What are the best defences to a domestic assault charge?

>>>What are the best defences to a domestic assault charge?

While the best defence to any charge will depend heavily on the circumstances of the case, if you are proceeding to trial a crucial component of your defence will be undermining the credibility of witnesses who will testify against you.

Unfortunately, due to anger, jealousy, or bitterness arising from a divorce or some other domestic issue, many allegations of domestic abuse are exaggerated or fabricated. As a result, challenging the complainant’s credibility through a rigorous examination of the available evidence (witness testimony, phone records, etc.) may be enough dismantle the case against you.

Another common defence to any type of assault charge is self-defence. However, due to recent changes in our law, an accused can only successfully argue self-defence when they meet a number of criteria stipulated in the Criminal Code. In order to succeed with a self-defence argument you will have to show that:

  1. Force is being used against you, or you had reasonable grounds to believe that force would be used against you;
  2. Your response to the threat was done only for the purpose of defending or protecting yourself from the threat or use of force;
  3. Your response was reasonable in the circumstances. Essentially, whether a reasonable person in your same situation would have acted in the same way.

When considering whether your actions were reasonable in the circumstance, the court will consider a host of factors such as the history between you and the complainant, whether you were intoxicated at the time of the offence, your size relative to the size of the complainant, and whether the force that you used was proportional to the force or threat being applied by the complainant.

The third most common defence to domestic assault charges is to use Charter applications to seek the exclusion of incriminating evidence in trial. A Charter application is a legal motion which outlines various ways in which the police violated an accused’s Charter rights in the course of a criminal investigation. Because the rights and freedoms guaranteed to us in the Charter are heavily guarded by our courts, there is a low tolerance for investigative techniques that seriously infringe on those rights and freedoms. As such, when your counsel can prove that your Charter rights were violated, he or she can also argue for the exclusion of evidence that was connected to, or obtained by virtue of that violation.

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.