Are you facing domestic violence charges and seeking clarity amid the overwhelming uncertainty? During this challenging time, finding the correct information is crucial.
Whether directly involved or seeking knowledge for a loved one, our expert guidance, crafted by a seasoned domestic violence lawyer, will empower you with the understanding you need to navigate this complex legal landscape.
What Are The Potential Penalties Of Domestic Violence?
If you are convicted of domestic violence in Canada, the penalties can be severe and life-altering. The Criminal Code of Canada classifies domestic violence as a serious offence.
The penalties for domestic violence convictions may include imprisonment, fines, probation, restraining orders, mandatory counselling or therapy, and a criminal record. The specific punishment depends on the severity of the offence and any prior criminal history.
For instance, a first-time offender charged with assault causing bodily harm, a typical domestic violence charge, may face up to five years in prison under Section 267(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada. In cases involving more severe injuries or repeat offences, the penalties can be even more substantial.
What Types Of Evidence Are Typically Considered In Domestic Violence Cases?
Domestic violence cases heavily rely on evidence to establish guilt or innocence. The types of evidence typically considered in such cases include:
Witness Testimonies: Statements from the alleged victim, other family members, neighbours, or witnesses who may have observed the incident are often crucial in establishing what transpired.
Medical Reports: Medical records and reports can provide valuable evidence of injuries sustained by the victim and help establish the severity of the alleged assault.
Audio/Video Recordings: Any recorded evidence, such as 911 calls, voicemails, or video footage from security cameras, can be compelling in presenting a clear picture of the events.
It’s also worth noting that Canadian law includes privacy considerations that may affect the use of such recordings. Any use of 911 call recordings must comply with relevant laws, such as the Criminal Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Photographic Evidence: Photographs of injuries or property damage can serve as tangible proof of the incident.
Police Reports: Statements made to the police during the incident are essential in documenting the initial account of events.
Text Messages And Emails: Electronic communications can be used as evidence to show any history of threats or abusive behaviour.
What Can I Do To Have My Domestic Charges Dropped?
Having domestic violence charges dropped is not always easy, as it depends on various factors, including the evidence against you and the willingness of the victim to cooperate. However, there are potential strategies that a skilled domestic violence lawyer can employ to pursue this goal.
- Early Intervention: If you are aware of a pending investigation, involving a lawyer as soon as possible can be critical. Your lawyer can reach out to the prosecutor early in the process and present your case, which may lead to a decision not to proceed with charges.
- Lack Of Sufficient Evidence: Your lawyer will thoroughly analyze the evidence against you and look for any inconsistencies or lack of substantial proof. If the prosecution’s case is weak, your lawyer can argue for the charges to be dropped.
- Self-defence Or Consent: If you acted in self-defence or had the victim’s consent, your domestic violence lawyer can build a defence around these grounds.
- Wrongful Accusation: Your lawyer will investigate whether false allegations or misunderstandings led to the charges, and they can work to prove your innocence.
What Should I Expect During My First Court Appearance For Domestic Violence Charges?
Your first court appearance can be daunting, but being prepared can help alleviate some of the anxiety. Typically, the first court appearance for domestic violence charges involves the following steps:
- Arraignment: The court will formally read the charges against you, and you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. Your domestic violence lawyer will advise you on the appropriate plea based on the evidence and your defence strategy.
- Bail Hearing: If you are in custody, a bail hearing will determine whether you should be released while awaiting trial. Your lawyer will present arguments for your release under certain conditions, such as a restraining order or check-ins with authorities.
- Setting Dates: The court will set dates for future proceedings, such as pre-trial hearings, trial dates, or settlement conferences.
- Disclosure: Your lawyer will receive disclosure from the prosecution, which includes all evidence and information related to your case. This is crucial for building your defence.
- Case Management: The court may inquire about the progress of your case, and your lawyer will provide updates on any ongoing negotiations or potential resolutions.
About Daryl Royer
Daryl Royer is a highly experienced criminal defence lawyer based in Edmonton, Canada, with a wide range of expertise across multiple provinces. Mr. Royer, renowned for his exceptional track record in effectively managing cases, brings knowledge and courtroom experience to ensure a strong defence for each client. His exceptional skills and dedication have led to five appearances before the Supreme Court. Learn more about Daryl Royer and his criminal defence services.
Need an experienced and trustworthy sexual assault defence lawyer? Contact Daryl now.