority.

Get your defence started. Speak to an experienced assault lawyer.

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Get Help from a Proven Assault Lawyer

The legal realm of criminal law can be complicated. The best thing you can do if you are charged with assault is hire an experienced assault lawyer. Pyzer Criminal Lawyers are dedicated assault lawyers. We are here to obtain the best possible outcome for all of our clients. We understand the seriousness of criminal charges, and how a criminal record will affect all aspects of your life. We will do everything we can to find the best legal defence and make the process less stressful for you. We have decades of experience defending assault charges, and we know all of the ins and outs of the legal system.

Assault Charges Investigation

Oftentimes, a person will know that the police are investigating them for an assault. In other instances, a person may only have a hunch. Pyzer Criminal Lawyers can help in both circumstances. If you have a hunch the police are investigating you, call us to hear your options. We will be able to determine if the police are investigating you, and advise you on the next steps to take.

If you already know you are being investigated for assault or have a warrant out for your arrest, the best thing to do is call an experienced assault lawyer. As experienced defence lawyers, we recognize right away if there are gaps in the Crown’s case against you. If we are involved from the very beginning, we may be able to convince the Crown there is not enough evidence to proceed in prosecuting you.

Bail Process

If you are arrested for assault, the police may release you at the scene with a form that demands you be in court on a specific date to appear in front of a judge. Or, the police can arrest you and hold you in a jail cell until you can appear in front of a judge for a bail hearing. The point of a bail hearing is for a judge to decide whether you should be released from custody until your case goes to trial, or whether you stay in custody until your trial.

The police have to make sure you appear in front of a judge within 24 hours. If you or someone you know has been arrested and is being held on bail, call us right away. We will appear in court with the accused and do everything we can to have them released. It is better to get a criminal defence lawyer right away to help you with your bail hearing than trying to do it alone.

As experienced defence lawyers, we recognize right away if there are gaps in the Crown’s case against you. If we are involved from the very beginning, we may be able to convince the Crown there is not enough evidence to proceed with the charges against you.

Assault Case Study

R v Q.A.

The young offender accused, Q.A., was charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm. The allegations were that during the lunch hour, while at school, Q.A., got into a confrontation with one of his classmates. The alleged victim reported that the accused approached him, punched him in the face and then pushed him down a flight of stairs. The alleged victim had to be taken to the hospital where he received multiple stitches to his head.

Mr. Pyzer represented Q.A. and was successful in having the charge against the accused withdrawn upon his completion of court-sanctioned extra-judicial measures, which included a letter of apology and mediation with the complainant. Q.A. does not have a criminal record in relation to this incident and there was no finding of guilt made by the court.

Words from Client’s We’ve Defended

I am very happy that I engaged Jonathan Pyzer to represent me for some legal difficulties I ran into. He always treated me with respect and empathy, took the time to fully understand my situation and explain his strategy with me. With his expertise and guidance, I was able to get through this ordeal quickly and successfully. Throughout the process, I always felt that Jonathan was representing my interests to the best of his ability and the results proved it.  Thanks to Jonathan's efforts, I can now focus on getting my life back to where I want it to be without this dark cloud of uncertainty hanging over my head. Hopefully I won't ever find myself in a similar situation, but if I do, I won't hesitate to reach out to Pyzer Criminal Lawyers for help.


If you are reading this and looking for a knowledgeable/ experienced criminal lawyer, then you found the best of all. Jonathan is exceptional and knows the criminal law to the “T”.

Unlike most lawyers who are simply after the payment aspect of the process, Jonathan is more concerned about the outcome of your case and puts in every iota of his skills and knowledge from his enormous wealth of experience. He would give you nothing but the BEST!

I was so worried and almost gave up from the poor handling of a family case from a different lawyer but Jonathan rectified it all in just a short time frame with about 2-3 visits only. Something that was literally taking the previous lawyer close to 6months to deliver any ray of hope on ... took just the touch of Jonathan’s expertise to remedy it all.


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Whether you have been charged before, or are facing charges for the first time, it is always frightening and distressing. Being convicted of assault will leave lasting implications on you and your family. You do not need to fight your charges alone - call Pyzer Criminal Lawyers to handle your case. We will advocate for your every step of the way and find the best legal defence possible. Contact Pyzer Criminal Lawyers for a free case evaluation today.

"He fought his heart out for me with skill and grace. And we won. I am so glad that I found him"
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