What are the Consequences of Being Found Guilty of an Assault Charge?

The consequences of being found guilty of an assault can range anywhere from an absolute discharge to a term of imprisonment (jail). However, discharges (both absolute and conditional) are only available for simple assault charges and not the more serious related offences.

Assault and its related charges are considered to be hybrid offences, meaning that the Crown / prosecutor can elect to proceed summarily or by indictment. If the crown elects summarily, the maximum sentence for a simple assault is 6 months in jail. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum sentence is 5 years in jail. The Crown’s decision will depend on the seriousness of the allegations and the accused person’s criminal history.

Assault with a Weapon or Assault Bodily Harm charges are generally considered to be more serious and the maximum sentences upon conviction are 18 months in jail if the Crown proceeds summarily and 10 years in jail if the Crown proceeds by indictment.

Sexual Assault is a Hybrid offence carrying with it maximum sentences of 18 months in jail if the Crown elects summarily and 10 years if the Crown elects by indictment.