Domestic assault charges are very common, and on the rise due to the current state of affairs in our province. Domestic assault is commonly between spouses, but can also occur between dating couples, siblings, and other family members. Due to the prevalence and often sensitive nature of a domestic assault charge, there is a specific court that deals only with domestic assault charges, and having a criminal defence lawyer on your side to navigate this system is crucial.
Domestic Assault explained
When you are arrested on a domestic assault charge, it is up to the police whether to press charges or not, and it is up to the Crown prosecutor’s office to determine if those charges should proceed in court. Contrary to popular belief, it is not up to the person who was assaulted whether the case should go forward, you cannot “drop the charges.” That is solely up to the Crown prosecutor in charge of the case.
After being arrested for domestic violence there is almost always a no-contact order put in place. This means that if you are released on bail, you are not to have any contact, whether direct or indirect with the person who was allegedly assaulted. That means no in-person contact or any contact by phone, text or email. As such, you will not be permitted to return to the family home if it is shared with the accuser, and often other conditions may also be in place such as not drinking alcohol or being in possession of any weapons. These conditions will be in place until your charges are dealt with in court. Any breaches of these conditions could result in your bail being revoked in which case you would be required to remain in custody until your trial, or further charges against you.
What can you do?
There are things that can be done to help mitigate the fallout from such charges. Often, once tensions are cooled the parties involved may wish to reconcile. The safety of those involved is the greatest priority in these cases, so often counselling or other courses are utilized as a part of the resolution. Depending on the severity of the assault it may be possible to avoid a criminal record or jail time. If you have been charged with domestic assault, speak with a criminal defence lawyer who can use their knowledge and experience to obtain the best possible result for you.