All assault related charges start with the requirement that the Crown can prove the intentional and non-consensual application of force. The different types of assault charges depend on the manner in which the assault was committed or the extent of injury caused by the assault.
Assault with a weapon requires that the individual charged, in the commission of the offence carried, used or threatened to use a weapon. A weapon is defined as anything that is used, designed to be used or intended to be used for the purpose of causing death of injury to any person. While certain objects, such as guns, are always considered weapons, other objects which may have innocent uses or designs, are classified on a case by case basis. The facts surrounding the assault and the manner in which the accused person used the object in question will determine whether the object in question is a weapon for the purpose of this offence. In theory, any object can be a weapon (i.e. a pillow held over someone's face would meet the definition.
The maximum sentences for assault with a weapon are increased from those for simple assault. If the Crown proceeds by summary conviction, the maximum sentence is 18 months in custody. If the Crown proceeds by way of indictment, the maximum sentence is 10 years custody. There are no minimum sentences for the charge of assault with a weapon, although a conditional sentence is not available if the Crown proceeds by way of indictment.