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If you’ve been arrested on domestic assault charges in the Toronto area, immediately initiate your defence efforts by consulting with a highly skilled domestic assault lawyer. Ontario courts address domestic assault charges with seriousness and impose severe penalties on those convicted of domestic assault.

A conviction can continue to impact you for the rest of your life. A domestic assault criminal record can be used against you in divorce and child custody proceedings, as well as cause problems with your future endeavors relating to education, employment, volunteering, and travel.

Depending upon the nature of the prosecution’s case,
your Mass Tsang domestic assault lawyer can utilize
the following strategies as applicable:

Seek to have the charges dropped
Negotiate terms for a peace bond (conditional means for withdrawing charges)
Establish and present evidence of your innocence
Argue that your Charter Rights were breached
Argue innocence based on self-defence
Argue innocence based on defending another person
Argue that the assault was accidental and unforeseeable, and thus not criminal
Argue that the assault was a result of unjustified provocation
Negotiate and plea for favorable sentencing terms if convicted
Appeal the conviction if warranted

Based on all this, the sooner you secure the services of a Toronto-area domestic assault lawyer, the quicker your lawyer can start strategizing the best means for achieving a favorable outcome. Depending upon the nature of the charges, your domestic assault lawyer may start by ensuring that you’re not subject to release under restrictive bail conditions.

The domestic assault lawyers at the Greater Toronto Area law offices of Mass Tsang are highly skilled in helping their clients navigate the complexities of domestic assault law and in achieving the best outcomes possible.

If you or a loved one is facing domestic assault charges, secure the best means of defending yourself by contacting the domestic assault lawyers at Mass Tsang immediately. Read on to learn more about how Ontario courts address domestic assault cases, the potential penalties imposed upon conviction, and how your Toronto-area domestic assault lawyer can help you beat the charges.

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Domestic assault, no matter how minor the incident, is not taken lightly by the courts in Ontario. You could be facing assault, assault causing bodily harm, or aggravated assault charges.

There is no specific charge of "domestic violence" or "domestic assault" in the Canadian Criminal Code. Ontario's courts, however, take violence occurring at home seriously. They consider an assault on a domestic partner as an aggravating factor on sentencing under section 718.2 of the Criminal Code. Being charged with domestic assault is a traumatic experience with dire consequences, which is why you need the help of the most experienced Toronto domestic assault lawyer.

What Is Domestic Assault and
Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence encompasses a wide range of violent acts committed against a person with whom the perpetrator shares a domestic relationship. Domestic assault falls under domestic violence. Others include (but not limited to):

  • Assault
  • Assault with a weapon
  • Assault causing bodily harm
  • Aggravated assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Unlawful confinement

At the first mention of domestic assault, a crime against a wife or husband comes to mind (spousal assault). It is not entirely accurate the term "domestic" may also include romantic partner (boyfriend or girlfriend), child, parent, other family members and members of the household.

Call for a free consultation: 416-907-4097

How Serious Is a Domestic
Assault Charge?

In Ontario and practically all parts of Canada, the courts take domestic assault cases seriously, having a zero- tolerance policy. Recent amendments on the law, for example, were to introduce stricter measures towards a person accused of intimate partner violence throughout the whole criminal proceeding, including the bail and sentencing stage.

As for the police, their policy is to charge a person accused of domestic assault – even if there is no proof of the crime such as injuries and witnesses to the crime. In other words, one could accuse another person of committing acts of domestic violence without evidence and that may be enough to have someone charged with the crime.

You could be subject to a restrictive bail condition or peace bond on a domestic assault charge. Consequently, that may stop you from going back to your home. A conviction can result in the following:

  • An indictment that carries a 5-year jail sentence
  • A conditional sentence (house arrest)
  • A summary conviction with a $5,000 fine or a 6-month custodial sentence
  • Restrictive probation conditions

Many courthouses in the Greater Toronto Area have the Integrated Domestic Violence Court. These are courtrooms staffed by prosecutors who specialize in domestic assault cases.

A conviction on domestic assault charges leads to having a criminal record that stays with you for life. Consider this. Years after serving a jail sentence, you find yourself battling for child custody. The family court will take your history of domestic assault against you. A criminal record can compromise education, limit your employment, volunteer, and travel opportunities.

What Happens When a Complainant Drops
the Domestic Assault Allegation Against You?

The Crown prosecutor may decide not to pursue the domestic assault case if:

1

There is none or no significant physical injury

2

There is no history of past violence against an intimate partner

3

Lack of reasonable ground to believe the accused may repeat acts of violence in the future

However, if Crown prosecutors believe there is even a slight chance of conviction, they will always push through with the case. In this case, it does not matter if the complainant decides not to continue.

What Is a Peace Bond?

When you retain a Toronto domestic assault lawyer, one of the possible outcomes of the case is settling for a peace bond. Quite simply, it is an agreement that the criminal charges will be withdrawn in exchange for abiding by the terms and conditions of the bond, up until its expiry.

For Crown prosecutors, even if there is the intention to withdraw a case for reasons as stated in the previous section, they will almost always require the accused to agree to a peace bond. It is their way of protecting the complainant even after the case is withdrawn.

A peace bond may also benefit the person accused of domestic assault. For one thing, the case is withdrawn without the admission of guilt. As a result, there would not be a criminal record. Some of the common stipulations in a peace bond include a restriction on possessing any weapons or limiting contact with the complainant. Usually, the duration would last 12 months, although it could be shorter or longer.

Call for a free consultation: 416-907-4097

What Defence Can Be Used When Charged
with Domestic Assault?

Usually, in a domestic assault case, the only supporting evidence comes from witness testimonies. If you had not done so, write down your account as best as you can remember. This information would be critical to your defence.

Mass Tsang criminal lawyers can help you decide the best defence strategy. Among the options you can explore is having the charges dropped or resolved with a peace bond. Another possibility is pleading guilty to a lesser penalty. You may be found guilty but without a conviction, which means no criminal record, too.

If the case against you goes to trial, then the domestic assault
lawyer will use one or more of these strategies:

1

Factual Innocence

The best defence against an allegation of domestic assault is to present facts and evidence that support your absence from the "alleged" scene of the crime, or could not possibly have caused domestic violence or any of the elements of the case.

2

Violation of Constitutional Rights

If, by any chance, the police did not follow proper procedure and in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982, your lawyer should find it and use it to your advantage.

3

Consent

Using this as a defence would not qualify if there is bodily harm. Otherwise, the burden of proof is on the Crown prosecutor, meaning - they have to prove that the assault was without consent.

4

Self-defence

You may be accused of domestic assault, but one possible defence is if you were defending yourself. The key to success- fully using this line of defence is to convince the court that there never was an intention to cause grievous bodily harm or death. It could be an effective defence provided you only used reasonable force, then the court may deem your action as proportionate.

5

Defending Another Person

Similar to self-defence, Mass Tsang domestic assault lawyer can also use this to win your case, if you were defending someone else against an unlawful attack. Likewise, there should not be any intention to cause grievous bodily harm or death.

6

Accident

If applicable, your lawyer may argue that the assault was accidental and unforeseeable, which means it should not result in a criminal conviction.

7

Provocation

One line of defence that you can use – in aid of the other line of defence – is when you were taunted or goaded.

Every domestic assault case is unique. It is your criminal lawyer's job to prove your innocence. However, if the Crown prosecutor can produce damaging evidence, a good defence could significantly reduce the severity of the punishment. One example is reducing an assault causing bodily harm charge to simple assault, of which the consequence is less severe.

Call for a free consultation: 416-907-4097

How Mass Tsang Can Help You
Against Domestic Assault Charges?

Mass Tsang is a well-known criminal defence law firm in the Greater Toronto Area with decades of experience. Domestic assault is one of their main practice areas.

Once domestic assault charges are brought up against you, remember that even if the complainant chooses to drop the case, the Crown will most likely continue the prosecution. Intimate partners and others that qualify as domestic violence victims are taken seriously, and the consequences can negatively impact your life.

Besides serving time in jail, a criminal record takes away employment opportunities. You may not be able to see your family for a long time. The consequences can be very dire.

Mass Tsang domestic assault lawyers will work on your behalf and try to come to an outcome that is more favourable to you. They will try to have the domestic assault allegations dropped or get you acquitted. You also have the choice of agreeing to a plea bond or plead guilty to a lesser charge. Even if you were to be found guilty, they will work to prevent a conviction so that you can keep a clean criminal record.

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