How to Define Sexual Assault vs Sexual Interference in BC

February 23rd, 2024
How to Define Sexual Assault vs Sexual Interference in BC

In today’s blog article we are going to talk about the definition of sexual assault versus sexual interference in BC. Please note, however, that the applicable law here is federal law. Sexual Assault is covered in Section 271 of the Criminal Code, and Sexual Interference is outlined in Section 151 of the Criminal Code. This means that the same laws apply not just in BC but in every province and territory in Canada.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is defined as the application of force or threat of application of force on another individual within a sexual context. The Criminal Code also discusses different types of sexual assault including, but not limited to sexual assault with a weapon and sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Sexual Interference

Sexual Interference refers to the touching of someone under 16 years old (a minor) directly, indirectly or with an object for a sexual purpose. Sexual Interference is different from Sexual Assault, but Sexual Assault can also occur to a minor and is also a crime, albeit a different crime.

So, Sexual Interference can be thought of as a type of Sexual Assault and always against a minor.

Both Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference are serious crimes. Penalties vary depending on the severity of the crime, the damage to the victim, and whether the crimes are pursued summarily or following indictment.

If you have been charged with sexual assault or sexual interference or suspect that you may be charged shortly, hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Hiring a competent criminal lawyer is your best chance at a good outcome.

If you have assaulted someone or been charged with any kind of assault, or other criminal offence, please contact Gagan Nahal for a free consultation in Vancouver at (604) 527-4769 as soon as possible. Mr. Nahal’s law practice focuses on criminal defence law, and he has extensive experience in this area of the law.


Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients.


If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.