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What does assault mean?
  • Assault is the forcible touching or even the threat of touching someone without their consent. Assault can include a broad range of different situations. Assault charges may be laid after bar fights, neighbour disputes, domestic situations, or in any other case where force is used against someone.

What is assault and battery?
  • For the full definition of Assault, see the question above. Assault charges in Canada can encompass simple assault (assault simpliciter), assault causing bodily harm, and aggravated assault. Sometimes, individuals are also charged with assault against a peace officer.

    Battery, on the other hand, is not a criminal charge under the Criminal Code of Canada. You may be familiar with the term from American television, where it is used more commonly.

Do I need a lawyer?
  • If you have been charged with a crime or believe you are being investigated as a suspect in one, it is very important that you speak to a lawyer. Only a lawyer, especially one experienced in criminal law, can fully and professionally advise you of your rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The lawyers at Bottos Law Group can provide immediate, emergency legal advice 24 hours of the day, 7 days of the week, 365 days of the year. If you are thinking about your need for legal advice, call us now at 780-421-7001.

What are my rights on arrest?
  • If you have been arrested, it is important that you understand your rights and how they affect you. All individuals charged with a crime have the same fundamental rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Upon arrest, some of the most important of your rights are the right to silence and the right to speak to legal counsel. If you have been arrested or charged with an offence, it is important you speak to a lawyer at Bottos Law Group who can fully advise you of all your rights.

What is a provincial or criminal offence?
  • In Canada, criminal charges are prosecuted under the Criminal Code of Canada. Most charges you may have heard of before, such as assault, shoplifting, or murder, are covered under the Criminal Code. These offences are prosecuted in the Provincial Court and Court of Queen’s Bench. If you are convicted of a criminal offence, you may receive a criminal record, which can affect your ability to travel or have certain jobs.

    Provincial offences include traffic offences, fishing and hunting offences, and other regulatory offences prosecuted by the Province of Alberta. The consequences of a conviction under a provincial offence can still be serious and can affect your ability to drive, to fish and hunt, or to possess pets.

What is bail and how does it work?
  • All individuals charged with an offence have the right to reasonable bail, a right guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    In practice, if you have been charged with a less serious offence, you may be released by police with a promise to appear or an undertaking, without the need for bail. If you have been charged with a more serious offence, or if the police do not want to release you, then you are entitled to a bail hearing within 24 hours of being charged.

    At the bail hearing, the Crown will present evidence indicating why you should not be released. An experienced defence lawyer can be crucial in defending you against the accusations, making representations on your behalf, and in getting you timely and reasonable bail. For more, please see our page on Bail.

What is the difference between strict and absolute liability?
  • Strict and absolute liability describe two different categories of criminal mental intent. They are commonly applied to regulatory offences, such as traffic charges. For example, if you are charged with an absolute liability offence, then evidence showing you committed the offence also proves that you intended to do so. On the other hand, if you are charged with a strict liability offence, you may have a defence to the charge, such as a reasonable excuse, or due diligence.

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