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Sentences for Assaults

The Criminal Code sets out different maximum sentences for assault convictions, depending upon the circumstances. There is no minimum sentence.

  • An assault, without any special circumstances (sometimes called a common assault) carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

  • Assaulting a peace officer could also bring a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment. The charge of assaulting a peace officer includes an assault against someone who is helping a peace officer in official duties, or someone who is trying to make a lawful seizure of goods, such as a sheriff or bailiff. Resisting a lawful arrest or detention is considered to be assault of a peace officer as well.

  • An assault carried out with a weapon, or one that results in bodily harm, has a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.

  • Aggravated assault occurs if the victim suffers wounds, disfigurement or life-threatening injuries. This carries a maximum sentence of fourteen years imprisonment.

There are a wide range of sentences possible for most crimes, including assault. The law usually sets a maximum and sometimes a minimum sentence for each crime. A judge rarely gives the maximum sentence. The maximum sentence is for the worst offender who has committed the worst type of the offence.

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