Assault with a Weapon

Assault with a weapon is a common criminal charge in Ontario. The essential elements of assault with a weapon include an assault – non-consensual contact with another person – and the use or threatened use of a weapon. This offence is charged in a variety of contexts including domestic assaults where items are used, bar fights, and others. It is frequently charged with other offences depending on the circumstances. Misha has extensive experience defending individuals charged with assault with a weapon and related offences. Contact Misha today if you wish to discuss your case.

What is Assault with a Weapon?

Assault with a weapon is codified in s. 267 of the Criminal Code.

An assault is considered more serious if the perpetrator uses a weapon.  Assault with a weapon requires an assault and the use or threatened use of a weapon.  In criminal law, a weapon can be anything that is used as a weapon. While things such as knives are common, in any assault where an item is used or threatened, the police will usually charge the alleged perpetrator with assault with a weapon.

Defences to assault with a weapon may include self-defence, accident, necessity or other defences.

What is the Penalty for Assault with a Weapon? Is there Jail Time?

The maximum penalty for assault with a weapon is 10 years of jail time according to the Criminal Code of Canada.  There are a several other possible outcomes for criminal charge of Assault with a Weapon, including probation, fines, and the possibility of having your charges withdrawn.

What happens if you're charged with Assault with a Weapon?

Anyone charged with assault with a weapon has a right to counsel. The police must inform you of the reason for your arrest and must make reasonable efforts to assist you to speak with your counsel of choice. Typically, if you are brought to a police station, they will give you an opportunity to speak with your lawyer of choice in a private room.

Depending on the seriousness of the offence and the circumstances of the case, the police may release you from the station or may hold you for a bail hearing. If you are held for bail, they will advise you so that you may make arrangements to contact a lawyer and assist you in contacting your friends or family to act as sureties for your bail. You have a right to be brought before a Justice or Judge within a reasonable time but in any event within 24 hours of your arrest.

At your bail hearing, your lawyer and the Crown will argue about whether you should be released from custody and, if so, what reasonable terms of bail should be imposed. Any person charged with a crime has a right to a reasonable bail.

Contact Misha if a friend or family member has been charged with an offence, or if they are being held for bail.

Why shouldn't I just plead guilty to Assault with a Weapon?

A criminal conviction for assault with a weapon can have consequences far greater than the sentence imposed by the judge. A criminal conviction can have consequences for employment, immigration status in Canada, access to children as part of any family law proceedings, crossing the border to the United States and elsewhere, and any number of other consequences. While many people may be tempted to plead guilty ‘to get it over with’ a criminal conviction with all its consequences can last for a long time, perhaps forever. A snap decision may be the wrong decision. As experienced trial counsel, Misha can advise you of the strong or weak parts of the Crown’s case. While some cases are strong – and pleading guilty may be a reasonable option – many others are not. Some people are not guilty and guilty pleas are only for guilty people. Experienced trial counsel can negotiate a better deal or successfully represent you at trial.

Only a careful review of your matter can give you the advice you need to make crucial decisions on your case and your life. A careful review may reveal gaps or problems with the Crown’s case. Contact experienced trial counsel Misha Feldmann if you are contemplating pleading guilty.

First Time Assault with a Weapon Charges

The criminal justice system often recognizes that people make mistakes. Some mistakes are bigger than others. People charged with offences, including Assault with a Weapon, for the first time are treated somewhat differently from people with long criminal records. Experienced counsel can assist in obtaining great results for first time assault charges. This may include diversion before trial or favourable plea agreements. Contact our office to discuss your case and what to expect.

Assault with a Weapon Legislation

Section 267 of the Criminal Code Covers this Charge

Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm

267 Every one who, in committing an assault,

(a) carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation thereof, or

(b) causes bodily harm to the complainant,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

Source: Criminal Code of Canada, Section 267