Assault is among the most common type of criminal charge in Canada. A heated disagreement can lead to a call to the police either by a person involved in the fight or even a neighbour or passerby.
If the police are called to the scene, usually a criminal charge is laid and someone is taken in for fingerprints. If the charges are later withdrawn, stayed, dismissed or absolute or conditionally discharged, a record of the incident still exists.
Most assault charges are common assault, however if you have injured the other person (put them in the hospital) you may get an assault causing bodily harm charge. If you used any form of weapon (we are often amazed to hear “weapons” include cellphones, shoes, bottles, sticks, etc.) you can be charged with assault with a weapon. These charges often sound more heinous than the actual crime (“I only threw my phone at him”) because the public assumes the “weapon” was either a knife or a gun.
Once you have been fingerprinted by the police, your name will appear negatively in a criminal background check. This can have consequences when applying for jobs or crossing the US border.
We receive many calls and emails each day asking about eligibility for a Pardon. In most cases, its a good idea to begin the process as soon as possible because it takes time to gather and prepare all the important documents.
If you have been charged with a domestic assault, the law is you must be out of trouble for 3 years. If you have been charged with assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm, you must be out of trouble for 5 years.
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons and US Entry Waivers email us at [email protected] or call 1-877-929-6011.