There is no specific charge in Canada for ‘domestic violence’ or ‘domestic assault’. These terms are used to refer to the group of charges that include assault (or one of its more serious variations), uttering threats, or weapons offences, when a domestic relation is the complainant. This is usually a spouse or domestic partner, but it can also be a child, parent, or sibling.
Getting charged with domestic violence and subsequently being convicted can have life-long consequences for you and your family. Family courts tend to take a very dim view of parents convicted of domestic violence, and a conviction may leave you not only with a criminal record, but difficulty in having future contact with your spouse and children. It can also affect your employability and travel options.
Make sure you speak to a Criminal Defence Lawyer immediately. When you are arrested the police will tell you that you have this right. Always take advantage of it! The lawyer will remind you that you also have the right to remain silent. The police will likely ask you to provide your side of the story, but if they have already charged you, they have already made up their mind. Nothing you say will result in the charges being withdrawn. A lawyer will also provide you with advice regarding your bail hearing and what you need to know to get released.
When you are released, you will be given conditions to follow. It is vitally important to follow those conditions. Getting “breached” will result in being re-arrested, and your chances of being released again will diminish substantially. Your conditions will almost certainly include a clause to have ‘no contact, directly or indirectly’ with the complainant. This means that you cannot visit, or phone, or text, or message in any way the complainant. It also means you cannot tell someone to communicate with that person for you. You will almost certainly need to find a temporary place to live as your conditions will include staying away from your home. Make sure you understand all of your conditions. The police will give you a written copy of them when you are released. Read them again and make sure you understand them.
Make sure to hire a lawyer to help you in court. A Criminal Defence Lawyer will know how to best assist you. They will be able to make some court appearances on your behalf. They can obtain the disclosure and review your options. If you have a legal defence to the charges, they will know and assist you with a trial. If you don’t have a defence, they can negotiate a resolution on your behalf to ensure the best result for your future.
Hiring Mike Scrase as your Criminal Defence Lawyer ensures that you have someone to advise you of your rights, give you your legal options, and advocate on your behalf to achieve the best possible result. He will guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system and ensure you are treated fairly.