3 Legal Defenses To An Assault Charge In Canada

Being convicted of an assault charge can result in a sentence of jail time. Consequently, if you have recently been charged with criminal assault, it is essential that you hire a reputable defense lawyer who will be able to effectively present your case to the judge and jury. Below you will find a few of the legal defenses that your lawyer may use to try and prove your innocence when facing these charges.


The law states that causing harm or threatening to cause harm to another person without their consent is assault. Consequently, the presence of consent is considered a complete defense to the charge of criminal assault. For example, if two consenting adults choose to participate in a boxing match, any physical harm that results from this activity will not constitute assault. It is this defense that also protects surgeons from being charged with assault when performing surgery on a patient.

If your assault charge resulted from an activity where all participants were legally consenting adults, a consent defense could prove extremely effective in your case.

Corporal Punishment

Canadian law currently provides parents with the right to use corporal punishment within reason to discipline their children. If your assault charge resulted from a disciplinary action involving your biological child, the corporal punishment defense may be appropriate and effective in your case.

Self Defense

You have the right to defend yourself, your family, and your possessions. If the actions of another individual put your safety, your family’s safety, or your possessions at risk, you are legally allowed to react with reasonable force. This means that you are able to use as much force, and only as much force as necessary to subdue the threat against you. The use of excessive force when reacting to a threat could eliminate your ability to plead self defense.

To better demonstrate the difference between reasonable force and excessive force, imagine for a moment that you are attacked by a stranger when trying to enter your vehicle. The attacker hits you with their fists and does not display a weapon. You respond by hitting the attacker back until they fall to the ground. Once the attack on you stops, you immediately get in your vehicle and drive to the closest police station to report the incident. This is a clear cut case of self defense. However, if you continue to hit the attacker once they are on the ground and are no longer posing a threat to you, this continued action can constitute assault. If the set of facts in your case support the use of reasonable force, pleading self defense could prove highly effective in your case.

In Conclusion

Criminal assault is a serious charge that can result in life altering consequences if convicted. To help prevent this unfortunate end to your case, it is important to contact a reputable defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss possible defenses based on the specific facts in your case.

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