What are the Sentences for Sexual Assault in Canada?

What Are the Sentences for Sexual Assault in Canada

Sexual assault cases can be emotionally taxing and intricate. The minimum and maximum sentences for simple sexual assault, also known as sexual assault simpliciter, in Canada vary significantly based on the specific nature and severity of the offence.

The Canadian Criminal Code defines sexual assault as “any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another or any sexual activity done without a person’s consent or without their voluntary agreement.”

Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on the sentencing for sexual assault in Canada to gain essential insights and how reaching out to criminal lawyers like Batting, Wyman Barristers can help.

Types of Sexual Assault Charges

The pivotal element in a sexual assault case hinges on the specific type of assault charge, significantly impacting the minimum sentence that may apply. Notably, certain offences are categorized as sexual crimes but may not fit the legal definition of sexual assault. For instance, an invitation to touching is considered a sexual crime but may not be classified as assault in a technical sense.

On the other hand, offences such as “sexual assault causing bodily harm” or “aggravated sexual assault” carry a more substantial minimum sentence for sexual assault in Canada.

Factors Influencing Severity of Sentences

Several factors contribute to the severity of sentences for sexual assault cases. The presence of aggravating factors can lead to harsher penalties, while mitigating factors may result in a more lenient sentence. It is crucial to understand how these elements can impact the legal outcome.

Mitigating Factors

Mitigating factors are aspects of a case that may lessen the culpability of the accused. These could include prompt acknowledgment of wrongdoing, cooperation with authorities, or a lack of prior criminal record. Legal professionals specializing in sexual assault cases can strategically use these factors to advocate for a more favourable sentencing outcome.

Aggravating Factors

Victim’s Age:

  • Minor victims may lead to more severe sentencing.
  • Awareness of the victim’s age by the accused influences the severity of the sentence.

Victim’s Vulnerability:

  • The law aims to protect vulnerable individuals.
  • Higher vulnerability, such as physical challenges, can result in more severe punishment.

Degree of Violence:

  • The severity of the force and injuries sustained by the victim can aggravate the sentence.

Position of Authority:

  • Abuse of power by the accused, especially in positions of authority, leads to harsher sentences.

Use of Weapon:

  • Involvement of a weapon increases the likelihood of an aggravated sentence.


  • Cases involving penetration often result in more severe sentences.

Likelihood of Recurrence:

  • Previous sexually related offences, especially if the offender is a repeat offender, can aggravate the sentence.

Note: The sexual assault lawyer’s ability to prove these facts in court and the specific circumstances surrounding the assault are crucial factors in determining the impact of these aggravating factors on the sentencing. Which is why it’s highly recommended to hire criminal lawyers experienced in sexual assault cases.

Sexual Assault Sentences

The range of sentences for sexual assault in Canada is broad, reflecting the diverse circumstances of each case. Sentences may include imprisonment, probation, or other forms of legal penalties. It is imperative for individuals facing charges to consult with experienced sexual assault lawyers who can provide tailored advice based on the specific details of their case.

Sexual Assault Lawyers in Calgary

Connect with one of our criminal lawyers at Batting, Wyman Barristers today if you are facing sexual assault charges. Getting professional legal advice as soon as possible is essential, especially if you must make bail as the first defence step. Our team is committed to providing comprehensive legal support and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

We offer a free 30-minute consultation. Give us a call at 403-263-4949. We are available 24/7 if you need assistance.

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.