Accused of assaulting a family member, romantic partner, former romantic partner, or child, either sexually or physically? Because your crime can be classified as domestic assault, you’re facing much tougher penalties than you would in a similar case against a perfect stranger.
Many of these complaints are complaints of common assault where no bodily injury was done, but you could still serve significant jail time if you are unable to successfully defend against these charges.
The team at Regina Criminal Lawyers will dig deep into the evidence so we can find the best way to help you defend yourself against these allegations. We understand the damage a domestic violence charge can do to your life, and we’re prepared to fight hard for you.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence charges are really just enhancements for other charges. That means you’ll be facing one of the following charges:
The penalties will start with the appropriate penalty for the assault charge, but the courts will either maximize those penalties or add time based on the severity of the charge. In Saskatchewan, the penalties can result in being sent to prison for up to 14 years for a first offense. For a second offense, you can be sentenced with life in prison.
In part, the sentence will depend upon the severity of the alleged abuse, and the effects of it. If your ex had to seek emergency medical care after an assault then your sentence is likely to be far harsher than if you are merely accused of issuing a threat. Assault against children is also treated more harshly than abuse of an adult.
Domestic Violence Charges Can Impact Your Romantic Future.
Most crimes impact the future of your employment, or your future ability to secure housing once you’ve finished any prison sentences. Domestic violence is a crime that can impact your ability to pursue a romantic connection in the future.
That’s because Saskatchewan has passed Clare’s Law, a law which allows law enforcement officers to give out information about any past violent or abusive behavior a potential partner is known to have engaged in, either because they were asked to or because they have identified a person who might be at risk. That means they can proactively decide to share information with anyone who might be dating you in the future.
Domestic Violence Charges Can Mean Being Removed from Your Home.
Many domestic violence charges end with a peace bond. On one hand this is very good news. A charge that can be resolved with a peace bond alone means you usually aren’t serving any jail time and may not even acquire a criminal record.
Unfortunately, a peace bond also means that you agree to go no-contact with the victim or victims for a certain period of time. If you lived with the victim or victims, that means that you will end up having to leave your home. You may be permitted one visit, under police escort, to get your things.
If there is any chance of proving your actual innocence or showing the Crown that they do not have a case so that the charges are simply dropped, we’re going to do everything in our power to make that happen.
Can My Words Really Get Me Convicted of Domestic Assault?
Yes. Threats are a form of common assault. A perceived or alleged threat against a romantic partner, significant other, or ex-romantic partner is a very serious claim.
Fortunately, in many cases, there are ways to prove that your words were not intended to be taken as a threat.
What are the Defences Against Domestic Violence Charges?
The defences are very similar to the defences we’d bring forth in most assault cases.
- Actual innocence, meaning we can prove that you committed no crime whatsoever.
- Consent, meaning that your spouse consented to the use of force as applied, or to the sexual conduct as applied. No party in Canada can legally consent to bodily harm, and minors cannot legally consent to sexual contact or forceful contact.
- In a sexual assault case, we might be able to prove honest but mistaken belief in consent, if there is evidence of ambiguity.
- Sheer puffery; that is, your words were not intended as a threat and a reasonable person would be unlikely to see them as a threat.
- Self-defence, showing that you did apply the force but you were defending yourself against an attack by your spouse. The use of force must be proportional.
- Defence of another, such as your child, if you can show that you were defending your child against an attack by your spouse.
- Accident, showing that you did not intend to use force and any bodily harm was in fact accidental.
Wherever possible we will work to get your charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced. If necessary, we will take the case all the way to trial and fight for your acquittal.
Why Choose Us?
When you choose our team you choose decades of experience helping people just like you defend against criminal charges. This experience will serve you well as you navigate your domestic violence charge.
We work diligently to bring your case to its best possible outcome, and remain committed, responsive, and empathic throughout the process. We leave no stone unturned as we dig deep into the evidence, and work hard to determine the right course of action. We’ll do our best to keep you out of prison and to minimize the consequences of your domestic violence charge.
You can’t afford to face your domestic violence charge without the help of a qualified criminal defence lawyer. The consequences are too dire.
If you or a loved one needs help, contact Regina Criminal Lawyers to schedule a case review by calling (306) 848-7777. We’re standing by and ready to help.