Many Calgary residents don’t realize that assault charges can be applied to a number of interactions, even those that don’t lead to physical contact. Understanding the actions that can lead to assault charges can help you avoid potential legal trouble.
What Is Assault? Definition of Assault in the Criminal Code
An assault can happen whenever someone touches another person and that person does not want to be touched. An assault can be anything from a punch in the face to touching someone on the shoulder, as long as the contact happened without the consent (permission) of the person being touched. The amount of force used is not what’s most relevant, but whether the touching was allowed and whether it was intended.
An assault can also occur when someone makes any gesture or action which makes another person feel a reasonable fear of harm. There does not need to be any physical contact for this type of assault to occur.
Assault also occurs when a person who is carrying or wearing a visible weapon, stops another person, harasses them or begs them for something. A weapon can include anything a person uses or means to use to cause someone fear, to harm or to kill. This could be a gun, knife or other object which could be used as a weapon.
Intention is a factor in Calgary Assault Charges
A person has to mean to touch or alarm someone else for an assault to happen. Accidentally bumping into someone, if they do not mean to bump into that other person, is not an assault. Also, if someone is waving their finger at another person, but do not mean to alarm them, then they have not committed an assault.
Violence is Not Always a Factor in Calgary Assault Charges
Touching someone in an unwanted manner, even without any resulting injury or pain, can also be construed as assault under the law. This means that unwanted physical contact, restraint of an individual against their wishes, or physically blocking someone’s path can also lead to an assault charge.
Self Defence or Assault?
You may believe that a confrontation you were involved in was is a clear case of self-defence or protecting your property. You may believe you were in the right, but Calgary law enforcement may not see it that way. You shouldn’t assume that charges will be dropped.
A Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Can help if you are Charged With Assault
An assault charge is a serious criminal charge, and should be handled by a lawyer with knowledge of Alberta’s assault laws and experience in the Calgary court system. Maureen McConaghy has a proven track record of defending Calgary citizens charged with assault. For a free consultation, contact Maureen today.