Sexual offences/assaults have become increasingly prevalent in Calgary and its surrounding area. While the public often considers sexual assault synonymous with rape, such is not always true. A sexual assault is defined as a non-consensual application of force that is sexual.
Our Court of Appeal has recently stated that sexual assault covers a wide range of prohibited actions, from a stolen kiss to the worst forms of human degradation. With the large variation in charges for this subject, our sexual offence lawyers have years of experience to help you best.
The most significant component of our practice is the defence of individuals charged with sexual offences. Very few charges carry the stigma and jeopardy associated with sexual assault allegations. The consequences of a conviction are substantial and will often involve jail and a sexual offender designation. The stakes are high, and the prosecutions are unlike any other Criminal Code.
An act of sexual assault is any unwanted sexual nature imposed on the victim without their consent, including:
Lawyers in Calgary are aware that many factors are involved when it comes to being charged with a sexual assault offence. This can be from the extent of the assault, the victim’s age or if it is a repeating incident. Depending on the circumstances, the severity of the penalties can significantly increase. These can include:
Sexual assault allegations typically start with the alleged victim or witness contacting the Police, and the incident is reported. An investigation will be initiated after the police request a written statement from the complainant and any witnesses.
As a violent crime, sexual assault requires a thorough police investigation. All witnesses to the offence are usually interviewed, surveillance videos are reviewed, weapons are seized, and photographs are taken. A forensic examination, or “sex assault kit,” is frequently conducted to gather DNA and medical evidence to prove an alleged victim’s injuries.
If the police have enough evidence to convince them that you are the perpetrator, they will arrest you on the scene or send a warrant out if you are not present.
The Crown Prosecutor decides whether or not to pursue the sexual assault charges against you, even if the complainant withdraws. The complainant can still be subpoenaed for a court appearance if they do not wish to pursue the charges.
The police will provide the Crown Prosecutor with all the collected evidence (disclosure package). One of our specialized sexual assault lawyers in Calgary can obtain this package for you. Once you have this information to see the evidence of your sexual assault charges, your lawyer will review it to assess the entire case and provide the legal defences they can give you.
Criminal records, jail time, not to mention the damages it can cause to your family and career, sexual assault offences can have devastating consequences. Its long-term impact can damage relationships and employment. This is why it’s essential to have a lawyer specialized in sexual assault cases in Calgary that will represent you and your best interests.
Sexual assault is one of the most severe offences in the Criminal Code. A conviction will result in a criminal record, with the Crown often seeking incarceration for a first-time offender.
Depending upon the charge, several ancillary orders will issue following a finding of guilt. These include requiring the accused to provide a DNA sample to the RCMP’s national database and potential residential and employment restrictions. Of most concern is the requirement for registration with the Sexual Offender Information Registry Act (SOIRA). SOIRA is a nationwide database that was created to assist law enforcement with the investigation of sexual offences.
If an accused is convicted of a SOIRA-designated offence, the presiding judge must issue a SOIRA order which varies in duration from 10 years to life. The order’s duration depends on the type of offence, the quantum of convictions, and the manner in which it has been prosecuted (whether it is prosecuted by a summary conviction election or by indictment).
Connect with one of our lawyers Batting, Wyman Barristers today if you are facing sexual assault charges. Getting professional legal advice as soon as possible is essential, especially if you must make bail as the first defence step.
We offer a free 30-minute consultation. Give us a call at 403-263-4949. We are available 24/7 if you need assistance.