Area of Law: Criminal Law
Answer # 1837
Assault with a weaponRegion: Ontario Answer # 1837
What is assault with a weapon?
A person can be convicted of assault with a weapon if, while committing an assault, they carry, use, or threaten to use a weapon or an object that can be used as a weapon.
What is considered a weapon?
A weapon can be anything that is used, designed to be used, or intended to be used by a person to:
- cause death or injury to another person, or
- threaten or intimidate another person.
Some examples of weapons include firearms, shovels, rocks, and beer bottles, since all these things can cause injury to someone. In addition, things such as ropes that can be used to bind or tie up someone against their will can be considered a weapon.
What has to be proved for a conviction?
To convict someone of assault with a weapon, the Crown prosecutor needs to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:
- the elements of simple assault, and
- that the accused committed the assault using a weapon.
Assault with a weapon could also include simply threatening someone with the weapon.
The most common defence to a charge of assault with a weapon is self-defence. To be successful in proving self-defence, the accused must convince the Court that:
- He or she had reasonable grounds to believe that they were being assaulted; and
- Given the circumstances, the accused’s actions were reasonable.
Assault with a weapon is a hybrid offence. This means that the Crown prosecutor chooses whether the offence will be treated as a less serious summary conviction offence, or a more serious indictable offence. If found guilty on summary conviction a person convicted of assault with a weapon will be liable to imprisonment for a maximum of eighteen months. If convicted on indictment a person will be liable to imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years.
If you have been charged with a crime, a criminal defence lawyer experienced in representing people charged with assault will understand when and how to defend an individual case. The penalties for assault vary widely. If you have been charged with assault, or any criminal offence, and need to hire a criminal defence lawyer, contact our preferred experts:
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