Domestic assault is an assault that occurs in the context of a domestic or intimate relationship between two people. This includes relationships such as boyfriends and girlfriends, spouses or common-law partners, and other family members.
In Canada, domestic assaults are treated more seriously by police and the courts for the following reasons:
- Domestic abuse is widespread in Canada;
- Domestic abuse can devastatingly impact children;
- There is a high risk that domestic violence will escalate if it is not dealt with quickly and effectively.
A common misconception in domestic charges, is that the victim decides whether to go ahead with the charges. Wrong. It is the Crown and police who decide whether the charges will continue or not. The Crown will not withdraw the case simply because it is against the wishes of the victim.
Penalities for conviction
The punishment for domestic violence can range significantly depending on the specific charge. A conviction for domestic assault can result in anything from a peace bond to 14 years in prison. Because the punishment for domestic violence depends heavily on the nature of the offence, circumstances of the offence, and the circumstances of the offender.
While you do face a high likelihood of receiving a harsh penalty in the event of a conviction, being charged with this offence does not necessarily mean that you will receive a criminal record.
A large number of domestic violence charges are resolved outside of court through pre-trial resolution discussions between defence counsel and the Crown prosecutor. One of the most effective ways we resolve some of the more minor domestic violence charges (like domestic assault) is by negotiating with the Crown for a Peace Bond.
If you have been charged with an assault of a partner, call Nikolas now at 613-233-2542