Frequently Asked Questions
What Other Orders Are Common to Sentences for Sexual Assault in Guelph?
There are several different kinds of orders a court might issue in addition to a main sentence for an offender convicted of sexual assault according to s. 271 of the Criminal Code, which are known as ancillary orders. Of the most common types, one such order is authorized under s. 161 of the Code, which prevents an offender convicted of sexual assault either from attending areas where children under the age of 16 are likely to be, or from contacting anyone under that age. Sexual assault is a category of offence known as a primary designated offence that allows for an order to be made that requires offenders to provide a sample of their DNA. Often, offenders convicted of sexual assault will also have to comply with the terms of a SOIRA order that requires them to register as a sex offender.
There are additional orders that may be made depending on the circumstances of each case. If the sexual assault involves an additional act of violence or was committed with a weapon, a court may issue a weapons prohibition for a specific amount of time which is authorized by s. 109 of the Code. Finally, a court may issue a victim surcharge as part of the sentence under s. 737 of the Code. This fine is paid directly to the victim as restitution for the crime and is equal to either 30% of any fine imposed on the offender or $100 or $200 if the offender was convicted of a summary or indictable offence respectively. Though the court can waive the surcharge if it is impossible or unduly difficult for the offender to pay it.
What are the Common Forms of Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases in Guelph?
There can be many kinds of evidence involved in a sexual assault case. Most commonly, cases will feature testimony. This testimony will be provided by the victim and the accused, often because they may be the only people with knowledge of the offence. However, testimony may also come from any witnesses who saw the offence or from someone who contacted either party after the offence occurred. This includes police officers. In addition to testimony, there will sometimes be a record of communication between the parties in the form of texts, DMs or other messages. Video evidence of the offence may also exist.
In some sexual assault cases, there may also be physical evidence of the offence. For example, clothing that was worn during the incident or some object used to collect the offender’s DNA. An example of this is pants worn by a victim during an assault who used them to collect a sample of the offender’s semen after the assault had ended. Physical evidence may also include any rape kit used by the victim following the offence, although this is uncommon. Finally, medical records stemming from the offence may exist in some instances.
How do Arrests and Interrogations Operate in Sexual Assault Cases in Guelph?
There are two different arrest procedures police use for sexual assault matters. The first is typically used where the offence occurred some time ago, or where the accused is a close acquaintance of the victim. In those instances, the police will usually call or contact the accused, inform them of the offence and arrange for them to turn themselves in at a police station. If there is no prior relationship between the accused and the victim, or where the identity of the accused isn’t clear, police will perform a traditional arrest as soon as possible where they locate and arrest the individual.
Interrogations are conducted after an arrest and after an accused has been informed of their rights. These interrogations are conducted in a room with the police and the accused and videoed for the record. The interrogations themselves can be very different depending on the circumstances. Police officers are experts in this field and are skilled in coaxing information out of accused persons. This information may be acquired through simple questioning, or other methods. The police may even lie to a person about the nature of the evidence they possess to draw out a confession.
At What Point Does Someone Need a Lawyer?
Understanding the interrogation techniques discussed above, it is important to know that a person should contact a lawyer, such as our counsel in Guelph, as soon as possible. Our lawyers will inform someone of their rights and advise them not to say anything to the police, as the less information they are given, the less there is to be used against the accused in court. It is best practice to contact a lawyer even before a charge is laid and a person is arrested if possible. If someone is aware of an allegation of sexual assault that may be made against them, they should contact a lawyer. The more time they can use to prepare for the event of an arrest and learn their rights, the better.