Most of our clients who are charged with domestic assault are first time offenders taking never been charged before and they're obviously nervous and stressed and the first question they they're asking us, is will I go to jail? Or could I go to jail for domestic assault?
Well, the answer is that really depends on the facts of your case and I'll break it down for you.
So, for a first time, domestic assault, if it's on the lower end of the range, say it's a push, a shove a slap, maybe even a punch as long as there's not injuries of beyond a certain level, you can usually avoid a jail term. In fact, you can often even avoid a criminal record based on your background history.
If the facts are low level enough and you've got no prior criminal record and you're normally a good person. We can often negotiate to avoid jail, we can often negotiate what's called a conditional discharge where you're going to plead guilty to the charge, but not receiving a criminal record but going on a period of probation. Now, conversely, as we escalate up the scale where there's injuries obviously on a domestic assault where there’s bodily harm, where there’s bodily harm, you’re facing a jail term there’s no doubt about it.
By the way, we can sometimes negotiate peace bonds to a lower level like let's say it's a push, a slap, a shove those. Depending on the county you're in, you may be over a few Peace Bond, which means the criminal charges are dropped and we just have a condition to keep the peace and be of good behaviour and even perhaps go back once.
But as we move up the scale where there's injurie. Let's say there's black eyes and things like that. Personally, might be charged with bodily harm, you're usually facing a jail term once those injuries get to a certain level. Now, for black eyes and bruises we've even avoided not necessarily got conditional discharges, although we have but certainly you can often even avoid a jail term there, if it's not too bad. If there’s multiple punches and someone wailing away like an idiot which many people do. Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of domestic assaults in this country. But our job as a lawyer is to get the appropriate sentence for the factual situation. You're in and background. A lot of people they critique criminal lawyers but there our appropriate sentences. Like, is it appropriate to throw someone in jail for a minor shove to their husband’s or wife’s shoulder? No. Could it be appropriate to throw someone in jail who's broken their wife’s shoulder? Absolutely, they’re facing a significant jail term. Cases in between are delicate, you've got to look and analyze each case. So, we got ranges of sentences, but the bottom line is the typical domestic assault where there's really either no injuries or quite minor injuries. You're going to avoid going to jail in most cases, as long as you have no prior criminal record.
And in many of those cases, you're going to get a conditional discharge. Once the injuries get beyond a certain level. And black eyes is a gray area once you started with black eyes. It's a bit tricky, but you can often avoid it there. But I think that's the grey area. Once you move beyond that broken nose, broken arms, you get booked from you're going to be going to jail for months and more seriously in that, years. So but it's an art form sentencing. You have to know the case law you have to know your Judge You have to know your crown. Get your back your clients background before the court all that good behavior and really get the appropriate sentence for their particular facts and their particular background. So there you have it. I guess the answer the question is you could go to jail, in many cases that with a good lawyer can be able to avoid a jail term, and even potentially avoid a criminal record.
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