Adverse Impacts Of Domestic Assault Charges In Alberta

December 8, 2022


Family violence is a recurring and prevalent problem worldwide. Despite mankind’s attempts to let go of stereotypical societal thinking and become civilized, domestic violence appears in one form or the other in every household. Even in a first-world country like Canada, minor or major assaults in domestic settings surface from time to time.

All it takes is one heated moment, and you could land yourself in trouble with the law. Owing to the subject’s sensitivity, modern judicial systems and legislation treat cases involving domestic violence quite seriously.

It might be surprising for many of you to learn that cases of domestic violence are treated more stringently than offences of simple assault, aggravated assault causing bodily harm or even homicide. In short, if either of the preceding offences occurs in a domestic setting, the resulting legal adversaries are more severe.

On the other hand, some individuals may tend to seek an unfair advantage of the strict legal system to pursue revenge on their intimate partners or spouses. It is common to find disgruntled spouses putting up false allegations against their counterparts.

If you are also facing a domestic assault charge, then request the assistance of a professional domestic assault lawyer in Edmonton. A legal expert will not only provide you with high-end legal advice tailored specifically to your circumstances but also draft a top-notch defence strategy to have all the charges lifted.

Surprisingly, many people believe that what happens within their house is their personal matter. They are ignorant of the fact that nothing is personal when it comes to ensuring someone’s safety. This kind of ignorance results in serious implications for the accused.

For this reason, this blog will explore the adverse legal implications of a domestic assault charge in Alberta.

The Aggravating Factor

The Criminal Code of Canada does not have any specific provisions or legal consequences explicitly laid forth for domestic violence. However, the definitions of simple assault, aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, homicide and other similar offences apply to crimes committed in a domestic setting.

Read Also: Types Of Assaults And Their Consequences In Alberta

As emphasized earlier, the consequences of an assault committed against a family member or spouse are more severe than that committed against a stranger. For this reason, the domestic nature of an offence is often the ‘aggravating factor’ in an assault case.

In order to understand the penalizing process better, you’ll first need to understand why domestic assaults are treated more harshly. From a legal perspective, domestic violence can be categorized into two major categories:

  • Family violence – This includes any kind of physical, sexual, mental, emotional, or financial abuse against a family member. Child abuse usually falls into this category.
  • Intimate partner violence – This is whereby a current or past intimate partner abuses or commits an assault against their counterpart.

Evidently, the accused is in a position of trust or responsibility with the victim in all instances of domestic violence. This position of trust makes an offence more ‘illicit,’ which results in severe punishments.

Consequences Of Domestic Assault Charges In Alberta

Although the domestic nature of an assault is the primary deciding factor, other elements can also play a part in determining the severity of the sentence. The Crown may also consider whether the offence was minor or major and also whether the accused committed the offence for the first time.

The possible legal and reputational impacts of a conviction for domestic assault charges include the following:


Since domestic violence is treated with immense sensitivity, such charges normally result in imprisonment. Depending upon whether the Crown proceeds with a summary or indictable conviction, you may receive a jail sentence for anything between two to fourteen years.

Criminal Record

Besides jail, a criminal record is perhaps the most feared legal consequence in Canada. Having a criminal record paves the way for other difficulties, such as employment and travel restrictions. Thus, if you are convicted of domestic violence, the chances are high that you will get a criminal record.

Conditional Discharge

For minor offences, the Crown may decide on an absolute or conditional discharge. This means that the Crown may decide that you don’t get a criminal record (absolute discharge) or you won’t have a criminal record after successfully completing the probation period (conditional discharge).


If the Crown is satisfied that you deserve a second chance, they will convict you for domestic violence but not give you a jail sentence. Instead, you will have to serve a probation period and meet the conditions thereof. However, failure to meet the conditions of the probation order may earn you a jail sentence.

House Arrest

If the offence in question does not have a minimum jail sentence, the court may place you under house arrest. But your domestic assault lawyer must convince the judge that the decision will not have any negative implications on the community.

Employment And Travelling Restrictions

These are the indirect impacts of a conviction for domestic assault. If your offence is of a serious nature, you might not be able to travel to the US. Likewise, you may also face restrictions regarding working with vulnerable groups. For instance, if you recurringly abuse a child in the family, you will not be allowed to work in a school, daycare, or with senior citizens.

Societal Stigma

One of the worst social implications of a conviction is the distance everyone begins to keep from you. People are instinctively drawn away from individuals who have a record of being in trouble with the law. And when the accusation is as serious as domestic violence, people show some reluctance toward socializing with an individual accused of such crimes.

Clearly, the only way to avoid these adverse implications is by letting a well-reputed domestic violence lawyer provide legal assistance. Not only will a domestic violence lawyer provide excellent domestic violence defence services, but they will also diligently guide you through the legal processes.

About Daryl Royer

Boasting immense experience in every aspect of criminal defence law, Daryl Royer proudly stands as the most highly reputed criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton. Learn more about Daryl Royer.

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