The pervasive issue of domestic violence in Canada, and its corresponding detrimental effects on victims, cannot be understated. Moreover, statistical data underscores the tendency for domestic abuse to intensify without the implementation of rigorous prosecution and stringent sentences. Nonetheless, individuals with no prior convictions have been charged with and convicted of domestic violence offences, sometimes under what they consider to be false pretenses.
If you are currently confronted with such allegations in Alberta, it is beneficial to seek the guidance of a seasoned legal practitioner specializing in domestic violence law, based in Calgary. They can assist you in comprehending the intricacies of the legal proceedings, safeguard your rights, and enhance your probability of securing a positive outcome.
What is considered Domestic Assault?
It’s a common misconception that only physical harm towards a spouse or family member is considered domestic assault. Quite the opposite, people often find themselves entangled in legal difficulties due to their unawareness of non-physical forms of domestic misconduct.
In Alberta, domestic assault charges can encompass a variety of actions, including:
- Criminal harassment,
- Sexual abuse,
- Physical abuse, and
- Emotional abuse.
If you find yourself implicated in any such domestic assault charges, it is strongly advised to seek legal services from a reputable and seasoned domestic assault lawyer.
What happens when you get charged with a domestic assault?
Upon responding to a domestic assault complaint, law enforcement officials possess the discretionary power to arrest and file charges against you or your partner, contingent on the specifics of the situation. This action is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Law enforcement will initiate an investigation, which includes asking pertinent questions and making necessary inquiries. Based on the evidence collected from this investigation and the ensuing understanding of the incident, they may proceed to arrest you or your partner, or in some scenarios, no arrests might be made. This action is predicated entirely on the particularities of the incident.
Upon the initial response to a domestic assault report, law enforcement may potentially place you in custody overnight. Following this, barring any serious previous convictions, a judge typically grants release pending trial. It’s also plausible that the judge could impose conditions on your release, such as mandating that you relocate temporarily and sever all forms of contact with your spouse.
This mandate is often referred to as a “no-contact order”, and it extends to all communication modalities, whether direct (in-person conversations) or indirect (texting/calling). Additionally, should any minors have been present during the domestic dispute, the no-contact order would apply to them as well. Compliance with this order is mandatory; noncompliance could potentially lead to additional charges.
It is important to note that only the Crown Prosecution, in conjunction with the police, have the prerogative to decide whether the charges will be pursued in court.
Initial Steps to take if you’re charged with a Domestic Assault
Should you find yourself confronted with a domestic violence charge, feelings of uncertainty about the appropriate course of action are common. Each case of domestic violence is unique, assessed individually, and once a complaint is lodged, it falls solely under the jurisdiction of the Crown. Once a charge is formally before the courts, the alleged victim cannot rescind it. In the event of a domestic violence charge, consider the following steps:
- Adherence to bail conditions: Abide strictly by the bail terms provided by the police or justice of the peace. This includes conditions pertaining to your release, such as restrictions on communication or association with the alleged victim. Violation of these terms could result in a breach of your undertaking or recognizance, possibly leading to additional imprisonment.
- Understanding the power of the Crown: Remember that the discretion to withdraw a domestic violence charge before trial lies solely with the Crown. It would be ineffective and could potentially result in more charges if you attempt to persuade the victim to drop the charges. Upon the police laying the charge, the alleged victim relinquishes all control and authority over the court proceedings. The possibility of having your domestic violence charge withdrawn can be pursued by a domestic assault lawyer who can present an appeal to the Crown, particularly if the case against you lacks substantial evidence.
- Retaining a specialized lawyer: Engage a dedicated domestic assault attorney as promptly as possible. It is crucial to secure legal representation from a lawyer specializing in this specific field, with a track record of successfully defending clients charged with this particular crime at trial. Should you be arrested or decide to surrender to the police, promptly seek counsel from a domestic assault lawyer who can help you comprehend your rights and formulate your defense.
Contact a Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
Are you confronted with a legal issue or require professional guidance on a sensitive domestic matter? At Shim Law, we specialize in providing expertise, empathy, and assertive representation. Connect with Shim Law today at 403-476-2011 or arrange a consultation online. Allow us to advocate for your interests and protect your rights.