In Vancouver, a domestic assault accusation against you sets in motion a chain of events that could lead to a criminal charge. If the police arrest you for spousal assault, an experienced criminal defence lawyer is essential to have by your side. At Johnson Doyle Nelson & Anderson, our team of experienced criminal defence lawyers will help you navigate your case, act as your defence, and negotiate better terms for your release.
What is Domestic Assault?
Also referred to as ‘spousal assault’, domestic assault cases generally include two parties involved in a relationship. Although the term ‘domestic assault’ doesn’t appear in the criminal code, prosecutors often use it to refer to acts of violence committed against spouses and threats of death or physical harm made to spouses or family members.
Section 265(1) of the Criminal Code states that a person commits an ‘assault’ when they:
- Apply force directly or indirectly, intentionally to a person, without their consent;
- Threaten or attempt, by a gesture or act, to apply force to another person and can carry out the threatened or attempted action or causes the other party to believe that they can carry out the act; and
- Impede or accost another person or begs while openly carrying or wearing a weapon or an imitation thereof.
Consequences of a Domestic Assault Conviction
The consequences of a domestic assault conviction depend on the type and manner of assault and your relationship with the complainant. Domestic assault is considered an aggravating circumstance on sentences, and its penalties may include:
- Automatic arrest and jail time until your bail hearing;
- Up to five to ten years imprisonment, depending on the offence;
- Restriction of travel to certain countries;
- Restriction of contact with the complainant or their family;
- Registration in the National Sex Registry for sexual assault;
- Registration in the National DNA Databank for sexual assault; and
- Compensation to the victim.
Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer?
Criminal defence lawyers have the training, knowledge and experience to help you. Some significant reasons to hire one include:
- To Protect Your Rights
The law still upholds your rights if you’re charged with domestic assault. A criminal defence lawyer will ensure this occurs.
- For Expert Guidance
Domestic assault cases are complicated. Criminal defence lawyers have the knowledge, expertise and experience to handle such cases properly. Your lawyer will explain all the case procedures and prepare you for the questions you’ll be asked throughout the case.
- To Get a Reduced Sentence
The consequences of domestic assault convictions vary based on several factors. Your criminal defence lawyer may succeed in having the charges against you dropped or they might be able to get you a plea agreement that could result in a shorter sentence. If you’re a first-time offender, your lawyer may be able to get you a noncustodial sentence and prevent you from going to jail. Whatever your domestic assault charge is for, a criminal defence lawyer will explore all your options and help you achieve the most favourable outcome.
- To Prove Your Innocence
Your criminal defence lawyer will actively work to find witnesses and evidence that can vindicate you. They will cross-examine all Crown witnesses to uncover gaps that could prove your innocence.
Are You Looking for a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Vancouver?
If you have been accused of domestic assault and need legal representation, contact Johnson Doyle Nelson & Anderson in Vancouver.
Our team of highly skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyers will provide you with personal legal representation as you fight your case.
Call us at 604-688-8338 to schedule a consultation today.