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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:

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.

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