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Do You Need a Domestic Violence & Assault Lawyer?
If you got in a fight at a bar, did you know that you could be facing assault charges? Even something as simple as forcefully obstructing someone’s path may qualify as assault. When it comes to any criminal charge involving violence, we have several years of experience crafting careful and compelling cases. You may need an Alberta domestic violence and assault lawyer, based in Calgary, for anything from criminal mischief and uttering threats to aggravated assault, sexual assault, or assault with a weapon. Any act of violence that involves a family member, romantic partner, or spouse is labelled as a domestic offence and is often considered with greater scrutiny than other assault charges.
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Domestic Assault / Violence
Domestic violence includes any violent related offence against a family member, romantic partner, or spouse. A domestic violence charge could be for anything from assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm to threats, choking, breaking and entering, unlawful confinement, sexual assault, harassment, extortion, and more. The courts tend to take domestic violence very seriously, and charges often result in jail time and always include some form of limited contact between the offender and his or her family. As criminal lawyers in Alberta, we understand that domestic violence can be complicated and may not always be one-sided or unprovoked. We recommend writing down your side of the story, including everything that you can remember about the incident as soon as possible; it may be a helpful document if the case goes to trial.
Simple or Common Assault
Common assault charges are the most simple and basic assault charges in the Canadian legal system. As with all assault charges, an accurate and detailed reflection of the incident from your perspective can be used to make an excellent case for your defence. While basic assault charges are less severe and punishments usually only include a no-contact condition with the victim, a monetary fine, and other minor restrictions, you may find yourself with multiple charges involving assault, some of which can be much more serious. If you have no previous record, the likelihood of conviction is exceptionally low, especially with the help of a criminal defence lawyer.
Assault With a Weapon
Surprisingly enough, you may receive a charge for assault with a weapon even if it never touches the complainant. In other words, uttering threats while in possession of a weapon or holding the weapon in a threatening manner could result in a charge of this nature. According to the law, weapons include everything from guns and knives to any object that may be used to inflict bodily harm such as a stick, broken glass, sports equipment, food and liquid, and any other blunt or sharp objects such as a kitchen plate or utensil. The sentence can include up to ten years in prison, but a criminal defence lawyer can help you build a case to minimize the consequences.
Assault Causing Bodily Harm
Assault causing bodily harm includes any intentional, non-consensual application of force that results in a degree of physical injury to the victim; even slight bruises and small cuts classify as bodily harm. More severe than simple or common assault, individuals found guilty of assault causing bodily harm may face a permanent criminal record with an order to provide a sample of your DNA to the national DNA databank. Fines, jail time, and other probations are other typical forms of punishment. You may choose to defend your case to the Crown, but we do not recommend doing it alone. We can examine the particulars of the situation and build a defence to give you a much more favourable result.
Many individuals don’t realize that aggravated assault is one of the most severe types of assault charges under Canadian law. Assault becomes aggravated assault if the offender, wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of the victim. Because aggravated assault depends on the level of injury of the complainant, detailed medical evidence is necessary to create a case against you. The investigation will likely produce large amounts of photo evidence and other documents, meaning there is a lot for us to look at to establish a solid defence. If convicted without the help of a criminal defence lawyer, aggravated assault often results in up to 14 years in jail and a lifetime ban from weapons.
Uttering threats is one of the most commonly misunderstood criminal charges in Canada. Uttering threats is considered verbal assault and includes knowingly threatening property, pets or bodily harm to an individual. A charge involving uttering threats can be confusing, especially if you are not aware of what classifies as a threat. As criminal defence lawyers dedicated to your case, we can educate you about the implications of a verbal assault charge and help navigate and present the evidence in your favour. One of the most common penalties associated with verbal assault or uttering threats is a condition of no-contact between the victim and the offender, but the sentence may also include probation, jail time, and a criminal record.
Harassment is also commonly misunderstood. Without representation from an experienced lawyer, harassment charges and sentencing can be quite severe, including a restraining order and/or prolonged probation. Harassment involves habitual following of an individual from place to place, repeated communication with the individual, perpetual watching of an individual’s place of residence, or engaging in threatening conduct with them. Criminal harassment is a technical term used by legal professionals that essentially means stalking. In some instances, this behaviour may be innocent in intent, though the perception is not as such. When charged with criminal harassment, certain considerations such as the length of the behaviour and the persistence of the action may inform the severity of the consequences as well as help us to build a positive case in your defence.
Criminal mischief is punishable by up to five years in jail and includes everything from damaging or destroying property to destroying, altering, obstructing, or interrupting the use of data or information. Mischief charges may also include making a false police report, faking your own death, or framing someone else for a crime you committed. Criminal mischief charges, as they involve the obstruction of the law, can be quite complex, but as we consider all vantage points of the case, we can reach a reasonable and favourable conclusion.
A criminal record indicating a sexual assault charge may have a dramatic impact on your life. Sexual assault includes non-consensual touching or physical intimacy with another person; if the incident occurs with a minor, the consequences are quite severe. While most people often view sexual assault as something as serious as forced rape or sexual assault, causing bodily harm, anything as simple as an unwanted kiss can result in criminal charges. Many of our clients do not realize or understand all of the inclusions of sexual assault, which is why it’s essential to hire a criminal defence lawyer. We encourage you to record your impression of the incident and share it only with a defence lawyer you can trust. We will use your version of the story to build a defence that may indicate you did not realize the action was not consensual or your intentions were not malicious. Because of the severity of sexual assault with sentencing including anything from a decade in prison and registration as a sexual offender to other probations and restrictions, your case is better off in the hands of one of our Alberta criminal defence lawyers.
We Are Tough on the Law
What a Domestic Violence
Lawyer Can Do For You
There are several ways a domestic violence lawyer can assist in your case to defend charges of domestic assault or harassment. A Peace Bond is a common way of dealing with such offences and involves entering into an agreement with the court. We can help you establish an agreement that minimizes the consequences and optimizes your freedoms. Often, these agreements include recommendations or conditions for counselling, restraining orders, or no-contact provisions. Approval for a Peace Bond drops all charges, meaning you will not receive a criminal record. If the case goes to trial, however, one of our experienced criminal lawyers in Calgary will establish an effective representation and build a solid case in your favour. We may begin by challenging the facts or the allegations against you, interpreting the law in your favour, and doing our best to reduce your sentencing; we know how imperative it may be for you to avoid jail time and a damaging criminal record.
PHONE OR EMAIL
Unfortunately, no. If a victim of assault changes his or her mind and wants to drop charges, the Crown Prosecutor may still proceed with the case. Assault is considered a serious offence, and while the victim’s testimony is often valuable to the prosecution, the decision to drop charges does not belong to them, as they are essentially just another witness.
Uttering threats is considered verbal abuse. A person may be charged with uttering threats even if the threat was offered indirectly or was non-verbal as in the instance of a gesture or a written message via text, email, or social media.
An EOP is a legally binding order that protects Canadians from family violence and may prohibit an offender from communicating with family and living in or entering their place of residence. Failure to comply with an EOP may result in arrest and additional charges.
While domestic violence is a serious crime, a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defence lawyer can help to ensure the Crown drops your charges, one way we can do this is by applying for a Peace Bond.
Why Choose Us
We are honest and realistic with all of our clients. We will not sugar-coat or oversell the potential outcome of the case. However, we will always strive to achieve the best result possible.
We are personable with our clients. To us, you aren’t just another name. We seek to understand your story and build a positive relationship with you while defending your rights against the State.
We believe you should know what you’re up against; most people don’t know what to expect once they have been criminally charged. We will always strive to keep you informed every step of the way.
We have built a reputation of having a high success rate for our clients throughout Alberta. Often our clients will escape a criminal record or incarceration.
We have streamlined the process of contacting and working with a criminal defence lawyer. We make all docket court appearances on your behalf so you don’t have to attend.
We have over 65 years of combined experience as defence lawyers. We've built relationships in the industry that allow us to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Think of us as your friendly neighbourhood defence lawyers, serving clients across Alberta for over 40 years. Based in Calgary, we travel everywhere from Lethbridge to Fort MacMurray.
We offer flexible payment schedules and flat-rate fee plans so you’ll always know what you’re paying upfront. Total fees depend on the complexity of your case.
Get the Best Defence With an Assault Lawyer
As Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers, we have decades of experience representing individuals in the criminal court. We know that assault and violence are highly nuanced offences, and there is often a lot of grey-area. When you need a domestic violence or sexual assault lawyer, we offer the best defence. We’ll begin by sitting down with you for an initial consultation. If you’re not sure what to expect, know that we are here to protect and defend you; we are on your side! We’ll keep you involved as we attend all court appearances on your behalf and learn more about the outlook of your case. We work together to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Call us today.