Domestic Assault Lawyer
If you have been arrested in the Greater Toronto Area and charged with domestic assault, you should immediately initiate your defense efforts. Criminal records involving domestic violence offences can be used for divorce and children’s custody proceedings. A conviction can also affect your whole life as it can have collateral consequences that impact your education, employment, volunteering and, traveling. The Ontario Court of Justice relates the domestic abuse of the victims with seriousness and punishes those facing such charges. If you’ve been charged with a domestic assault allegation, it is important that you seek legal advice from a highly experienced Domestic Assault lawyer.
What is considered a Domestic Assault?
An assault between current or former intimate partners, such as common-law partners, spouses, or dating partners, is referred to as domestic assault.
The Criminal Code of Canada does not provide a different charge of “domestic assault.” This means that domestic assault charges are laid under sections of the Criminal Code covering assault charges, including S. 265, S. 266, and S. 268. However, the criminal justice system treats domestic assault charges differently than other types of assaults at every stage of criminal proceedings. For example, Courts set stringent bail conditions, including a no-contact order that prevents the accused from contacting their loved ones.
Domestic assault charges can be extremely frustrating for the accused person as the release conditions prevent contact with their domestic partner. The police and the Crown Attorneys’ Office handle even the slightest allegations very aggressively, which can turn your once peaceful life into a cascade of never-ending chaos and irreversible consequences. Therefore, if you’re facing domestic violence allegations, you should protect yourself by retaining a domestic assault lawyer.
In Ontario, the latest policies require the police to charge anyone they suspect to have committed a domestic assault, even when the complainant wishes otherwise. Once the criminal charges are made, the complainant has no power to get them withdrawn, and even when they refuse to corporate, the Crown can still prosecute.
With such an aggressive and zero-tolerance approach to domestic assault charges from the police and the Crown, accused persons should retain a lawyer soon as the allegations are made. A domestic lawyer understands the complexities of domestic violence charges and the challenges they present. A criminal defence lawyer will protect your rights, fight for you to get released without overly strict bail conditions and develop a defence strategy that attains the best possible results including avoiding a criminal record.
Hiring a Criminal Defence Lawyer to Defend Domestic Assault Charges
A domestic assault charge should not be taken lightly, no matter how minor the allegation seems. If charged, you should retain a domestic assault lawyer with the knowledge and commitment to guide and protect you.
The domestic assault lawyer is focused on protecting the rights of persons facing domestic violence charges and attaining favourable outcomes through exceptional legal and investigative services. A criminal lawyer understands the sensitive dynamics involved in domestic assault cases, including the responsibilities imposed on the Crown, public perception, and suitable defence strategies required to resolve such matters in the most positive way for his clients.
Before you plead guilty, accept a peace bond, or even give any statement to the police, consult with a domestic assault lawyer. The lawyer will provide you with legal advice and help you understand the charges against you, the consequences of accepting an offer from the Crown, and defend you throughout the criminal proceedings. Reach out to Kahlon Law today at (844) 978-8444 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Domestic Assaults
Domestic Aggravated Assault
Domestic aggravated assault, otherwise referred to as assault level III, is the most serious category of domestic violence offences. According to section 268 of the Criminal Code, everyone commits an aggravated assault who wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of the complainant.
As domestic aggravated assault involves extreme violence and severe injuries such as broken bones, major cuts, severe burns, or excision of body parts, it carries devastating penalties and can only be prosecuted as an indictable offence. The charge carries a maximum jail sentence of 14 years. As most of these charges will likely proceed to trial, it is important to immediately seek legal advice from a domestic violence lawyer.
Domestic Assault with a Weapon
Domestic assault with a weapon entails cases where the accused allegedly used, attempted to use, or threatened to use a weapon against the complainant. Frustration sets in when determining “what constitutes a weapon,” as the Criminal Code provides a broad definition that is open to vast interpretation. According to the definition, anything can be regarded as a weapon.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges with a weapon allegation, you should retain a criminal defence lawyer in Brampton as a conviction has dire consequences to your freedom and employment opportunities. Due to the collateral consequences, it is important to get domestic assault charges dropped. A domestic assault charge involving a weapon can be proceeded by indictment, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, or through summary conviction, which carries up to 18 months in jail.
Domestic Assault Causing Bodily Harm
This is a domestic assault that results in an injury to the complainant. It’s good to note that minor injuries, such as minor scratches, are often dealt with under a simple assault charge. Domestic assault causing bodily harm is a severe offence with lifelong implications if found guilty.
If you’re charged with domestic assault causing bodily harm, the Crown can prosecute you through indictment, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, or by way of summary conviction. There are a number of intricacies involving Domestic assault law, which require an experienced criminal defence lawyer.
What is domestic assault?
A domestic assault is any assault that occurs within a domestic relationship between current or former intimate partners such as spouses or common-law partners. It’s also referred to as spousal assault. An assault is any intentional application of force on another person without their consent.
Domestic assault is a serious criminal offence with severe consequences. If you’re facing such charges, contact Antar Kahlon for a free assessment of your case.
What if the complainant does not wish for the charge to proceed to Court?
Often people inquire in a domestic relationship whether their partner can withdraw the assault allegations. Due to conflict of interest, it is important for the alleged victim to seek legal advice from an independent lawyer. The victim of a common assault can also reach out to victim services to convey their input which will then be passed onto the Crown Attorney. In Brampton, the complainant can contact Victim Services of Peel at (905) 568-1068. The victim services offer a number of resources for victims of domestic assaults including keeping them informed of the criminal prosecution against their domestic partner. Although the Crown Prosecutor will consider the victim’s input, it is not determinate on the criminal charge being withdrawn. Criminal charges involving serious injuries such as aggravated assault, or assault with a weapon will unlikely result in withdrawal of charges. The complainant has no control over how things roll out.
The police are under a “mandatory charge” policy, which means that they’ll lay criminal charges if you’re suspected of domestic assault despite what the complainant says. Then the practice manual for Ontario prosecutors urges that even when the complainant wishes for the charges to be dropped, the Crown should proceed with the prosecution. Only the Crown Attorney has the power to decide whether the charges should proceed to trial.
If the charge is not serious in nature, and the person is a first-time offender, often the domestic assault charge can be diverted through the early intervention program, ultimately leading to the domestic violence charge being withdrawn. In such circumstances, the crown will seek victim input, including whether they wish to have contact with the person following the dismissal of the charges.
What happens to a person charged with domestic assault?
When charged with domestic assault, you will most likely be held in custody for a bail hearing, whether or not you have previous convictions. This is because of the strict policies put in place to avoid dangerous outcomes.
If released on bail, the Court is likely to impose strict bail conditions, including a no-contact order that bars you from contacting the complainant. You may also be required to stay away from the family residence if the complainant lives there. The restrictions set during bail hearings remain in effect until your case is resolved or the judge modifies them.
How can an assault lawyer help in criminal proceedings?
The type of assault charge will dictate the defence strategy. A case-specific defence requires a consultation with an experienced criminal defence lawyer. In general, most assault charges are based solely on the complainant’s statement. In such circumstances, the defence lawyer will thoroughly review the case along with the circumstances surrounding the offence, including any motive to fabricate. In certain circumstances where a person commits a simple assault, including domestic assault cases, the defence lawyer will work on negotiating a resolution including one which prevents an assault conviction. A withdrawal of assault charges will likely involve the accused person completing counselling, followed by a peace bond. It is important to consult a criminal lawyer as a peace bond may have collateral consequences impacting accused persons employment or family court proceedings. The criminal defence lawyer can assist in determining prospects of success at a criminal trial.
Do assault charges always result in a trial?
A number of factors specific to the accused person and the case itself will assist in determining whether the criminal charges will result in a trial. It is important to consult with a criminal assault lawyer who can review the specifics of your case and provide you with legal information. A simple assault proceeding by summary conviction, where the accused person has no criminal record and the complainant stained no inquires may escape criminal conviction. An experienced criminal lawyer will review your case and negotiate with the crown attorney to secure the least onerous outcome preventing severe consequences including jail time, criminal record along with other potential collateral consequences.
What is a peace bond, and why is it offered in spousal assault cases?
A peace bond agreement is one way of resolving domestic assault charges in a manner that favours both the accused and the complainant. The accused person agrees to abide by conditions of the peace bond in exchange for a withdrawal of the criminal charges against them. Prior to entering the peace bond, often the accused person would be required to complete anger management counseling from a court-approved program. The defence lawyer may also be able to negotiate the accused completing private counselling instead, which often can be faster to enroll into and complete.
Some of the most common conditions in peace bond agreements include a prohibition against possession of weapons and restricted contact with the complainant except with their prior consent. The fact that a peace bond agreement protects the complainants is the primary reason the prosecution uses it before agreeing to withdraw most domestic assault charges.
Keep in mind that entering into a peace bond agreement is not an admission of guilt to the domestic assault charge you’re facing. Rather, it’s a way for you to avoid a conviction and a criminal record. It may have other implications, including family court proceedings. It is important to seek the right legal advice in domestic cases as a conviction may result in severe consequences.