Assault Causing Bodily Harm

Assault causing bodily harm is considered a more serious type of assault. This is an assault where there was not only a physical altercation, but that the altercation resulted in physical or psychological harm to the person assaulted.

Bodily harm is defined by the Criminal Code as “any hurt or injury to the complainant that interferes with the health or comfort of the complainant and that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature.”

For this type of assault, covered by s. 267 of the Canadian Criminal Code, the maximum prison term is 10 years.


If you have a case relating to any form of assault, call John at 604-685-8889.

Unfortunately, there are many situations where a heated argument could suddenly turn into a push or a shove, resulting somebody being inadvertently injured. In these cases, police may pursue charges even though the accused had not intended to hurt the other person.

Part of the criteria the courts consider is whether an objective person could reasonably see that bodily harm could result from the act. To be more specific, it’s not a defence to suggest that someone accused of assault causing bodily harm didn’t think of the consequences of their actions, but rather whether someone who is objectively assessing the events could have foreseen the harmful consequences.

Particularly in cases where there was no intention to cause harm, the courts may attempt to determine whether there was a “marked departure” from the amount of care a reasonable person would take. As an example, if there was bodily harm resulting from horseplay, where the horseplay took place may be a significant factor: on a snow-covered grass field where the risk of harm was minimal? Or perhaps in an industrial warehouse, where the participants were surrounded by heavy machinery?


If you have a case relating to any form of assault, call John at 604-685-8889.

John Cheevers has decades of experience defending assault allegations of all types. As with every criminal offence, his first piece of advice is to apply your right to remain silent.

If police are seeking to interview you on suspicion of assault causing bodily harm, failing to contact a lawyer immediately may end up having significant impacts on your case. If you have been placed under arrest on suspicion of assault causing bodily harm, it is even more important to speak with a lawyer, who will assess the case and determine the appropriate steps to move forward.