Toronto Assault Lawyers

If you or someone in your family is facing assault charges in Toronto, you need to contact a criminal defence lawyer experienced in assault charges to conduct a free consultation, help you review your case, and prepare the best legal defence.

At Pyzer Criminal Lawyers, we have the experience and skills to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your assault charges case. Without the right Toronto assault lawyer, you may be convicted of assault and face a criminal record. This will have devastating consequences on your life.

It is in Your Best Interest to Hire an Experienced Toronto Assault Lawyer!

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or CONTACT: (416) 658-1818

What is Assault?

Assault is defined under s. 265(1) of the Criminal Code and the offence occurs when the Crown is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual:

  • (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.

This version of assault is commonly referred to as simple assault when the application of force does not involve something of a sexual nature, bodily harm, weapons, or another aggravating circumstance.

Other offences involving assault as found in the Criminal Code could include assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault, sexual assault, and domestic assault.

What types of assault offences are there?

The Criminal Code defines several types of assault charges, including:

  • Simple Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm
  • Assault With A Weapon

Domestic assault is not specifically defined in the Criminal Code and may involve any of the above charges in the context of a domestic situation. These charges are generally treated more seriously.

Visit our page on domestic assault if you have been charged with domestic assault and wish to learn more.
As an established Toronto assault lawyer, we have experience in all of these types of assault charges.

What is the punishment for assault in Canada?

An assault charge can result in a wide range of sentences from a conditional discharge under the best circumstances, up to 14 years imprisonment, which is the maximum sentence in an aggravated assault case.

As you can see, the sentences for assault are incredibly serious depending on the nature of the charges, and it is in your best interest to work with a Toronto defence lawyer to help draft the right legal strategy for the circumstances.

Read our blog on what is the sentencing time for assault to learn more about the potential sentences you may face.

What happens when you are charged with assault in Ontario?

The exact process followed during an assault charge will vary depending on the circumstances of the offence, which offence a person is charged with (assault with a weapon, aggravated assault), etc. Here is the general process which may be followed:

If A Police Officer is Called to the Scene

If a police officer responds to an incident involving an assault, assault with a weapon, etc., you may be arrested and taken to jail by the arresting officer, or you may be released by the arresting officer who will issue an appearance notice. The police officer will then swear an information before a justice of the peace.

If you are taken to jail, you can either be released on a Form 10, or you may be held in custody and taken to court where a justice will decide whether or not to release you. A bail hearing will be conducted before a justice of the peace in order to determine whether you may be safely released pending trial. This hearing must be conducted within 24 hours, or as soon as possible. You should contact a criminal defence lawyer who can review your case and represent you at the hearing. If the incident is reported to the police after the fact.

If a complainant goes to the police after the incident has occurred, a police officer will take the report and then proceed to swear an information before a justice of the peace, outlining that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed an offence.

If the justice is satisfied that these reasonable grounds exist, they will endorse the information and either issue a summons to appear to be served on the accused, or issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused.

If you are released pending trial, a date for a first appearance will be set. At the first appearance, you will have the opportunity to request an adjournment to obtain legal representation if you have not already done so. Disclosure is typically provided during the first court appearance, but there is no obligation to do so and the courts understand that this is an ongoing obligation.

The Crown will have to decide whether they will proceed by way of summary offence or an indictment. If the Crown decides to proceed by way of indictment, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted if the potential sentence is 14 years imprisonment or greater. An accused can elect to have a preliminary inquiry in provincial court and a judge and jury trial in superior court.  If a preliminary inquiry is conducted,  the information previously sworn will be replaced by a document called an indictment.

Several other appearances may occur before trial including the arraignment, where an accused will be asked to enter their plea to the charges.
Before the trial, a criminal defence lawyer will conduct many important steps including requesting and reviewing disclosure, attending pre-trial conferences, conduct legal analyses and research, obtain accused version of events while fresh in their mind, interview witnesses, and meet with the accused to prepare their defence / materials in support of having the charges withdrawn.

After this time, a trial date will be set and a trial will be conducted if an agreement to withdraw or resolve charges was unable to be reached.

What does application of force mean in assault?

In order to be convicted of assault, one of the elements of the actus reus which may satisfy the conviction is for a person to apply force without consent to another person. While this is fact-specific, it generally means that you must intentionally strike someone either directly or indirectly with your body or some other object. In simple assault, it is not necessary that this force actually injures this person so long as the other elements of assault are satisfied.

How common are assault charges?

Charging someone with assault is very common in the criminal justice system when there is an application of force. As assault charges vary in severity, it’s always best to receive a free consultation from an advocate experienced in criminal law who can review the assault case.

Can assault charges be dropped by the victim in Canada?

In Toronto and Canada, the victim or complainant cannot drop charges once they have filed a complaint with the police. While the victim may contact the police or the Crown and advise them that they wish to recount their statement, it is ultimately up to the Crown to determine whether the charges for assault should stand or if the assault charges should be dropped.

This is primarily the case because a complainant in an assault, domestic assault, or assault causing bodily harm case may be pressured by the accused to have the charges dropped. With the victim having no control over whether charges are laid or dropped, it is hoped that more victims will stay consistent with their prior statements if the incident did in fact occur.

Why should I hire a Toronto criminal lawyer?

While it may seem tempting to represent yourself in court and save the expense of an experienced criminal lawyer in Toronto, this decision can have disastrous consequences on your life. Assault and assault causing bodily harm charges are serious and need an experienced lawyer to review the case.

You do not have the education and experience to expertly navigate the justice system. Only an experienced legal advocate knows how to review your case, raise all available defences, and advocate for your rights fully.

Just as you would not perform your own dental work or may trust complicated vehicle maintenance to a mechanic, you should understand that it is in your best interest to trust a lawyer to fearlessly advocate on your behalf so that you can achieve the best possible outcome in your assault case.

Which courts in Toronto do you practice in?

We are available to attend matters in all Toronto courthouses, including:

  • 311 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON
  • 130 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON
  • 361 University Ave, Toronto, ON
  • 1911 Eglinton Ave East, Toronto, ON
  • 47 Sheppard Ave. East, Toronto, ON
  • 444 Yonge St., College Park – 2nd Fl., Toronto, ON
  • 1000 Finch Ave. West, Toronto, ON
  • 2201 Finch Ave. West, Toronto, ON
  • 60 Queen St. W. Old City Hall, Toronto, ON
  • 393 University Ave. -10th Fl., Toronto, ON
  • 330 University Ave., Toronto, ON

What are the consequences of a criminal record for assault?

A criminal record may have serious and life-changing consequences. These can include:

  • Inability to Practice A Profession: Certain professions require that you disclose any criminal convictions registered against you, and you may denied licensure to certain professions depending on the nature of the criminal offence. It may also be a crime to not disclose these convictions depending on the profession.
  • Restricted Travel: You may be unable to travel outside of Canada if you are convicted of certain criminal offences. Read our blog to learn more about travelling to the United States with a criminal record.
  • Limited Job Prospects: Many job applications require a criminal background check to be performed. A criminal record may result in not obtaining employment.
  • Imprisonment: Depending on the seriousness of the assault, especially aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm, it may result in jail time.
  • Consequences In Other Legal Proceedings: if you are in the process of a Family Court proceeding, criminal charges may prejudice these legal proceedings.

The right criminal lawyer may be able to help mitigate or eliminate these consequences by crafting a legal strategy which raises every available defence, resulting in the best possible outcome in your case.

What should a person charged with assault do?

The first step a person charged with assault in Toronto should do is contact Pyzer Criminal Lawyers. We offer a free consultation so that we may review your case and determine how we can help you achieve the best possible result. If you are facing an assault charge, you need an experienced criminal defence lawyer to fight for you. Contact us today to learn more.

If you are charged with a crime in Toronto, Contact Pyzer Criminal Lawyers