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Barrie Lawyers Defend Assault Causing Bodily Harm Charges
Assault causing bodily harm can be charged as an indictable offence and carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail for a first conviction. If you are charged with the crime of assault causing bodily harm it is essential that you immediately call the criminal defence lawyers at The Law Firm of Ted Yoannou, P.C., as time is of the essence to gather the relevant evidence of your innocence.
Being charged with a crime doesn't mean you are guilty. Your rights are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and the presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of our justice system. Quite simply this means that the prosecution must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Once you have been arrested, it’s important that you exercise your right to remain silent as even the most casual comment can be used against you in court.
Even after the police arrest and charge someone with the crime of assault causing bodily harm, there is still much that needs to happen before they can get a conviction. The police do not decide your guilt or innocence; that is up to a judge or jury. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the burden of proof falls upon the Crown prosecutor to prove that a crime has actually occurred, that the defendant used intentional and not accidental force directly, and that the person committing the assault actually did cause bodily harm to the victim. In addition, the Crown prosecutor must prove the method that was used to commit the bodily harm (such as a fist, stick, gun or other weapon) and the use of force was intentional, meaning the blow or blows were not reflexive or accidental. As well, the extent of the injuries must be corroborated by the testimony of medical experts and eye witnesses. Failing to make their case in any one of these areas can open the door for reasonable doubt and an accused person’s acquittal.
There is a difference between the charges of assault and assault causing bodily harm. Also, there are differences between assault with bodily injury and aggravated assault. Assault with bodily injury is a more serious charge than simple assault but less serious than the charge of aggravated assault. Assault causing bodily harm entails less serious injuries like bruising, scrapes, cutting and maybe a broken bone. Aggravated assault is reserved for assaults which cause injuries which wound, maim or endanger the life of the victim. This includes the most serious of offences including stabbings, shooting and other life-threatening injuries. It is important that your lawyer has these charges dismissed altogether and if that is not possible, argues for a reduced charge.
It is possible to argue that the bodily harm the complainant suffered was accidental, incidental or was caused while you were defending yourself from their attack. Canadian Criminal Law states that everyone has a right to repel force by force as long as the force is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and that the force is not more than is justified in defending themselves. Securing the testimony of third-party eye witnesses is crucial in explaining the details of who attacked whom and how the attack was repelled.
Regardless of how we proceed with your defence, it is critical that we get a head start to gather and analyse evidence, interview eye witnesses and secure police reports. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with the crime of ‘assault causing bodily harm’, please call The Law Firm of Ted Yoannou, P.C., today for a free consultation.