All charges of assault carry with them serious consequences, but a domestic assault conviction in particular can result in extremely stiff penalties that may not only involve jail time but also other limitations on your rights. When coupled with the inevitable damage to your reputation, your relationships, and your career, a domestic assault charge needs to be treated as the potentially life-changing situation that it is.
One of the common misconceptions about domestic assault charges is that the person who claims they were assaulted is the one who makes the actual criminal charge and can therefore also be the one who can drop the charge and spare the assailant from prosecution. The reality is that Crown prosecutors make the decision whether to press, or ultimately drop, domestic assault charges. While prosecutors may request input from the police and/or the alleged victim, they are not required to do so, and the ultimate determination as to whether a charge proceeds lies with them.
Once a domestic assault charge is filed and the alleged assailant is released from custody either by the police or after posting bail, a judge will almost always enter a “no contact” order prohibiting the accused from having any contact with the complainant (whether in person, by phone or e-mail, or via any other means of communication). Any contact or attempted contact in violation of the order will likely result in the alleged assailant’s re-arrest which will in turn make it much less likely that they will receive a further release on bail. Furthermore, if children are involved in a domestic assault incident, special arrangements will have to be made to allow for visitation rights.
The laws involved in domestic assault cases can be complex, and there are options for defendants that may spare them the harsher consequences of a domestic assault conviction. Early intervention programs, for example, give the accused an opportunity to resume contact with the complainant as long as they agree to participate in counseling on matters concerning domestic violence and relationships. In these situations, the accused may be allowed contact with the complainant with written revocable consent, on the condition that they attend and complete the program.
Given the severe consequences, complicated legal issues, and potential options involved in domestic assault cases, it is imperative that an experienced criminal defense lawyer be retained at the earliest opportunity in order to develop the best possible strategy for achieving the most favourable resolution.
Since 1996, the law firm of Mitch Engel, Barrister & Solicitor has been providing clients throughout the Oshawa, Brampton, and Mississauga areas with top-level criminal defence representation, including defending individuals charged with domestic assault. Mitch focuses exclusively on criminal law and his extensive experience has given him excellent insight and strategic instincts about how to prepare and present the best possible defence in each unique case. His commitment to integrity, his passion and professionalism, and his excellent track record have earned him the respect of clients, colleagues, and courts throughout the Toronto area. A strong and zealous advocate, Mitch Engel stays available to his clients 24/7 and works on a block fee basis, meaning that his clients pay an initial retainer, which is then applied toward a fee for his services. He understands that his clients are making an investment in him, and works tirelessly to earn their trust and provide the advice and guidance they need. Call Mitch at (866) 761-7077 to get the legal advice you need to reclaim your life.