What is aggravated assault?

By Last Updated: July 26, 2022

Aggravated assault is a very serious offence that is committed when you wound, maim, disfigure, or endanger the life of someone else. You will have “wounded” someone when you did something that caused their skin to break or bruise. You will have “maimed” someone when you have injured them so that their ability to fight is impeded, and you will have “disfigured” someone when you have temporarily or permanently marred their appearance.

In order to be charged with aggravated assault, sometimes it is not necessary for the Crown to prove that you absolutely intended to wound, maim or disfigure someone. That is, so long as the bodily harm was an objectively foreseeable consequence of your actions, you were aware of the potential consequence and you took those actions anyway, you can be found guilty of aggravated assault. For example, you cannot argue that you did not intend to wound, maim or disfigure someone after striking them across the face with a baseball bat. Even if you did not ‘mean’ to cause them serious facial injury, it was an obvious consequence of intentionally striking them in the face with the bat and you could be found guilty of aggravated assault.

The Penalty For Committing Aggravated Assault:

If you are convicted of aggravated assault you will be guilty of an indictable offence and liable for up to 14 years in prison. In addition, because this is a primary designated offence you will be required to provide the police with samples of your DNA that will be entered into a national DNA database. This information will then become available to the police when they are investigating offences committed by unknown perpetrators. They will be able to run DNA found at the scene to known offenders, and where there is a match between your DNA and DNA found at the scene, you will be called in and investigated by the police as a potential suspect to the crime. Further, you will also likely be subject to additional ancillary orders such as a weapons and firearms prohibition, and will be precluded from coming into contact with the victim of your assault.

About The Author

Michael Oykhman

Managing Partner

Michael Oykhman is a senior lawyer and founder of Strategic Criminal Defence, a full-service criminal law firm with central law offices across Western Canada and Ontario.

My professional experience consists of countless court appearances and thousands of successful defences and satisfied clients. Over the last 10 years, I have worked to build a law office where all the lawyers share our collective experience, resources, and passion to help people. Our team approach to legal representation is client–rather than only law–centred. We look for opportunities to add value to our clients through strategic thinking and creative solutions.

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