Common Defence Strategies For Assault Charges In Canada

July 20, 2021

Common Defence Strategies For Assault Charges In Canada

People in Canada are often confused about the legal jeopardy they might face after being accused of assault. This is because there is little awareness around the topic. In addition to that, there are different categories of assault under Canada’s criminal code, and each carries a different kind of sentence. So, the question now is, can you beat different kinds of assault charges in Canada?

The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as the intent of the attacker and the type of incident that led to the arrest. The bottom line is that there are several ways that you can fight assault charges in Canada. This blog discusses some of these common assault defence strategies below. It is important to keep in mind that in order to have a fighting chance at winning your case you need to hire and be represented by a highly experienced criminal defence lawyer.

Self Defence

Self-defence is the use of force to answer a charge of a violent act. It is a way to protect and defend yourself or people around you against someone who is threatening to harm or is harming you or someone near you. It is the most common strategy to fight off assault charges, and the accused person can clear himself of criminal charges if he can prove the following things:

  • There was a threat of force or harm against him or another person that caused them to act a certain way
  • The suspect had reasonable grounds to believe that he or someone else near him was in danger
  • There was no easy way to escape from the situation
  • The threat and fear came with no harm or stimulus on their part
  • The assault committed was reasonable in the circumstances

A Lack Of Intent

A lawyer can use a lack of intent defence strategy to clear criminal charges against his client. However, one can deploy this strategy only when the suspect’s lawyer believes they can prove to the court that the assault was not intentional and only took place as a reflexive reaction to external stimuli.

Raising Of Reasonable Doubt

The phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” is an important pillar of the common law criminal justice system. It means that the evidence presented in the court by the prosecutor establishes the defendant’s guilt and must be accepted as fact by any rational person. However, if a criminal defence lawyer manages to raise doubts about the evidence, he can help the person being charged with the assault. For example, contrasting facts about how the assault occurred may raise doubt and weaken the prosecutor’s case.

The raising of reasonable doubt is quite an effective strategy to fight off assault charges.

Consent For The Use Of Force

If the victim of the assault willingly took part in the activity, then he cannot accuse someone else of assault and injuries resulting from that activity. Consent for the use of force may be raised as a strategy in assaults resulting from fist fights. It is important to keep in mind that even if the assault had consent, the court could still choose to punish the offender; however, it depends on the situation and the extent of harm done to the victim.

Sometimes the crown prosecutor or the police may charge the suspect with more than one assault, such as by combining sexual assault with domestic assault. In these cases, devising a successful defence strategy becomes difficult. However, a skilled criminal defence lawyer will carefully examine all aspects of the case to figure out how to beat the charges and achieve the most suitable outcome.

About Slaferek Callihoo

Slaferek Callihoo lawyers are highly proficient at strategizing effective defence strategies that can lead to case dismissal, reduced charges, reduced penalties, and more. To get in touch with us today, click here.

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