Domestic Assault Lawyer in Brampton

Domestic violence is one of the most common types of cases before the Ontario Courts. Being charged with any type of domestic violence allegation is a traumatic and difficult experience. Hiring a lawyer that is experienced in defending these types or charges will have an impact on how your matter proceeds through the system.

Prosecutors take a very serious approach to “Domestic Assault” charges. A domestic relationship does not mean that the parties have to be married. It can mean conflicts between people in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, husband/wife, common-law partners, same-sex partnership, children, parents, and even relatives.

Although the circumstances may differ, the common element among all Assaults is an intentional application of force without the consent of another person. Even a touch can be an assault in certain circumstances.

Criminal Code of Canada – Definition of Assault

Section 265(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, defines Assault: A person commits an Assault when without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly; 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 while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

When a case is domestic in nature, the accused person may be held for a bail; they will face an inability to return home, and there will be other conditions of release that are restrictive in nature. Based on our experience, we know that the ‘inability to return’ home is a condition that causes a great deal of stress and anxiety to many accused individuals. In domestic violence cases, bail conditions will prevent contact with their loved ones while their cases slowly navigate through the system. The policy behind the “no contact” condition is two-fold: to eliminate the possibility of further abuse/violence; and, to ensure there is no “witness tampering”. For example, in R. v. Khinda, [2020] O.J. No. 5330, the accused was charged with multiple Assaults against the complainant, his wife; he had slapped her on multiple occasions, bitten her, and had threatened to kill her with a knife. The accused was released on bail with conditions not to communicate with the complainant and not to attend at the family home. Even after the complainant wrote an affidavit stressing that she wanted her husband home as his absence had both financial and emotional impacts on the family—especially on their young daughter—the Court refused to vary the conditions of the accused’s bail; the public interest in ensuring that the complainant was protected from harm outweighed the need for variation.

Some individuals charged with domestic violence may be eligible for a Domestic Assault program called “PARS” or “Early Intervention”. It is important to keep in mind that these programs may not be suitable for everyone. Often these programs have terms, consequences and pitfalls. In many cases, these programs are misunderstood by accused people. It is therefore important to obtain the advice of Criminal Lawyers who are experienced in this area.

Bail conditions and Early Intervention complement each other, working not only to rehabilitate the accused, but also to protect the complainant. As noted in R. v. Sarahang, [2021] O.J. No. 1999, Early Intervention provides an “effective and rapid method of response, in appropriate cases, to the complexity of domestic violence offences in the criminal justice system. The bail system, where the terms have been explained to the accused and the accused has consented to them, is a vital component of the early intervention program, ensuring the safety of the complainant and the mitigation of the risk of re-offence while the accused completes the program.”

As with other forms of Assault, a person charged with Domestic Assault may be able to rely on the defence of self-defence. To do so, it must be shown that the person reasonably believed that force was being used or threatened against them or another person, and that the act constituting the Assault was committed to defend or protect themselves or the other person, and that it was reasonable in all the circumstances. In determining whether this test has been met, the court may look at the relationship and history between the parties. In a Domestic Assault case, this means history of prior violence may be considered in determining whether the accused was acting in self-defence.

A Common Misconception

domestic assault lawyer

It is not up to the victim to decide whether to ‘press charges’ in Domestic Assault or domestic violence cases. Further, the “victim” (often called the “complainant”) does not decide whether to go ahead with the charges. It is the Crown and police who decide whether the charges will continue or not. The Crown will not withdraw the case simply because it is against the wishes of the “victim”.

Furthermore, the fact that Domestic Assault takes place between family or in a more “private” setting than regular Assaults does not serve as a mitigating factor in sentencing. On the contrary, the Court in R. v. Lucas, [2019] O.J. No. 6795, confirmed that “although custodial sentences do not automatically follow every case of Domestic Assault, the court should give very careful consideration to this”; “[i]n many circumstances the offender uses the sanctity of the family home as a refuge in which to perpetrate and perpetuate continuing violence in secret. This fuels the need to severely denounce this conduct as completely unacceptable to our way of living.”

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Why should you hire Passi & Patel for Domestic Assault offences?

At Passi & Patel, Brampton’s Criminal Law Firm, we have proven experience with very favourable results for our client’s. Our first order of business is to get you informed and attempt to put your mind at ease. Call Passi & Patel today and let our experience in Brampton domestic violence cases work for you. We understand what is required to strategically maneuver domestic violence cases

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