If you have been charged with sexual assault, you have been charged with one of the most serious offences in Canadian criminal law. Notwithstanding this fact, in some cases we may be able to deal with your charges in a manner that will allow you to avoid a criminal record.
How To Get Your Sexual Assault Charges Dropped:
In fairly minor cases of sexual assault, it may be possible to get your sexual assault charges withdrawn by signing a peace bond. Our ability to secure you a peace bond will depend heavily on the circumstances of the case and your own background. That is, the assault will likely have to be on the less serious end of the spectrum, for example, a case of unwanted touching. Further, you will need to have no criminal record, a criminal record with only a few minor charges, or a dated criminal record. This is necessary for the courts and the Crown will be less inclined to grant a peace bond to a repeat criminal offender, or someone who gives reason to believe they might reoffend or breach the terms of the peace bond. Further, our ability to secure your peace bond will also depend in part on the strength of the case against you. If there are holes in the Crown’s case, we can likely use the weaknesses in the evidence against you to persuade them not to proceed to trial and to resolve your matter. Once the peace bond is signed, the charges against you will be withdrawn.
Avoid a Criminal Record with a Discharge:
If you are not a suitable candidate for a peace bond either because of your background or because of the nature of the offence, there is still a chance that you can avoid a criminal record with a successful discharge application. Specifically, if you plead guilty or are found guilty of the offence we can make an application to have your charges discharged either absolutely or conditionally. While the absolute discharge will not have conditions attached to the discharge, a conditional discharge will require that you comply with conditions stipulated by the court for a period of time. Regardless of whether you are granted a conditional or absolute discharge you will not receive a criminal record for your offence.
Other Sentencing Options:
If you are charged with more serious forms of sexual assault such as aggravated sexual assault or assault with a weapon for example, you may not be eligible for a discharge or resolution option that will allow you to avoid a criminal record. If this is the case, you will likely also be facing a period of imprisonment. While you may be facing a high penalty, depending on the nature of your offence, you may be eligible for other sentencing options that will allow you to serve little to no time in prison. Two of such options are serving an intermittent sentence or serving a suspended sentence. If you serve an intermittent sentence, it means that you will be able to serve your sentence over the weekends or over a couple days during the week, while spending the rest of your time outside of jail. If you serve a suspended sentence, it means that you will be released into the community under strict conditions, but will not have to go to jail unless you breach the terms of the sentencing order.
If you have been charged with sexual assault, it is imperative that you contact one of our criminal defence lawyers immediately. We will be able to properly assess the jeopardy you face, and can begin working with the Crown to reach an optimal resolution for your matter.