Protect Your Rights Following a Domestic Assault Charge

Assault involves physical attacks or hitting, physical threats of harm, unwanted physical contact, and physical contact of any sort without consent. Domestic assault involves committing a violent act against a, current or former spouse or sexual partner, or a family member., A violent act that isn’t committed in self-defence or defence of property can have serious consequences. If you’re accused of committing a violent act such as domestic assault, an experienced assault lawyer can help defend your rights and get your case settled favorably. There are, however, some facts you should know about domestic assault, including how an experienced defence lawyer can help you.

Domestic Assault Charges Can Carry Severe Consequences

Domestic assault is a serious offence that carries severe penalties in some cases. Here are some basic guidelines for penalties in domestic assault convictions:

  • A conditional sentence or house arrest

  • A custodial sentence

  • Fines

  • Travel limitations

  • A permanent criminal record

  • Restrictive probation conditions

  • long term ‘no contact order’ with the victim

The type and severity of penalties rendered against a convicted individual depends on how the Crown proceeds. The Crown may proceed ‘Summarily’ or ‘By Way of Indictment’, which is determined by the severity of the action and any prior similar offences. Furthermore, criminal proceedings against an individual accused of assault are may proceed even if the victim (or complainant) wants to drop the charges. The Crown may proceed with your case even if the matter is settled between you and your spouse, family member, roommate, etc. Therefore, depending on how the Crown proceeds, you may be subject to certain penalties.

Penalties for Domestic Assault

Once again, the possible penalties you may face in your domestic assault case will depend on how the Crown proceeds. Although the proceedings are different, the types of penalties for proceeding ‘Summarily’ or ‘By Way of Indictment’ are the same. The definitions for these types of proceedings and convictions; however, are different. In fact, they each have three distinctive characteristics. For example, summary proceedings and convictions 2) encompass the most minor offences in the Canadian Criminal Code, and 3) usually only carry penalties of six months of jail time, $5,000 in fines, or both. On the other hand, proceedings by indictment 1) are more serious than summary offenses and involve harsher penalties, 2) involve the prosecution of accused individuals with a possible trial by jury, and 3) include penalties that range from a minimum sentence of absolute discharge to a maximum five-year custodial sentence. The possible conviction and penalties you face will depend on your lawyer’s experience. If you choose any experienced assault lawyer Edmonton offers from Haryett & Company, you can rest assured that we will fight so that you receive the best possible sentence. Our expertise and dedication to our clients maximize a favorable outcome.

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help

An experienced domestic assault lawyer can be there to make sure your rights are defended in court and. He/she will ensure relevant evidence is collected, proper witnesses are interviewed and presented, and pertinent motions, documents, etc. are filed. Additionally, he/she will help to clear you of any false accusations and help protect you against law enforcement intimidation. Most importantly, he/she will have knowledge of assault laws and court procedures. This knowledge will help ensure you receive a fair trial and a lesser sentence. Lesser sentences could come in several forms, including:

  • A conditional discharge without a criminal record

  • A monetary fine

  • An intermittent sentence, time served during weekends

  • Conditional sentence with community service

  • A suspended sentence with probation

In some cases, a peace bond agreement may be available. Lighter, first time offences can be eligible for a peace bond, which is an agreement between the defendant and Her Majesty to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. Upon entry into such an agreement, the Crown will withdraw the criminal charges, absolve the accused of any guilt, and set forth certain conditions, such as doing no harm or having no contact with the complainant for the duration of bond (typically 6 to 12 months). At the prosecutor’s discretion, a domestic assault case can be settled with a peace bond.

If you've been charged with domestic assault, contact us right away. We will work to ensure your rights are protected!

Shannon Routley