ASSAULTING A PEACE OFFICER CHARGES
Offences against Peace Officers are very serious charges; Crown policies dictate that Peace officers need to be protected from assault. The law is clear that deterrence is a primary sentencing principle for anyone found guilty of assault on a Peace Officer; therefore jail sentences are often requested by the Crown prosecutor. Call Ouellette Hoare Claxton An Association of Independent Law Practices, they have the experience you need to mount an effective defence.
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What is Assault on a Peace Officer?
There are three elements the Crown must prove to obtain a conviction for this offence. Firstly, you must have intentionally applied non-consensual force on the alleged victim. Secondly, the alleged victim must be identified as a “Peace Officer”. In Canada, the definition of Peace Officer is goes beyond traditional, uniformed police officers. It also includes:
- Anyone empowered as a Peace Officer and employed by Corrections Canada (i.e a prison guard);
- Any member of the Canadian Forces serving in a capacity to aid the civil authorities;
- Any pilot in command of an aircraft;
- Fish and Game Officers;
- By- law enforcement Officers;
- Customs Officers (including American Border Agents operating in Canada)
- Any mayor, warden, reeve, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer and Justice of the Peace;
- Court Bailiffs
Thirdly that the Peace officer was acting within the execution of their duties. To be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the Crown must establish that you applied non-consensual force, and that the alleged victim was a “Peace Officer” acting in the lawful execution of their duties. this.
Bail Conditions for Assault on a Peace Officer
Often, assaults on Peace Officers involve drugs and/ or alcohol in the alleged commission of the crime. If this is the case, you will likely have an order to abstain from intoxicants. If your offence was committed at night, you may also have a curfew imposed as bail condition. Should your work require that you not have any curfew, we can attempt to persuade the Crown to consent to re-open your bail to vary the conditions. If the Crown is opposed to consenting to re-opening your bail an application can be made to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta for review.
We understand that many people without a previous criminal record are charged with this offence. Often this can take place within the context of a wrongful arrest. For example, if you are arrested in error, and resist the arrest, you may still be charged. We can help by ensuring that none of your Charter rights were violated.
How we Defend an Assault on a Peace Officer Case?
These types of assault charges are serious. There are several strategies that we will use in your defence:
- Were there any violations of your Charter rights before, during or after the arrest?
- Did the Police use excessive force?
- Were you given proper access to a lawyer after detention?
- Was the force, in fact, non-consensual?
- Were you aware that you were assaulting a Peace Officer?
What is the Penalty for Assault on a Police Officer in Canada?
Due to the need to maintain deterrence and public respect for law enforcement, jail sentences are often requested by the Crown prosecutor for this class of offences.
Moreover, if you are found guilty of this charge, your record will be searchable on most police and customs officer databases in North America. This can alter how law enforcement agents interact with you in the future.
The maximum penalty for assault on a Police Officer is 5 years in prison, however there are no mandatory minimums for this offence. Other penalties include a ten year weapons ban and/or the requirement to submit DNA to the National Database.
Because of the serious nature of these charges, you require an experienced and dedicated legal team. Andre Ouellette, Mike C. Gilchrist, Peter Hoare & Sadaf Raja will listen to your side of events and fight to have the charges dropped or sent to alternative sentencing (anchor text). In the event you are convicted , we will persuasively argue for the least restrictive sentence based on your good qualities and prospects for rehabilitation.
Call Calgary Criminal Lawyers Now for a free consultation. We are here to help.