What Is the Difference Between Assault Offences?

There are three distinct types of assault offences as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada which includes:

  1. Assault
  2. Sexual Assault
  3. Domestic Assault

Each one has specific definitions as related to the offence and the type of charges which one could face. It is important to understand the differences between the three, as well as realize there are several different sub-types of assault offences categorized under each one.

Criminal Assault

This is the generalized type of assault used in cases where a person committed the offence for non-sexual and non-domestic assaults. The key factor used to determine whether an assault was committed was whether there was either a direct or indirect force used against the victim without their consent.

For instance, grabbing someone’s arm and applying pressure could be considered a direct force used against the individual. On the other hand, hitting or poking someone with an object, like a hockey stick, could be viewed as an indirect force.

The sub-types of assault offences are used in specific cases when certain actions or outcomes occur as result of the assault. These could include uttering threats, aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm, and assault with a weapon.

In some cases, an individual could be charged with multiple assault type offences. To illustrate someone threatens another individual they are going to cause them harm in some manner either using direct or indirect force.

If they do not follow through, they could be charged with uttering threats. However, if they carry out the threat, they could be charged with both uttering threats and an assault offence, based on if they used a weapon and the types of injuries the victim sustained.

Sexual Assault

With sexual assault offences, there is the added element of a sexual nature regarding the type of force used against the victim. It is worth noting that the law does not have an actual criminal offence for rape, and rapes are considered sexual assaults.

In addition, one does not have to engage in the actual act of sex to be charged with this offence. Simply touching someone in a sexual manner without their consent could be sufficient grounds to be charged with this crime.

Domestic Assault

The key element of this type of assault is when it is committed by an individual against another with a familiar relationship. The victim could be a spouse, partner, child, parent, or other relatives, as well as close friends.

Police agencies and the Crown consider all complaints of assault as serious crimes. The police are required to investigate any claims made by a victim. If there is indeed evidence to support an assault, then it is entirely up to the Crown what types of charges one could face.

If you have been formally charged with an assault offence it is in your best interests to get your own legal advice and counsel. Please feel free to contact me, Toronto criminal defence lawyer, Jeff Hershberg at 416-428-7360 now to schedule a consultation.

What Is the Difference Between Theft and Burglary Criminal Offences?

Some people mistakenly assume theft and burglary are the same types of criminal offence. However, the Criminal Code of Canada has specifically categorized the offences as different crimes. Each crime has its own definitions and elements that must be present for one to be formally charged.

Theft Offences

A generalized definition of theft is the taking of another’s property without their permission or knowledge as a means to deprive them the enjoyment and use of the property, where the suspect benefits personally in some manner. It is important to stress the benefits one gain does not have to be monetary in nature or involve being able to use and enjoy the property they took.

For instance, you are at a neighborhood cookout and one of your neighbors is busy showing off their new smartphone to everyone. You feel jealous they can afford the latest smartphone. A short while later, you notice your neighbor has sat their phone down and walked off. You decide to take the phone.

After taking the phone, you decide to destroy it by smashing it with a hammer and tossing it into the trash. Even though you did not keep the phone for your own use or try to sell it for a monetary gain, you still have committed theft.

Burglary Offences

With burglary offences, certain elements of theft are also found, like the taking of property to deprive the victim of its use and enjoyment and personally benefit in some manner. However, there is one key distinction between the two crimes: Burglary involves the taking of another’s property with or without the use of direct or indirect force, yet with their knowledge.

For instance, you walk into a convenience store and see the cashier has left the register open. You reach around the counter and pull out the cash, just as the cashier notices what you are doing. You run out the door to make your escape.

This is considered burglary without the use of force because you simply took something and ran. On the other hand, let’s assume you walked into the store and told the cashier to give you all cash in the register or else you would shoot them.

Now you have implied the use of force while committing burglary, regardless of whether you actually have a gun. Furthermore, if you were to cause injury to another during the commission of the burglary, you could be charged with other offences, such as assault, in addition to the burglary offence.

As you can see, while theft and burglar do share some common elements they are different crimes. Regardless of whether one is charged with committing theft or burglary, they should take the offence seriously since there could be severe consequences if one is convicted and found guilty, including varying periods of imprisonment.

If you have been charged with theft or burglary, please feel free to contact me, Toronto criminal defence lawyer, Jeff Hershberg at 416-428-7360 now to schedule a consultation.

Why Do I Need a Toronto Bail Hearing Lawyer?

The Canadian Criminal Justice System and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allow for an individual charged with a criminal offense the right to a bail hearing. It is important to stress, while the law does allow for a bail hearing, this by no means implies the individual will be granted bail.

The Court needs to take into consideration what risks the suspect poses to the general public, the likelihood of committing further criminal offenses and their potential to flee if they are released. The Crown will also strongly make their preferences known to the Court on whether it believes bail should be granted.

It is for these reasons you should not face a bail hearing alone and should get help from myself, Toronto bail hearing lawyer, Jeff Hershberg. The bail hearing can be a complex procedure as there are different conditions one may need to satisfy in order to meet the Court’s requirements for bail.

For instance, it is not uncommon for the Court to require a surety during the bail hearing as a condition for release. A surety is a family member of close friend that agrees to be responsible for the suspect and their actions while released on bail. They have to guarantee to the Court they will also enforce the conditions and terms of the bail and report any violations.

Whether a surety is required is directly related to the type of criminal offense you were charged with and other factors. If you have a past criminal record or other pending criminal cases against you, the Court may be more reluctant to grant bail or could demand you have a surety.

For less serious types of offenses, a surety is not always required. Your lawyer is able to negotiate the terms and conditions of your release on your behalf. Securing release is often pivotal for being able to properly prepare your defense to the charges.

In addition, while out on bail you can often continue to work, earn an income, and support your family. You cannot do these things if your bail is denied and could actually lose your job. Furthermore, preparing your defense can be more challenging because you only have a limited amount of time to spend with your lawyer.

Even in cases where you are being charged with a minor offense like shoplifting, you still need help from a bail hearing lawyer if being held for bail. While the charge might seem trivial and you may think you can secure bail on your own, the Court may decide to make an example of you and set the maximum bail amount to deter others from committing this crime. In some cases, you might be denied bail if there is a high likelihood the Crown can establish that you would commit further theft offenses if released.

If you have been called to appear at your local police department or someone you care about has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, please feel free to contact me, Toronto criminal defense lawyer, Jeff Hershberg at 416-428-7360 now to schedule a consultation.

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