Assault Charges in British Columbia

Assault cc. 266 is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and one of the most common offences charged in BC.  Charges are laid in a number of situations including domestic disputes and alongside other charges such as Uttering Threats or Mischief.  More serious allegations of assault include Assault with a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm.

We have successfully represented clients facing Assault and related charges in situations including domestic violence, strangers, and assault police.   We work with clients discreetly, and we pride ourselves on obtaining exceptional results in the most challenging of circumstances.  Our law practice has helped hundreds of individuals and their families avoid jail and a criminal record, and we are available for consultations for cases in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Port Coquitlam, and throughout BC 24 hours a day, free of charge.

What are some recent Assault and related cases you’ve defended?

R. v. S.K. [2017] – Client, a university professor, is charged with Domestic Assault and Forcible Confinement. Significant consequences on both career and travel brought to Government's attention. Following alternative diversion plan, Crown withdraws all charges – CHARGES WITHDRAWN and NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. C.W. [2017] - Client is charged with Assault relating to a "road rage" incident after a motor vehicle accident. Client allegedly punched victim multiple times after both had exited their vehicles. Crown originally seeking short jail sentence. Following rehabilitation plan and extensive sentencing submissions, judge agrees with defence and imposes an absolute discharge, with no conditions and no criminal record. - ABSOLUTE DISCHARGE AND NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. M.L. [2017] – Client is charged with Assault With a Weapon relating to incident during a family law hearing. Client allegedly threw weapon at sitting judge in court. Allegations also include serious threats against members of the justice system. Our office refers client for multiple assessments where significant medical issues are uncovered. Following extensive negotiations with the Crown and a year of following a treatment plan, all charges are dropped. –  CHARGES WITHDRAWN and NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. G.R. [2016] - Client, a university employee, is charged with Assault following an altercation with a public transit bus driver. Government alleges that client struck bus driver through the window following verbal altercation. Following negotiations with Crown counsel, matter is referred to Alternative Measures. Client successfully completes diversion program and charges are dropped - CHARGES WITHDRAWN and NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. I.H. [2014] – Client, an executive, charged with alcohol-related Assault Bodily Harm in Lower Mainland incident after passersby witness two men in an altercation and report incident to police.  Significant issues with eyewitness descriptions and circumstances are pointed out to Crown Counsel during 3 month pre-trial negotiation stage –  ALL CHARGES WITHDRAWN and NO CRIMINAL RECORD


R. v. M.M. [2013] – Client, a female non-citizen, was charged with Uttering Death Threats, Assault, Domestic AssaultAssault with a Weapon, and Mischief Over $5000 following allegations of various incidents with boyfriends's family members, including damaging a home, attack with a knife, and threatening to burn down house.  Serious allegations (with possible jail and immigration consequences) required trial.  After 2 day cross-examination of main Crown witness, client fount not guilty of all charges.– NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES


R. v. C.R. [2013] – Client charged with Domestic Assault, Assaulting a Peace Officer, Uttering Threats, and Assault with Intent to Resist Arrest following incident where client strikes officer in the chest during domestic violence investigation. While attempting to take client into custody, other officers are struck. Client then allegedly threatens officer while in squad car – CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE and NO CRIMINAL RECORD


R. v. F.C. [2013] – Client, a licensed security guard, charged with Sexual Assault relating to allegations involving neighbour in apartment building.  Convictions on allegations risked client's professional license and immigration status.  Following discussions with the prosecutor, client agrees to enter a plea to simple assault, and the judge accepts the joint submission for a discharge.  – CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE and NO CRIMINAL RECORD


R. v. C.S. [2010] – Client charged with violent road rage related Assault with several witnesses.  After completing six short anger management counseling sessions, the Crown requests that the Client enter into a common law peace bond and all criminal charges are dropped. CHARGES WITHDRAWN AND NO CRIMINAL RECORD


R. v. B.A. [2010] – Client charged with Assault relating to unprovoked attack on innocent bystander while client was intoxicated.  After completing a short alcohol counselling program arranged through the firm, the Client enters into peace bond promising to stay away from the complainant and all criminal charges are dropped – CHARGES WITHDRAWN AND NO CRIMINAL RECORD


R. v. S.R. [2009] – Client charged with Forcible Confinement, Domestic Assault, Assault with a Weapon, six subsequent Breaches of Bail conditions, and a subsequent additional Assault following a third successful bail hearing.  Client had accumulated these serious charges over a several month period, and following discussions with the Crown, a joint position was agreed to by the judge that would allow my client to continue rehab and counseling – CONDITIONAL SENTENCE AND NO JAIL


R. v. H.D. [2009] – My client, a university student and stand-out athlete, was charged with Assault relating to incident with bouncer at a bar – several eyewitnesses including police – There were allegations that my client was significantly intoxicated.  Following discussions with the Crown, my client completed alcohol counseling and got back on the right track – CHARGES WITHDRAWN AND NO CRIMINAL RECORD


More of My Cases

What is the maximum possible sentence for common Assault in British Columbia?

Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for Assault carries a maximum possible penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

I was also hurt.  Why isn’t the other person being charged?

It is commonly the case that the first person to speak to the police gets the benefit of the doubt and is considered the complainant.  However, the standard for charging a person with a crime is far lower than what is required to convict a person, and if you’ve been charged you should remember that you remain innocent until a judge finds you guilty, regardless of what the officer has advised you.  It is not unusual for cases to come into our office where the person charged was actually the victim in an assault case, and we have a strong record of success in advocating our client’s position both during the negotiation stage and at trial.  We are also familiar with filing private charges against a person in situations where the police have refused.

What if I didn’t even touch the other person?

Assault is an intentional application of force, directly or indirectly, to another person without that person’s consent. However, the definition of Assault includes attempts or threats which means there does not even need to be physical contact for an Assault to occur.  Simply, you don’t need to actually touch another person to be charged with assault, so long as you attempted or threatened to.

How is Assault defined in the Criminal Code of Canada?

A person commits an assault when:

  • without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
  • he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
  • while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

What are some defences to Assault charges?

There a number of defences to every charge under the Criminal Code including Assault.  Defences may be based on a violation of your rights under Canada’s Charter of Rights & Freedoms, self-defence, defence of a person or property, or consent.  The requirements for each defence are different and may be discussed with us during your free initial consultation.  You can also read more about defences [here].

Why shouldn’t I just plead guilty?

The consequences of a criminal record can be significant, and can impact your job, your ability to travel, and your reputation in the community. Finding the best criminal lawyer for your British Columbia criminal charges can make a significant difference to the outcome of your case. Do not plead guilty to Assault without knowing your rights and understanding the consequences.