In August, I did a video on COVID 19’s impact on domestic assault cases in Ontario and I just want to give you an update on what’s going on with domestic assault cases. So the courts were paused from about March until July 6, 2020. That’s when the courts opened up to start trials again, and the great concern amongst the prosecution service, Crown Attorneys across the province, and everyone in the justice system, is that there’s going to be delays in the system. People are not going to get their trial within a reasonable time, and this has a great effect on domestic assault cases.
What we are finding now as alluded to in the video I did in August, is we are getting great deals on domestic assaults cases. Certainly the Crowns are not giving away the farm, on a serious charge, but if there’s a choice, for example, between a jail term offer and out of custody, meaning a fine or probation and that sort of thing where you are avoiding a jail term, the Crown generally is going to pick the latter to avoid delay. Again, these are reasonable deals, deals that put us on the edge if I might put it that way.
And also we are finding in all the counties we are practicing in, that if there’s a choice between giving a person a criminal record, versus a conditional discharge, meaning avoiding a record, we’re getting those deals. So this is a positive development for our clients, and people charged with criminal offences across the province. It’s a situation that the Crown had to confront, where, you know, there’s no question, delay is going to occur, in the province if they don’t move these files. So the Crown’s taking a sensible approach to it, clients are benefiting from it, and it’s a great time to hire a criminal lawyer in the province because if you are charged with domestic assault and you decide you want to plead guilty, there’s a very good chance that you’ll get a better deal then what you would have received before Covid.
And for those who want to go to trial of course, you can proceed on to trial and of course there’s a possibility at least that delay could happen in those cases. We don’t know yet how delay is going to pan out in the province, and sometimes cases get thrown out because of delay. So that’s what’s going on currently as of October with respect to domestic assault case in the province.