Have you been charged with a domestic violence offence? An intimate partner violence lawyer can protect your rights and help you understand the implications of your charges. Even if you have already decided not to contact a lawyer before making a statement to the police, there is still hope. We advise you to contact our office immediately and seek legal counsel.
There are many offences that can be alleged to have occurred in the domestic context. However, there are several that recur frequently, including assault, uttering threats, criminal harassment, and breaches of release orders. When these offences occur within the domestic context, whether against an intimate partner or against other family members, the charge is often subject to unique procedural considerations. For example, the pre-trial portion of the criminal process is typically dealt with by a specialized domestic violence court.
The penalties for domestic violence offences will depend greatly on the specific offence charged and on the underlying facts alleged by the Crown. First time offenders having only breached a no contact condition may expect a much lighter sentence if convicted than an individual with multiple prior convictions for domestic violence or an individual charged with a serious offence like assault by choking. However, offences which occur in the domestic context are almost invariably sentenced more harshly than comparable offences committed outside the domestic context. Both the common law (judge-made law) and the Criminal Code hold that offences against an intimate partner is aggravating.
Offences alleged to have occurred in the domestic context can have a number of serious legal and extra-legal implications for the accused person. An accused person is subject to the legal jeopardy of being charged with a criminal offence, but also faces the additional jeopardy of the aggravated sentencing regime applied to offences which occur in the domestic context. Moreover, accused persons are often placed on release conditions which prohibit or restrict their ability to visit or live at their residence and to see members of their family – most importantly their children. When dealing with allegations as serious as domestic violence, it is critically important that you receive the guidance and advocacy of experienced defence lawyers.
If you have any questions, contact our offices now so we can help address you or your loved one’s legal jeopardy. We are available 24/7. We are forceful advocates and we ensure that our clients throughout Alberta are provided with the best defence possible.