Assault causing bodily harm

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Assault causing bodily harm is a statutory offence of assault in Canada with aggravating factors. It is committed by anyone who, in committing an assault, causes bodily harm to the complainant.[1] It is the Canadian equivalent to the statutory offence in England and Wales of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. In Canada, a consensual fight is not considered an assault, but one cannot consent to an assault causing bodily harm.

Bodily harm[edit]

Main article: Bodily harm

Bodily harm is defined as any hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the health or comfort of the person and that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature.[2] This definition is similar (if it is not word for word) to the common law definition of actual bodily harm stated in R v. Donovan[3] and repeated in R v. Chan-Fook,[4] where the reference to transient or trifling injuries is taken as applying to actual bodily harm rather than bodily harm.

Mode of trial and sentence[edit]

Assault causing bodily harm is a hybrid offence or dual offence. It is punishable, on conviction on indictment, with imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or, on summary conviction, with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months.[1] This is a case where the sentence for the offence is specifically defined as greater than the default punishment for summary matters, which is normally up to 6 months.[5]

Comparison to aggravated battery[edit]

In many US jurisdictions, aggravated battery is an equivalent to assault causing or occasioning bodily harm. Unlike under Canadian criminal law, however, aggravated battery is always indictable (locally known as a felony).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, s 267(b) Archived October 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine..
  2. ^ Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, s 2 "bodily harm".
  3. ^ R v Donovan, [1934] 2 KB 498 at p 509 (also 25 Cr. App. Rep.1 CCA)
  4. ^ R v Chan-Fook, [1994] 2 All ER 552, at 557D.
  5. ^ Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, s 787 Archived October 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine..