One of the more common cases that comes before the Ontario Courts is domestic violence offences. Being charged with any form of alleged domestic violence is often a very painful and traumatic experience. Retaining a lawyer, who is experienced with domestic violence offences, such as domestic assault, domestic assault with a weapon, aggravated domestic assault, domestic sexual assault, and domestic uttering threats will make a big difference in how the charges and the proceedings through the court system are conducted.
The Crown prosecutors and the Criminal Code of Canada regard domestic assault offences as very serious offences. As such, the consequences of being convicted and found guilty are often more substantial compared to the consequences of being found guilty of other assault offences. It is worth noting a domestic relationship is not limited to parties, who are either married or in a common law relationship. A domestic relationship also applies to conflicts for other relationships, including boyfriend and girlfriend, same-sex partnerships, parents, children, and other relatives and close friends with familiar relationships.
While the circumstances surrounding domestic assault offences often differ, one of the more common elements, in the majority of cases, is where the accused intentionally applied force or threatened to apply force to the victim, without the victim’s consent. Even an undesired touch could be considered assault in certain cases.
The Criminal Code of Canada’s Definition of Domestic Assault
While the Criminal Code of Canada does not contain actual criminal offences for domestic assault offences, it does rely upon other criminal offences and their definitions, since most acts of domestic violence are considered crimes. Section 265 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides the definition of Assault, which is also used as the definition for Domestic Assault, as follows:
(1) Any person commits an assault, when
- The accused applies intentional force against another person, without the consent of the other person, either directly or indirectly,
- Attempts or threatens to intentionally use force, by a gesture or act, against another person, or causes another to reasonably believe the accused has present ability to effect their purpose, or
- While openly carrying or wearing a weapon or an imitation weapon, the accused impedes or accosts another or begs.
(2) This section applies to all forms of assault…
Domestic Assault Offences and Bail
Whenever there is an assault offence that is considered domestic in nature, quite frequently, it poses a much greater difficulty for the accused to obtain bail. In addition, in the event bail is granted there are numerous restrictive terms and conditions for the release which must be adhered to at all times, like the inability to return home. At Passi & Patel, based upon our expertise in this area of the law, our criminal lawyers understand the inability to return home bail condition is one that causes much anxiety and stress to those accused of domestic violence offences.
Quite often, in domestic assault cases, the terms and conditions for bail will prevent the accused from making contact with their loved ones, including minor children, as well as prevent them from returning home, while their cases slowly make their way through the court system. The court imposes the condition of no contact for two reasons. First, it eliminates the potential for any further violence and/or abuse. Secondly, it ensures there is no witness tampering.
A Common Misconception about Domestic Assault Offences
One of the most common misconceptions about domestic assault cases is it is entirely up to the complainant (victim) to decide whether to press charges. However, this is not the case. The complainant does not make this determination. Rather, the Crown prosecutors will examine evidence collected by the police and determine whether there is substantial evidence to file charges against the accused. Once formal charges have been made, the Crown will not withdraw them, even if the complainant decides they no longer want to press charges.
If I Am Edible for a Domestic Assault Program, Should I Agree to It?
In certain cases, some people, who are charged with domestic assault offences might be eligible for various domestic assault programs, such as “Early Intervention” or “PARS.” While these programs provide an alternative resolution to the charges, it is important to keep in mind, these programs are not always suitable for everyone or the best solution. Domestic assault programs frequently have a host of terms, conditions, and consequences which may prove difficult for some and result in other challenging pitfalls. Before accepting an offer to participate in a domestic assault program, it is always in your best interests to obtain sound, legal advice from criminal lawyers experienced in domestic assault and these types of programs.
Why You Should Retain Passi & Patel Criminal Lawyers for Domestic Assault Offences
Mississauga’s criminal law firm, Passi & Patel, has proven experience with domestic assault offences. Our Mississauga criminal lawyers have obtained very favourable results for other clients facing domestic assault charges. Our primary goal is to help put your mind at ease, while educating and informing you of your options. In addition, we will obtain all relevant disclosures, request modifications to your bail, and attempt to work out the best resolution possible.
If you, a friend, or relative have been charged with a domestic assault offence, contact Passi & Patel at 647-898-8018 now. Let our expertise and knowledge in Mississauga domestic violence cases benefit you. Our Mississauga criminal defence lawyers understand the intricacies required to successfully and strategically navigate domestic violence charges.