Our law firm represents a lot of people who are charged with domestic assault across the province of Ontario. The first question clients often ask us when they’re charged with the domestic assault is how do I get these charges dropped? Well, first and foremost, we need to get a hold of the disclosure. That’s all the police reports, the witness statements, the the video statements of the complainant and photographs, every scintilla of scrap of evidence that the police gathered, they have to give to the crown and the crown has to provide that to us. Once we have that, I will carefully go through with the client, you know, talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown’s case. What are the extent of the injuries? Is there a reasonable prospect of conviction? What are the odds of winning etc, we’re then going to have the crown, I should say the client review the disclosure very carefully themselves, we usually set them up in our office over a course of a full day and write notes and start drafting a statement which we work with them on and to receive their version of events. The ultimate goal, of course for these charges have been withdrawn or dropped mean that’s a great result. And how do we go about doing that. So if I have a case of domestic assault, and there’s more minimal entries, or no injuries, we have a much better chance, first of all of getting a great result on that type of file. So I’m going to receive all of my clients background every thing about their personal history, I need to know so I’m going to I’m going to take that down and find out about all the positive things that are going on in their life, we often receive a resume, we talk about the background, you know, I take a personal background, over an hour, sometimes two hours a client with the client. So now I armed to go in and start negotiating with the crown attorney. Now, firstly, some domestic assault cases I analyze there’s no reasonable prospect of conviction, they’ve got a very weak case. And my goal on those types of charges to go and negotiate with the crown and say, Look, is there any reasonable prospect of conviction, that’s the test and Ontario, the crown attorneys if there’s no reasonable prospect or conviction to frankly withdraw the charges, so crowds aren’t willing to do that they’d rather politically run it’s easier for them to just run with the matter that then do that. But other crowds you can sometimes convince to simply withdraw the charge outright because they can’t win the case for various reasons. evidentiary weaknesses, weakness in their case, a statement that was taken incorrectly for the client, there’s just a whole plethora of reasons why there’s might be no reasonable prospect of eviction. Now in other cases where there is a reasonable prospect of conviction, whether I can get that charge dropped or get a great result, it really depends on the facts of the case. So let’s take case where there’s minimal injuries and a more minor assault, and my clients got a great background, I might be able to, I might be able to get what’s called early intervention on that. You know, where where we do upfront counseling, we talk to the crown, about their background, look, there’s no injuries, here was a minor pushing incident, the wife wants to back in the home, the wife wants this drop to as well. By the way, it’s easier to get charges dropped when the wife wants the person back or the wife wants, wants to drop the charges too. But the crown, they have to look at the injuries because of the injuries are too severe. And there’s a reasonable prospect condition, it’s pretty rare that you’re going to get the charges dropped to that fashion. But we’ve been very successful on more minor cases, if I might put it that way of getting the crowd regretted diversion, where there’s a peace bond and get the person back at the home, you have to do a lot of upfront counseling for that type of result. And again, I’m talking about minor cases where there’s clearly no injuries. And peace bond is possible. It’s difficult, it’s always difficult to get a peace bond in a domestic assault case, because the crown attorneys have strict policies and directives that they don’t want to withdraw charges. Unless it’s really minor and inconsequential. But I have been able to get crowns in certain cases even slightly more serious incidents that are pushing to agree to diversion, which is which is a fantastic resolved, the client can move on with his life, there are two charges withdrawn. They just enter into a peace bond, for example, to keep the peace and be a good behavior with perhaps what’s called revocable consent where the wife or girlfriend or boyfriend for that matter, wants them back in the home and they agree that they can come back in the home but that can be revoked at any time in the future unfortunately. So you’re a little bit at the mercy of the wife or husband going back into the home. If they try and revoke that they just would contact the probation officer. Now often another great result when it’s a case where there is a reasonable prospect To conviction where the crowd does have a valid case that they could potentially win at trial is what’s called a conditional discharge. Where there’s minimal to no injuries, and the client has a good background with no prior criminal record, perhaps we’ve done some counseling or you agree to counseling, the crown will often through negotiations with me agree that look, the client can plead guilty, but they won’t receive a criminal record. That’s called a conditional discharge where you’re there’s a finding of guilt, but you’re not convicted of a criminal offense. And you would be required to go on probation for say, a year or so. Again, there can be revoke kable sent if the spouse or significant other agrees, so you can go back into the home or associate with them. And that’s wonderful because you avoid a criminal record. One little minor problem with that is that could potentially show up on level two criminal record check for for about three years following the the conviction, but you’ll be able to get your fingerprints destroyed at a certain period of time and all the file wiped out and it after certain period of time will not appear. Even though it’s not a criminal record, I’ve seen it come up on criminal record checks for a certain period of time. And that’s just an unfortunate, I don’t believe it should. But that’s just the way the system we have in Ontario. So those are two great results depending on the case. Obviously, you know, the best results just outweigh withdraw where the crown feels they have no reasonable prospect conviction. second best result is early intervention or, or that diversion program where we diverted out of the criminal justice system, withdraw the criminal charge maybe for upfront counseling, and then, you know, enter into a peace bond perhaps and go home. Thankfully, third best result is a conditional discharge where we’re pleading guilty and avoiding criminal record. Absolute discharges are pretty, very difficult to come by for domestic assaults because the judge usually wants you to go on probation. But really, a conditional discharge really becomes an absolute discharge at the end of the probation period. Although, you know, you have to go through certain steps to meet with probation officer for 12 months. And as I mentioned, if a victim or complainant once the charges dropped, and it’s a minor case, that makes it a heck of a lot easier to get a great result. Even though the victims not in charge of the prosecution. The End the crown does not have to listen to them. They certainly take their wishes into account. The other situation where we can often get charges withdrawn before trial is where the victim recants that changes their statement. For example, they say, you know, I gave that statement to the police when I was drinking in my right frame of mind. It’s not accurate. I misstated the facts. Although I was telling the truth at that time. It’s just it’s not accurate and and the charges should be retried. That’s going to be a difficult case for the crown to prosecute. Even under oath video statement was taken by the complainant, they could still try but most of those cases go nowhere unless there’s other independent evidence proving the charge. So we have had success in getting domestic assault charges dropped. It is tricky, there’s no question it’s only applies to very minor charges were usually there’s minimal and hopefully no injuries with a client who has a pristine prior background of good character, we might have a chance in that case and and certainly there’s always a good chance of getting a conditional discharge even if you can’t get a white withdrawl. So that that’s how you get charged drop in the province and and the very important message which I’ll give you is you always should hire a lawyer. The lawyers are know what they’re doing if they’re experienced, and they can get you off and get you a good result and avoid a criminal record if not an outright draw on on minor domestic assault charges in Ontario. Thank you for watching our video, we are absolutely committed to bringing you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario and require our services, please click on the link in the description below.