265. (1) Assault – A person commits an assault when

(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person,   directly or indirectly;

(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or

(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

The crime of assault is committed, generally speaking, when “force” is intentionally applied to another person without their consent.  Force is not defined, and a mere touching may constitute an intentional application of force.  The strength of the force is not determinative.

Genuine consent to an assault must be freely given with an appreciation of the risks.  It cannot be extracted by threats or violence, nor forced as an acceptance of an inevitable confrontation [see R. v. Stanley (1977), 36 C.C.C. (2d) 216 (B.C.C.A.)]

Assault is a hybrid offence triable either by indictment or by summary conviction.


1) The Realtor

Criminal defence lawyer Wade Jenson was retained by a Kelowna realtor who had been charged with assault and assault causing bodily harm following an altercation with staff at a local hotel. A criminal conviction would have serious implications upon what had become a financially and personally rewarding career. Wade Jenson met personally with the complainant in preparation for trial.  CHARGES DISMISSED.

2) The Cruise Boat Captain

Accused was charged with two very serious counts of assault of a police officer and two counts of obstruction after he was alleged to have violently resisted police attempts to detain him for investigation, at one point seizing hold of the officer’s firearm.  Accused had no memory of events.  After rejecting his original lawyer’s recommendation to plead guilty, accused decided he needed to retain Kelowna criminal lawyer Wade Jenson to protect his career and ensure the best possible result. Wade Jenson established through medical reports and meetings with doctors that his client had suffered a concussion.  He consulted with his experts and retained a psychologist who would testify as to the potential negative effects of a concussion on his client’s behaviour. CHARGES DISMISSED.

3) The Construction Worker

Accused charged with assault of another man.  Crown had the support of several witnesses to the incident. Accused originally intended to seek Legal Aid, but his family recognized that this was a serious allegation with potentially life-changing consequences.  They hired criminal lawyer Wade Jenson to represent their adult son.  Wade Jenson successfully concluded the case on the basis of a PEACE BOND. No jail, no fine, no record.