Charged With Assault in Alberta? These 4 Defence Options Can Help


Getting charged with assault is an offence that carries steep penalties. However, despite this, there are many solutions that you can use as a line of defence. And here at Batting, Wyman, we offer Calgary assault defence services to help you better understand what those options are and which ones are most appropriate for your unique situation.

But before we explore these options, it helps to know exactly what constitutes assault in the first place. Assault – for all intents and purposes – is the deliberate act of using force on another person against their will or consent.

Moreover, assault can also be deduced to a threat – through action or gesture – to use force against someone else. And lastly, assault can also be openly carrying a weapon, approaching someone combatively, blocking them, or begging them.

Now that we’re up to speed on what “assault” really means, let’s explore some of the various defence options that are available.

1. Self-Defense

To lean on the self-defence contingency located in the Criminal Code (section 34), you must sufficiently please the judge in regards to the following measures:

  • You must believe and trust in the sensible rationale that force was being administered against you or another individual
  • The actions that constituted the offence were done with the motive of protecting and/or defending you or another individual from that force or threat, and the action administered was appropriate for the situation

When determining if the action in question was appropriate or not, the judge will review the index of variables located in the Criminal Code under section 34(2). Such factors will include:

  • Was the force impending
  • The inherent nature of the offence
  • The individual’s part in the event
  • If either side used a weapon or threatened to use one
  • The age, gender, and size of the opposing parties
  • The length, nature, and history of the relationship

2. Consent

To prove an assault, the prosecuting attorney must demonstrate that the force used was applied without consent from the other party. If the force was consensual, a defence to the assault charges rises. This situation is usually the case with fistfights between two parties.

If both parties consented and agreed to fight, neither person can be convicted with an assault charge. However, if bodily harm has taken place, then the previous point is unimportant if the fight was agreed upon because an individual cannot consent to the outcome of bodily harm.

3. Reflex Action

Reflexive actions are compulsory physical responses to an outside source. To be charged with and convicted of an assault, the accused individual has to commit the act and have performed it deliberately. A compulsory act like a reflexive action cannot be considered a criminal offence due to the intent. The intentional act is a necessary prerequisite for the action to be thought of as an assault.

4. Corrective Force

The Criminal Code (section 43) states that each schoolteacher, guardian, or individual taking the place of a parent is warranted in exercising force for correctional purposes to a student or minor who is in their care; provided the force is not in excess of reasonability in regards to the circumstances.

This form of defence is most often utilized in events where a parent uses force on their kid(s) as a criterion for corrective measures. Typically, these events are acts such as spanking. The use of any weapon is stringently forbidden and will negate any defence within this particular section.

Final Thoughts

Being charged with assault is a situation that requires diligence and forethought. Such a circumstance involves what feels like an endless assembly line of complications. For this reason, Batting, Wyman is here to help.

If you or someone you know has been charged with assault and require assistance, get in contact with us today to book a free consultation.

Blog posts from Batting, Wyman Barristers are for general information only. The content should not be considered legal advice. If you are in need of professional legal advice, please Book a free 30-minute consultation.