If you are facing domestic violence charges in Toronto, our highly skilled lawyers will protect you. We will help you build a defence that is consistent with how you recall the events of the incident. For those clients who wish to resolve their cases, we will work diligently to obtain the most lenient sentence possible.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as any action that could be considered physically, sexually, or psychologically abusive that is intended to control or harm either an intimate partner or other family members. A domestic violence charge is a serious criminal offence. You should seek advice from a skilled and dedicated Toronto domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of Domestic Violence
There are four different types of domestic violence:
- Physical assault. This results from any unwanted physical contact such as pushing or shoving, restraining, striking, or kicking. A more serious assault causing bodily harm charge can be laid if the victim received injuries such as a broken nose or black eye. The charges become an aggravated assault when the victim is wounded, maimed, disfigured, or their life is endangered.
- Sexual assault. This occurs when one person forces unwanted sexual contact on their partner or other family member.
- Psychological assault. Verbal and emotional abuse, including threats, acts of intimidation, and exercising control over what a person’s partner is allowed to do and where they are allowed to go are considered forms of psychological abuse. It also includes forced financial dependence and isolation from friends and family. When psychological assault takes the form of criminal harassment, verbal threats, stalking, or trespassing upon the other’s property at night, it is considered a criminal offence.
- Attacks on property or pets. These are considered a combination of both physical and psychological assault. They could also lead to additional charges of criminal mischief or cruelty to animals.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction can be devastating. Crown attorneys have very clear directives to proceed with all domestic violence prosecutions unless there is no reasonable prospect of conviction. Prosecutors are also required to proceed with a domestic assault prosecution even if the victim wants to drop the charges. A guilty plea or finding of guilt after trial can result in:
- A conditional discharge for minor and non-aggravated domestic violence cases. This would avoid a criminal record.
- A conditional sentence such as house arrest.
- High fines that can include a victim fine surcharge and restitution to the injured party.
- Probation as the result of a suspended sentence.
- A maximum of six months in prison for a summary conviction domestic assault conviction.
- A maximum of five years in prison for an indictable domestic assault conviction.
- A maximum of ten years in prison for domestic assault resulting in bodily injuries or domestic sexual assault.
- A maximum sentence of 14 years in prison for an aggravated domestic assault.
Negative Impacts of Domestic Violence
A domestic violence conviction will affect the lives of everyone involved. Any relationship that existed before the incidents will be forever changed. In addition to the possibility of a jail term, the stigma of a domestic violence conviction can negatively impact your position in the workplace or defer you from securing a stable job. Certain types of domestic violence charges will also prevent you from entering the United States or other countries.
Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyers
The Kruse Law Firm has the knowledge and experience to help prepare your best possible defence or avoid a criminal record. They will work closely with you to ensure that your defence aligns with your best recollection of the events that led to your charges or negotiate the lightest possible sentence.
Founding partner Michael Kruse has more than 30 years of experience relentlessly defending his clients. He has dedicated his career to the passionate and vigorous defence of his clients in criminal courtrooms across Ontario.
Kruse Law Firm offers a free online consultation with a Toronto domestic violence lawyer to get your questions answered. They can provide the guidance you need as you take your first steps in the defence of your charges. Fill out the online form or call our offices today to get started on your best defence.
Kruse Law Firm operates out of our offices in Toronto, Kitchener, London, and Windsor to assist clients throughout Ontario.