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Assault, Assault with a Weapon, Assault Causing Bodily Harm and Aggravated Assault

An assault is the application of force, or the threat of the use of force, against another person without their consent and without legal justification or excuse.

There are many different forms of assault:

Simple Assault: A simple assault occurs where there is the use of force or the threat of the use of force, but where no weapon is used and no serious injuries result from the use of force. For example, a push, kick, slap or punch may constitute a simple assault.

Assault with a Weapon: Any object can be a weapon, depending on how it is used. This offence may be charged where an accused used a traditional weapon, such as a gun or a knife to assault the complainant. However, it may also be charged where an accused used an object that is not otherwise a weapon as a weapon (for example, hitting a person with a baseball bat, throwing a plate at a person, driving your car at a person in an attempt to strike them).

Assault Causing Bodily Harm: Where injury results from an assault, the charge may be upgraded to assault causing bodily harm. The injury must be more than just a trifling injury to qualify as bodily harm. A small bruise may not be enough to qualify as "bodily harm", but a black eye or cut requiring stitches may be sufficient to result in the charge being upgraded.

Aggravated Assault: Where serious injury or maiming occurs as the result of an assault, the charge may be upgraded to aggravated assault. While a small cut may not be enough to establish aggravated assault, a broken bone, ruptured organ, or other serious or lasting injury may establish an aggravated assault. There is no requirement that an accused person intended to cause such a serious injury.