Domestic violence is the common term for assaults or other abuses against family members, typically intimate partners like a spouse. The Canadian Criminal Code views assaults and abuses against household members as an aggravating factor. Therefore, an assault charge involving a spouse, common-law partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, family member, or a minor child in the household exposes a defendant in Waterloo to enhanced repercussions. Abuse may take the form of physical attacks, destruction of property, or verbal attacks that inflict emotional or mental harm. Potentially, any acts intended to harm the victim for the purpose of assaulting, intimidating, or controlling that person may qualify as domestic violence.
Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence covers a range of offences, such as:
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Psychological assault
- Property destruction
- Attacks on pets
A domestic violence defence lawyer in Waterloo can explain the distinctions among these types of charges and how to properly defend them or negotiate favourable outcomes. Specific factors, such as the use of a weapon or the extent of any injury, may greatly influence prosecutorial intensity and penalties.
Less serious allegations, along with a well-conceived defence strategy, could result in:
- Conditional discharge with no criminal record
- Payment of victim surcharge
- Restitution to the injured party
- Suspended sentence with probation
- Conditional sentence such as house arrest
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges
Penalties escalate quickly for more serious charges. These are the penalties associated with various charges:
- Up to six months in prison for a summary conviction domestic assault
- Up to five years in prison for an indictable domestic assault
- Up to ten years in prison for domestic sexual assault or domestic assault causing bodily harm
- Up to 14 years in prison for aggravated domestic assault
Negative Impacts of Domestic Violence
The devastating consequences of a criminal conviction follow people for the rest of their lives. People in Waterloo with criminal records face difficulties and restrictions in terms of employment, travel, professional licensing, and stigma in the community. An alleged victim of domestic violence does not have the power to drop criminal charges against you. Only a Crown Prosecutor in Waterloo may withdraw a criminal charge or make the decision to continue the prosecution. When that happens, the prosecution may elect to proceed summarily or by indictment depending on the facts of the case.
Why You Should Retain Us
A criminal defence lawyer from Kruse Law can intervene on your behalf with a Crown Attorney in Ontario and fight to defend you in court. For over three decades, our firm’s founder, Michael Kruse, has worked relentlessly to protect the rights of criminal defendants viewed by others with hostility. Domestic violence charges are always prosecuted vigorously in Ontario, but a defendant can gain a strong advocate with a proven track record of consistently winning cases by contacting Kruse Law.
You can book a consultation with a criminal defence lawyer and receive timely advice to protect your rights and guide you through the complex criminal court system. You pay nothing for an initial case evaluation. Call our Waterloo domestic violence lawyers right now or fill out the online contact form.
Kruse Law Firm operates out of our offices in Kitchener, London, Toronto, and Windsor to assist clients throughout Ontario. Our Kitchener office is conveniently located for Waterloo residents.