Domestic Violence Charges
What is Domestic Violence?
The Courts in Ontario consider any kind of violent assault or threatening behaviour that occurs between members of the same family or between romantic partners to be domestic violence. Sometimes even a minor incident results in serious charges with serious consequences. Domestic assault charges are charged the same as assault, assault bodily harm, aggravated assault, or other offences such as criminal harassment or threatening death or injury. The classification of domestic violence only speaks to the relationship between the accused and the complainant. Domestic assault or spousal violence in Toronto is treated very seriously by the Court system.
How are people charged with domestic assault treated?
Domestic violence or domestic assault allegations require a particular set of skills to be used by the criminal lawyer because of the family dynamics and emotions that are involved in such cases. Unfortunately, these allegations can separate families and tear them apart. Often, people with no criminal record are held for bail hearings when facing domestic assault charges. Some people accused of domestic assault are released on bail from the police station. The police will determine how serious they believe the allegations to be and then determine whether to release the accused from the station or hold the accused for bail. Most allegations of domestic assault will result in release conditions that prevent the parties from contacting each other. This means that accused persons often must move out of the family home and land up having no contact with their spouse or partner and limited contact with their children.
Can a domestic violence-related bail order or release from the police station be changed or varied?
Criminal lawyers that regularly represent people charged with domestic assault have experienced varying and changing bail or release orders. Weisberg Law can in many situations arrange to have clients’ bail or release orders changed or varied to prevent their families from breaking down. Domestic assault release orders can be modified by presenting a plan and positive evidence to the Crown Attorney that there is minimal risk of harm if the parties resume contact. We have had a great deal of success in getting families back together. If the Crown Attorney refuses to consent to a bail variation, we can bring a motion before the appropriate court to have a contested hearing on the proposed bail variation.
What is a peace bond and why are they offered in spousal violence cases?
Domestic assault allegations are sometimes settled by way of the accused entering a peace bond and the domestic abuse charges being withdrawn. Agreeing to a peace bond is not a finding of guilt. The accused that enters a peace bond will promise to the Court that he/she will abide by certain conditions and not disturb the peace for a certain period of time. In many cases, this is an excellent way to resolve a matter without the risk of receiving a criminal record.
Please contact Adam Weisberg to fully discuss the ramifications of entering a peace bond at 416.603.3344.
What if I am trying to get a divorce and am charged with a domestic assault?
Allegations of domestic assault in Toronto commonly arise in the context of divorce proceedings. Special considerations need to be taken into account when defending a domestic allegation while family law proceedings are occurring in the background. Unfortunately, some litigants use false allegations as a way to achieve the upper hand in family law proceedings. Weisberg Law has excellent relationships with several family lawyers and will work closely with your family lawyer to help ensure a positive result in both family and criminal court.
Why should domestic abuse complainants or victims hire a lawyer?
Once a complaint has been made, it is the Crown that decides whether or not criminal charges proceed. Sometimes complainants may require a lawyer to advise them on how to make their position known to the Crown. As well, a seasoned criminal lawyer can provide important independent legal advice to complainants, so they know their rights and the potential risks of being criminally charged themselves. Click here for more information on hiring a lawyer when you are the “complainant” or “victim” in a domestic violence case.
In The Media on Domestic Assault Cases:
Adam Weisberg was consulted by the Law Times on the new Domestic Violence Court in Toronto.
Domestic Assault Matter Samples of Success:
Representing the Accused:
R. v. F.A.
A young professional and his new wife were struggling emotionally with each other. They had terrible verbal confrontations with each other. The husband was determined to make the marriage work and would not take hints from his wife that they were on a path to divorce. Eventually, the wife set him up with a series of false allegations and he was forced out of the matrimonial home. At trial, the wife’s story was exposed as a fabrication. The Crown discontinued the prosecution midway through the cross-examination.
R. v. M.B.
An argument occurred in front of a young child. The police arrived on the scene to diffuse the argument and charged the accused with assault. Adam Weisberg put a comprehensive strategy into place. A detailed presentation was taken to the Crown Attorney which convinced the state to withdraw the charges in their entirety.
R. v. M.H.
In a heated argument involving allegations of infidelity, the accused assaulted their partner by pushing and scratching. The case was complicated because the accused admitted the assault and left injuries. Adam Weisberg personally met with the Crown Attorney and eventually a peace bond was entered into, and the charges were withdrawn.
R. v. J.B.
The accused was captured on a 911 tape uttering threats at his girlfriend. The accused gave an inculpatory statement admitting to an assault and uttering threats. The complainant had injuries and also gave a statement under oath confirming the incident. The accused wanted to take responsibility for his actions. The charge of assault was withdrawn, and the accused pleaded guilty to one count of uttering threats. Mr. Weisberg put together a comprehensive sentencing plan and obtained an absolute discharge for the accused person.
R. v. A.G.
A young professional student had a heated argument with his girlfriend. He admitted to elbowing her and restraining her. After a comprehensive plan was put in place and difficulties with the prosecutor’s case were demonstrated the charges were withdrawn. No criminal record and no peace bond.
R. v. V.J.
An alcohol-fueled argument took place in front of a baby. The police were called, and injuries to the complainant noted. A motion to get the couple back together was immediately successfully brought to change release conditions. Eventually, all charges were withdrawn after a detailed plan was put in place to satisfy the Crown that no future issues would arise.
R. v. M.P.
Both parties sustained injuries in a heated argument. A successful motion was immediately brought to remove the “no contact” condition of the accused’s release conditions. A plan involving extensive counselling was put into place, and the couple’s charges were eventually arranged to be withdrawn. No peace bond and no criminal record.
R. v. E.K.
A young university student was charged with forcible confinement and assault against his live-in girlfriend. After a detailed plan was put into and executed, the Crown agreed to withdraw all the charges and allow the accused to enter into a common-law peace bond where he was allowed contact with his girlfriend with her written revocable consent.
R. v. C.J.
A woman was charged with dangerous driving, assault with a weapon and failure to remain at the scene of an accident. It was alleged that she ran over her ex-boyfriend in a minivan. On the day of trial, the accused’s charges were withdrawn for a six-month common law peace bond.
R. v. J.S.
Arranged a plan of comprehensive counselling for a couple that wished to reconcile. I brought a contested bail variation to have my client move back in with the complainant that accused him of an assault. The Crown Attorney was persuaded to withdraw the charges outright.
R. v. A.P.
Client charged with several counts of assault. All charges were withdrawn after the client entered into a common-law peace bond. No criminal record.
R. v. M.D.
Client charged with choking and throwing wife to the ground. A plan was put in place, and the Crown agreed to withdraw the charges for a peace bond.
R. v. C.P.
Client charged with domestic assault allegations. Mr. Weisberg brought an application to change the undertaking to reunite the family on the eve of Christmas. All charges were withdrawn in the new year.
R. v. R.B.
University student charged with domestic assault and mischief. Crown agreed to withdraw the charge after counselling and volunteer work completed. Client entered into a peace bond.
R. v. P.M.
A young professional was about to be married and was suddenly charged by fiancé with domestic allegations. Charges were withdrawn in their entirety on the second appearance.
R. v. Dr.H.
A doctor was charged with assaulting his wife with a weapon. A plan of action was put into place, and after lengthy discussions with the Crown Attorney, it was agreed that the charge should be withdrawn.
R. v. Dr.A.
A professor was charged with assaulting his wife. She received six stitches from his actions. After a bail review and counselling, the accused received an absolute discharge.
Representing the Complainant:
R. v. X.X.
The charges were withdrawn after a detailed letter was written advocating for the complainant’s desire to have the charges dismissed. No peace bond and no criminal record.
R. v. A.B.
Adam Weisberg spoke to the Crown Attorney and assisted counsel in obtaining a peace bond for his client.
R. v. Y.M.
A personal meeting was arranged with the Crown Attorney. The complainant deeply regretted calling the police. Acting as complainant’s counsel, Mr. Weisberg convinced the Crown Attorney to withdraw the charges. No peace bond and no criminal record.
R. v. C.Y.
Mr. Weisberg assisted the accused’s counsel by providing full input that enabled counsel to arrange to have the charges withdrawn against his client at the first appearance.
R. v. A.B.
Assisted in getting complainant’s spouse back in the family home by writing a letter to the Crown Attorney and arranging for joint counselling.
R. v. J.D.
Accused caused a cut to complainant’s arm by throwing scissors at her. The complainant was confident that this was an unintentional act. With counsel for the accused, we advocated getting the charge withdrawn. The couple did not choose to resume their relationship.
R. v. D.D.
Assisted in helping the complainant reunite her family for Christmas by writing a letter on her behalf to the Crown. Charges against husband were withdrawn in the new year.
R. v. S.K.
The complainant came home intoxicated. Her common-law husband was charged with a domestic assault as a result of allegations made in the heat of the moment while severely intoxicated. Mr. Weisberg was able to assist the complainant in getting the charges withdrawn while protecting her from legal jeopardy.
For samples of some matters that went to trial see: Successes Page
If you are a domestic violence complainant and need assistance, please call Adam Weisberg at 416.605.4811.