If you have been charged with an assault or uttering threats, you are not alone. In 2016, there were 62,646 police-reported incidents of assault and 14,551 police-reported incidents of uttering threats in Ontario. If the incident involved someone with whom you share a house or living space, this is considered ‘domestic violence’.
Just because you have been charged, does not mean you will be found guilty. In 2014/2015 there were 9,749 findings of guilt for assault in Ontario, and 2,617 findings of guilt for uttering threats in Ontario – compare this to the number of reported offences in 2016. You can greatly increase your chances of being one of the individuals who are found not guilty by hiring one of our skilled criminal defence lawyers. Indeed, the vast majority of our cases result in a positive result for our client.
There are several different types of assault. A ‘common assault’ is the simplest form of assault, and is committed when force is applied to another person without the consent of that person. Assault with a weapon is committed when force is applied without consent, and a weapon is used or threatened to be used. Assault causing bodily harm is committed when force is applied without consent, and bodily harm is caused. Finally, aggravated assault is caused when force is applied without consent, and the other person is wounded, maimed, disfigured, or his or her life is endangered.
Your assault or uttering threats charge may have involved police arriving at the place of the incident and collecting people’s accounts of what occurred, or it may have involved police arresting you several days after the incident. Police may or may not have asked for and listened to your account of the incident prior to arresting you. After arresting you, they likely took a statement from you, but before making this statement you had the right to contact a lawyer.
If you decided not to call a lawyer before making a statement to police, or did not like the advice the lawyer gave you on the phone, it’s not too late. Contact one of our skilled criminal defence lawyers to determine your best defence.
Your Release Conditions (Recognizance)
Depending on the severity of your charges, the Crown prosecutor or the police may oppose your release from jail and you may require a bail hearing. In this situation, your priority is your release, but remember that once your release is denied by a judge or justice of the peace, it is very difficult to appeal or change this decision. You should contact one of our skilled criminal defence lawyers as soon as possible to determine your best strategy in securing your release.
Once you are released, you can expect to be placed on conditions. These conditions can be quite onerous, and may include a curfew and a prohibition from consuming drugs and alcohol.
In most assault and threat cases, the only evidence to support the charge comes from the testimony of the other people involved in the incident. For this reason, it is critical that as soon as possible after the incident, you take some time and write a detailed description of what you remember happening. Police likely had the other witnesses write their version of events shortly after the incident in a witness statement, so you want to be at least as prepared as they are should the matter go to trial.
The vast majority of assault and threat charges in the Greater Toronto Area are resolved without going to trial. The Crown prosecutor may decide the withdraw or stay the charge, the charge may be resolved with a peace-bond, or you may decide it is in your best interest to plead guilty and seek a lessor penalty. With the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer, the penalty you receive may not include a criminal record – a ‘discharge’ means that you can be found guilty but not convicted.
A peace-bond is essentially a promise that you will live by certain conditions. It is not an admission of guilt. In exchange for entering into a peace-bond, the Crown prosecutor will often withdraw the initial charge meaning you will not receive a criminal record as a result of the incident. In 2010, the Ontario Court of Justice made 7,899 peace-bond orders. One of our skilled Toronto assault defence lawyers can assist in determining whether a peace-bond is an attainable and desirable resolution in your case.
I would like to start by saying thank you to Dylan Finlay for all the great work he has done for me, I thought I was going to be dealing with a criminal record for the rest of my life and he managed to get me a criminal discharge on my case! He is on point and very professional, I would highly recommend Dylan Finlay to anybody who needs help with their criminal charges! Thank you once again Dylan!
Dylan Finley handled my case. Right from the start he was polite, professional, attentive and he delivered on all of his promises. I had a case where it was looking really bad for me. I did everything Dylan told me to do and he took care of the rest. My life was filled with stress and worry about the case. Dylan handled my case like a pro and I received the outcome that I desired. I highly recommend Dylan to anyone seeking a criminal defense lawyer. He has changed my life and given me the opportunity to have a bright future.
Dylan Finlay is a professional and effective criminal defence lawyer. Dylan was my lawyer for an assault charge and was excellent throughout the entire process. He advised me how to turn myself in and what to expect, and then helped me build a case while I waited for trial. He was responsive to my emails and his confidence and knowledge relieved my stress. Furthermore, he was reasonable priced for the quality of defence he provides. I am very thankful for his services and got a favourable result on my case. I highly recommend his services.
Dylan Finlay is an amazing legal representative and person.I was facing a challenging trial. After getting to speak with Dylan he alleviated all of my stress and concern that burdened me. He provided valuable knowledge and was very intelligent and that eased my stress of the approaching Trial Court Dates . He provided an abundance of research and paperwork, he just had that intelligent edge and legal insight that was commendable. He was very kind and a pleasure too speak with and very personable. Look no further! The legal services provided to me by Dylan was an absolute success. Dylan returned my life back to me. He got me out of a very challenging situation. No matter how much I would thank you Dylan, you are the best :)
Dylan was such a great lawyer to work with. I had consulted with other lawyers prior, but decided to hire him after our first meeting as he was extremely professional and provided better advice and information than the others had. He was able to have my case resolved so quickly, much faster than what I had expected and achieved the result we wanted. I truly feel that he went above and beyond for my case, which shows me how much he cares about his clients. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for a lawyer.