Brett McGarry has obtained acquittals in many domestic assault cases in Ontario. If you have been charged, it is important to retain a skilled criminal lawyer at the outset to minimize the disruption to your life and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Here are a few recent cases where Brett McGarry’s clients were found not guilty of domestic assault charges:
Learn more about domestic assault charges in Ontario below.
Domestic violence cases are prosecuted vigorously in Ontario
Partner assault charges are not a separate offence under the Criminal Code, but they do receive particularly harsh treatment by the criminal justice system. In Ottawa, an entire courtroom and Crown team is dedicated to prosecuting domestic violence charges. The police also have a unit dedicated to investigating and prosecuting domestic violence.
The policy of the Ontario government and the police is to make an arrest when called to the scene of alleged domestic violence or abuse. An accusation of wrongdoing is enough to lead to serious criminal charges. With an “arrest first, ask questions later” policy, it is not uncommon for individuals to be unfairly accused, to be barred from seeing their spouse/children, and to face charges that do not match the true circumstances of the case.
In Ontario, once a domestic charge is laid the Crown’s policy is to prosecute matters to the fullest extent of the law. Any allegation of assault in the context of a domestic relationship, whether marriage or dating, is subject to special policies from the time a complaint is made all the way through to trial. (See the Crown Policy Manual.)
As a result, the Crown will likely proceed with a trial despite an uncooperative or recanting complainant who wishes to “drop” the charges. It is also unlikely that the charges will be dropped even where the allegations are made to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody dispute.
What is a “domestic” assault”?
A “domestic relationship” can be a short dating relationship or a marriage. A domestic assault can also occur after the relationship is over, for example, with an ex-girlfriend or ex-husband.
Under the Criminal Code, an “assault” is the intentional application (or threat of application) of force to another person without their consent. Therefore, an assault does not have to result in physical harm to be a criminal act. An “assault” can range from a grab or shove to serious punches and kicks.
In domestic assault cases, related charges often include:
- Assault with a weapon
- Assault causing bodily harm
- Aggravated assault
- Uttering a death threat
- Uttering a threat to cause harm
- Forcible confinement
- Chocking to overcome resistance
- Mischief (i.e. damaging property)
- Criminal harassment
- Break and enter into a dwelling
Onerous Bail Conditions
Harsh bail conditions often bar an accused person from residing at home and communicating with his or her children and spouse. These conditions are generally put in place whether or not the “victim” requests them. Such conditions can be tremendously disruptive to your family. There are ways to have the bail conditions varied with the consent of the Crown, or to have them varied at a contested bail variation hearing before a justice of the peace. Until the conditions are varied you must follow them to the letter, as a breach will result in additional criminal charges.
Serious defence for serious cases
The courts take domestic violence seriously. Charges of domestic assault carry serious penalties and consequences beyond the criminal record and potential jail time involved. An accusation of domestic abuse can affect where you can live, when you can see your children, and divorce/child custody proceedings.
The defence of a domestic assault allegation can be complicated. Domestic trials regularly involve complex principles of evidence, such as the Crown trying to cross-examine its own witness (i.e. the complainant), hearsay statements and recantations. Defence counsel must be both skilled at getting helpful evidence from friendly witnesses tendered by the Crown, and vigorously cross-examining hostile witnesses.
Brett McGarry is well versed in defending domestic assault allegations. He works to expose people who make false accusations to advance a family law or divorce strategy. To this end, it is important to obtain records such as family law documents, emails, voicemails and other communications between you and your accuser. He thoroughly cross examines witnesses, conducts independent investigations and prepares his clients extensively to testify in court. Brett works together with experienced family and civil counsel to ensure that all your interests are protected.
GET HELP NOW
Contact Brett McGarry right now to discuss the best defences for your domestic assault charges by phone at (613) 884-8576 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The initial meeting is free.