Is it a Crime to Grab Someone's Arm?

November 10, 2020
You can be charged with assault fro grabbing someone's arm.
You can be charged with assault fro grabbing someone's arm.
  • It is a criminal offence in Canada to grab someone's arm. You can be criminally charged with assault, prosecuted and convicted if the Crown is able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Many people conceive of  an assault as a much more violent action than simply grabbing someone's arm. However the criminal code of Canada recognizes that an assault is the intentional application or attempted application of force without consent to another person.
  • This means that any application of force would constitute an assault according to the Criminal Code. This includes grabbing someone's arm could constitute an assault depending on the circumstances in which it occurred.
  • Especially in domestic assault cases many people are surprised to learn that simply grabbing their partner's arm or throwing something at their partner is considered a violent enough action to constitute assault or even an assault with a weapon criminal offence charge.

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Criminal Code of Canada Section 265


  • 265 (1) A person commits an assault when
    • (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
    • (b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
    • (c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.
  • Marginal note:Application(2) This section applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.
  • Marginal note:Consent

    (3) For the purposes of this section, no consent is obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of

    • (a) the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;
    • (b) threats or fear of the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;
    • (c) fraud; or
    • (d) the exercise of authority.
  • Marginal note:Accused’s belief as to consent(4) Where an accused alleges that he believed that the complainant consented to the conduct that is the subject-matter of the charge, a judge, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that, if believed by the jury, the evidence would constitute a defence, shall instruct the jury, when reviewing all the evidence relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused’s belief, to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.
  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 244;
  •  1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 21;
  •  1980-81-82-83, c. 125, s. 19.
  • There are defences available to you if you have been charged with an assault for allegedly grabbing someone's arm or more serious allegations.
  • It is possible in some cases for the defence to argue consent, or to argue that the alleged offence didn't even occur.
  • In order to be convicted of assault or any other criminal  offence the Crown must prove the allegations against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • If you have been charged with assault or any other criminal offence please contact Kostman and Pyzer for your free consultation today!
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