FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND ASSAULT CHARGES IN BARRIE.  1-866-DEFENCE.

In Barrie, assault and domestic assault are among the most common offences committed. Due to the broad definition of assault provided in the Criminal Code, individuals may be charged with assault for engaging in a wide variety of physical interactions. On one end of the spectrum, an individual may be charged with assault for making unwanted physical contact with another individual. On the other end of the spectrum an individual may be charged with assault for violently striking another individual.

Donich Law has devoted a portion of its practice to representing those accused of assault and domestic assault. We have experience defending first time offenders, those with a previous criminal history and those who have been wrongfully accused or whose actions were justified.

In 2018, the Firm defended an individual charged with assault with a weapon in R. v. E.T. [2018], after the accused allegedly struck a child. The Firm negotiated for the withdrawal of the charge.

In 2017, Donich Law defended an individual charged with assault with a weapon in R. v. W.V. [2017], after the accused allegedly struck her domestic partner with an overcooked pizza, causing a laceration. The Firm was able to negotiate the withdrawal of the charge.

In 2016, the Firm defended an individual charged with assault with a weapon in R. v. P.T. [2016], after the accused allegedly threatened to assault their intimate partner with a kitchen knife. The Firm was able to negotiate for the withdrawal of the charge.

In 2016, the Firm defended an individual charged with criminal harassment in R. v. A.C. [2016], after the accused allegedly sent hundreds of text messages to an ex-partner after the breakdown of an intimate relationship. The Firm was able to negotiate for the withdrawal of the charge.

The Firm has successfully handled several assault cases. To learn more about these cases, please click here.

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Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Assault and Domestic Assault Charges the Same Thing?
What is a No Contact Order and Can I have it Removed?
Will a Domestic Assault Charge Impact my Family?
How to get Domestic Assault Charges Dropped in Barrie?
Can I Drop Domestic Assault Charges against my Partner?
What are Potential Sentences for Domestic Assault in Barrie?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

Are Assault and Domestic Assault the Same Thing?

Yes. Under the Criminal Code, all assaults, including those committed in the context of a domestic relationship are charged under section 266. There is no separate and distinct charge for domestic assault.

The definition of assault is provided under section 265(1) of the Code. It states that an individual is guilty of assault when they, either directly or indirectly, apply force to another individual without consent. Further, an assault has occurred where an individual attempts or threatens, through an act or gesture, to assault another individual, where the individual has reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has the present ability to carry out the assault. Finally, an individual will be guilty of assault where they impede, accost, or beg another individual while carrying or wearing a weapon or imitation thereof. This means that an accused does not have to make physical contact with the complainant for an assault to have occurred.

While there is no distinct offence for domestic assault, those who are charged with domestic assault may be prosecuted and sentenced differently than those who commit an assault in another context. Crown attorneys may choose to prosecute domestic assault cases more vigorously and may advocate for harsher penalties upon conviction.

What is a No Contact Order and Can I have it Removed?

A no contact order is a common condition placed on those charged with assault or domestic assault. The order prohibits the accused from contacting the complainant or any witnesses in the case. Contact of any kind is prohibited including indirect contact or contact through a third party unless otherwise indicated in the order. This condition will be placed on virtually everyone charged with an assault or any other violent offence.

In domestic assault cases, a no contact order will prohibit intimate partners, including cohabitating couples and those who are legally married from contacting one another. The order will remain in place for the duration of the case or until the Court orders otherwise. This can leave couples unable to live together and may force the accused to find alternate accommodation until the case has resolved.

In some cases, it is possible to have this condition varied prior to the resolution of the case. Due to the lengthy timeline of most criminal cases, a no contact order can leave individuals unable to contact each other for months. In situations where the accused poses no risk to the complainant and the complainant wishes to resume contact, the Court may agree to vary or remove the condition. In most cases, the complainant will be asked to provide written revocable consent to resume contact with the accused. This means that the complainant has the power to revoke consent at any time, reinstating the no contact order.

Will a Domestic Assault Charge Impact my Family?

In many cases, yes. As outlined above, when a domestic assault charge is laid, the Court will impose a no contact order on the accused, prohibiting them from contacting the complainant or any other witnesses to the alleged offence. This can leave family members and even married couples unable to contact one another for lengthy periods of time.

If the accused and the complainant share children, the no contact order can further complicate family life. If the couple resided together prior to the alleged assault, the accused will likely be forced to seek alternate accommodation until the order is removed.

If the alleged assault occurred in the presence of children or inside a residence where children reside, the Children’s Aid Society may become involved. The Children’s Aid Society may then launch an investigation of their own to ensure the safety of the children within the home. If the Children’s Aid Society determine that the children are at risk inside the home, they may initiate court proceedings to remove the children.

Donich Law has experience negotiating with the Children’s Aid Society and Crown attorneys to reunite families where appropriate in domestic assault cases.

How to get Domestic Assault Charges Dropped in Barrie?

Having domestic assault charges “dropped” or withdrawn can be difficult in many cases an impossible in some cases. Once criminal charges have been laid, only the Crown attorney has the ability to withdrawal them.

Generally, the Crown attorney will not agree to withdrawal a charge where there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and where it is in the interest of justice to prosecute the individual. There will be a reasonable prospect of conviction where the Crown believes they have enough evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused is guilty as charged. If the Crown does not possess enough evidence to gain a conviction, they may agree to withdrawal the charge.

The Crown may also agree to withdrawal the charges against an accused where it is not in the interest of justice to give the accused a criminal record. For example, in cases involving the most minor assaults, the Crown and/or Court may determine that the assault was “de minimus” and should not result in a criminal record for the accused. In these situations, the Crown may agree to withdrawal the charges outright or after certain conditions are met.

Can I Drop Domestic Assault Charges Against Someone?

As a general rule, no. Once the police have filed domestic assault charges against someone only the Crown can choose to “drop” or withdrawal the charge(s). The Crown will generally not agree to withdrawal charges, especially domestic assault charges, at the request of the complainant. While the Crown will usually not agree to drop the charges, in some cases it may be difficult to prove the charges without the cooperation of the complainant.

What are Potential Sentences for Domestic Assault in Barrie?

As outlined above, the definition of assault provided in the Criminal Code is quite broad. As a result, there is a wide spectrum of physical interactions that could be considered criminal assault and a wide spectrum of potential sentences.

Assault is a hybrid offence. This allows the Crown to elect to proceed summarily or by indictment based on the nature and severity of the allegations being made. Where the allegations are more serious the Crown will proceed by indictment and in all other cases, summarily.

As outlined in section 266 the Criminal Code, where the Crown proceeds summarily an accused person will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine upon conviction. Where the Crown proceeds by indictment an accused person will face a maximum of five years imprisonment upon conviction. Generally, these maximum terms are reserved for the most serious assaults.

More commonly, those convicted of assault or domestic assault are sentenced to far less than the maximum penalty. Depending on the severity of the allegations and the criminal history of the accused, those convicted of simple assault may be granted a discharge, may be placed on probation, ordered to complete community service, ordered to pay a fine or restitution, or serve a custodial sentence less than the maximum term.

If you have been charged with assault or domestic assault it is important to contact and consult with experienced legal counsel immediately. Donich Law has experience defending those charged with an array of assault offences and regularly obtain favourable results for our clients.

Quick Facts

Will I go to Jail for Domestic Assault in Barrie?

In some cases, yes. The Court will weigh the facts of the case, the accused's criminal history, the effects on the complainant and any other relevant factors to determine the appropriate sentence for an accused. Where the allegations are serious, injuries resulted to the complainant, or the accused has a history of violence, a sentence of incarceration becomes more likely.

Can my Partner Drop the Charges Against me?

No. Once the police have laid domestic assault charges the only party who may withdrawal them are the Crown. The Crown will not agree to withdrawal domestic violence charges at the request of the complainant alone. Only in situations where the Crown believes it is not in the interest of justice to prosecute the individual, or where there is no reasonable prospect of conviction will the Crown agree to withdrawal domestic assault charges.

What if my Domestic Partner Recants their Story?

If a complainant in a domestic assault case recants their story it does not mean the Crown will withdrawal the charges. The Crown may continue with the case against the accused using other evidence they have gathered.

Does a No Contact Order Prevent me from Seeing my Children?

In some cases, yes. If children are specifically named in the order, then the accused is prohibited from contacting them directly or indirectly. If the other parent of the children is named in the order but the children are not, it may be necessary to vary the condition to allow the accused to communicate with the co-parent for the purposes of childcare.

Can I get a Peace Bond for Domestic Assault?

In some cases, yes. In cases where the allegations are minor or where there are evidentiary issues that would make the Crown’s case difficult to prove, a peace bond may be appropriate.

What is the Best Defence to Domestic Assault?

The best defence in any domestic assault case will depend on the specific allegations being made and the evidence in the possession of the Crown. Common defences that justify an assault are consent, reflex action, defence of person and defence of property. An accused who successfully launches one of these defences cannot be convicted of assault.

Can I get my No Contact Order Removed?

In some cases, it may be possible to have a no contact order altered or removed. To have such a condition altered or removed the Crown must be satisfied that the accused poses no risk of harm to the complainant or anyone else named in the order. Crown attorneys are often reluctant to remove no contact order conditions in domestic assault cases even where the complainant wants the condition removed.

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