Domestic assault is defined as unwanted physical contact or force towards spouses, domestic partners, girlfriends or boyfriends, and family members. Domestic assault is one of many offences that falls under the category of Domestic Violence. Other offences that can be categorized as Domestic Violence include verbal threats (Uttering Threats), sexual abuse (Sexual Assault), and aggressive behavior such as stalking (Criminal Harassment). Toronto domestic assault lawyer Michael Juskey has successfully defended hundreds of domestic assault cases.
Police officers and Crown Attorneys pursue domestic assault charges with a particular level of severity given the unique family issues that are usually at play in these situations. These cases are usually heard in designated domestic assault courtrooms where you will find specialized Crown Attorneys with the dedicated resources to prosecute domestic crimes.
If you have been charged with domestic assault, you will face a fast-moving court system. From the time of arrest and bail hearing to your first court appearance, the situation can be overwhelming and intimidating. That’s why you need to call Michael Juskey immediately.
What if I face domestic assault charges?
Reaching out to Toronto domestic assault lawyer Michael Juskey needs to be the first thing you do. Your first conversation with Michael with be a no charge strategy session. You will learn how the legal system works, your responsibilities, and what options may be available to you.
Once you retain Michael as your lawyer, he will remain by your side throughout the entire legal process, being available to answer any questions, provide updates, or just to hear your concerns. You will not have to answer any questions or participate in any legal proceedings without Michael’s guidance.
With extensive experience representing those charged with domestic assault in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice, Michael understands how to navigate the legal system to give you the best outcome possible.
How can I beat a domestic assault charge?
Assault charges are usually laid by police, not the victim. This means it is a criminal case rather than a civil case. Getting an assault dropped involves multiple approaches. First is understanding the evidence against you then challenging the charge itself with the objective of avoiding jail and a criminal record.
Even if you did commit assault, there may be a valid reason that would result in the withdrawal of the charge or a not guilty verdict, resulting in no jail time or criminal record. This involves mounting a defence. Some of the most common defences to domestic assault are:
Self-defence: You are legally entitled to use necessary force to protect yourself or someone else from bodily harm.
Consent: You were given permission, either explicitly or through non-verbal cues.
Toronto domestic assault lawyer Michael Juskey will listen to your side of the story and determine if any defence(s) apply in your case.
If you have been charged with domestic assault and released from custody you will likely have stringent conditions imposed upon you. These conditions may have the effect of turning your life upside as you will not be allowed to contact your spouse. You will also be forbidden from attending his/her address. It is imperative that you obey these conditions as an allegation of failing to comply can result in a bail hearing and further charges against you. Toronto domestic assault lawyer Michael Juskey can assist you in negotiating the relaxation of these strict bail conditions.
Whether your case resolves or goes to trial, our objective at all times is to obtain the best possible result in your case. If you have been charged with domestic assault call 416-428-2760 now to schedule a free, confidential consultation in our downtown Toronto office.
Can we show it was an accident or self-defence?
There are many defences to domestic assault charges in Canada. Upon being retained, Michael will obtain your side of the story before proceeding to review the evidence against you and determine whether or not a defence is available in your case.
Will I still be able to see my kids?
That depends on your terms of release (on your Undertaking to a Peace Officer or Release Order from Court). If your kids are also alleged to have been assaulted you will most certainly be prohibited from having contact with them for the duration of your case. In certain circumstances it may be possible to secure a Bail Variation to allow contact with your children.
Will I have to move out of my home?
That depends on whether or not you reside with the complainant in your case. If you and the complainant reside separately it will not be necessary for you to move out of your home. However, in these circumstances you will be prohibited from attending the residence of the complainant.
What Happens on my First Appearance?
If you have been charged with Domestic Assault you will be given a court date. This is know as your First Appearance. Your First Appearance will be outlined in your release documentation and will contain a date, time, courtroom and courthouse address. In most cases the courthouse will be in the same region where any offence(s) are alleged to have occurred. If you have been charged with an indictable offence, the police will also require that you provide them with your fingerprints and photographs, pursuant to the Criminal Records Act. Failure to Attend your First Appearance or your fingerprint/photograph date is a serious criminal offence. It is of utmost importance that you attend for your fingerprints and photographs. If you hire a lawyer, your attendance may not be necessary in court. At our firm, each of our clients signs what is called a Designation of Counsel, which allows Michael P. Juskey to appear in court for you on the First Appearance and thereafter.
The First Appearance is strictly administrative in nature and it is uncommon for anything of substance to occur. The Canadian criminal justice system does not require that defendants be ‘arraigned’ on their first court appearance. An arraignment is when a defendant is required to enter a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ with respect to the allegations before the Court.
When you or your lawyer attend the first court appearance, the crown attorney will provide Disclosure. In most cases the matter will be adjourned for several weeks to allow the defence to review these materials. Toronto domestic assault lawyer Michael Juskey will attend court for you and fight vigorously to achieve the best result in your case.
What is a Peace Bond?
A peace bond is a court order that requires an individual to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a specified amount of time (usually 12 months). Keeping the peace and being of good behaviour simply translates to not getting into trouble with the law. These court orders often carry other conditions which can include: not to attend a certain place, no contact directly/indirectly with a person(s) and not to possess any weapons. This applies to both types of peace bonds.
A peace bond does not result in a criminal conviction and most commonly signed in exchange for the withdrawal of criminal charges. If you are facing charges, signing this document will not result in a finding of guilt but may have negative repercussions in family law. It also may appear on a Vulnerable Sector Search after the term has expired.
What is a Common Law Peace Bond?
Our common law has traditionally permitted judges to bind individuals to keep to peace where the judge has apprehended a breach of the peace. There must be a basis for this apprehension which is usually put on the record in court. Common law peace bonds have a wider scope can last longer than 12 months if the Court deems it appropriate.
What is a Section 810 Peace Bond?
Statutory peace bonds under section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada require a sworn complaint. The person who makes the complaint is referred to as a “complainant”. The complainant must have a fear for his/her safety (or a loved one or their property) and that fear must be a reasonable one for a Court to make this order. Statutory peace bonds under section 810 are far more common and cannot exceed 12 months in duration. This is typically a very good result for an individual who is facing criminal charges, but every case and every client is different. Signing one of these orders may place restrictions on an individual’s liberty. There is no substitute to hiring a Toronto domestic assault lawyer to advise you of your options and to always act in your best interest. Call 416-428-2760 to reach Michael.
What Happens if I Breach the Conditions?
If you breach the conditions of a common law peace bond, you may be charged with the criminal offence of Disobeying a Court Order (Criminal Code of Canada section 127). This is a hybrid offence which means the prosecution can elect to proceed by summary conviction or indictment. If the crown proceeds summarily, the maximum punishment is a $5,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. If the crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum punishment is two years in jail.
If you breach the conditions of a section 810 peace bond, you may be charged with Breach of Recognizance (Criminal Code of Canada section 811). If the crown elects to proceed by indictment the maximum penalty is four years in a penitentiary. If the crown proceeds by way of summary conviction, the maximum sentence is a $5,000 fine and/or 18 months in jail (super-summary offence).
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Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, we found ourself in a situation, we didn’t know how to deal with. I consulted few criminal lawyers before speaking to Michael. With just that one phone conversation, I knew Michael was the person! He was the one I was going to trust with my case. He gave me that confidence by being honest, straight to the point, and laying out the pros and cons. I could tell he was knowledgeable, knew what he was doing, and was going to get us out of this situation in no time. That is exactly what he did, in just 2 months, he was able to get our case withdrawn. So, thank you Michael for all your help! Thank you for being so easy to reach and communicate with. We really appreciate it!
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Call 416-428-2760 to speak with Toronto Domestic Assault Lawyer Michael Juskey