What domestic assault? What are the related criminal consequences?
Domestic violence can take many forms. It need not be simply physical, and can include, among other acts, psychologically or emotionally abusive actions, and threats against a partner, children, pets, or property. Though men are commonly accused of committing these acts of domestic assault against women, domestic violence does not discriminate. It can occur in situations where the woman is the abusive partner, or in same-sex relationships.
There are no criminal charges that deal directly with domestic assaults. Instead, these acts fall under the established assault provisions in the Criminal Code. An individual may face assault charges even if their victim does not experience physical injury, as the criteria for assault specify that use of force or a threat to use force are sufficient to quality the offence.
When criminal charges are incurred related to a domestic assault, the case will progress within the court system through the Domestic Violence Court (DVC) Program. The DVC Program is made up of specialized courts dedicated solely to domestic matters. Aside from addressing the criminal charges in these situations, the DVC Program emphasizes and promotes counselling services for all parties involved.
It is important to note that domestic issues can be a cyclical process, not only in the sense that they can occur several times within established relationships, but in the sense that these issues can exist throughout generations within a family. While there are ample services for victims of domestic abuse, finding services for those accused of abusive behaviour is not as easy. It is not uncommon to find that abusers have themselves been victims in the past, and would also benefit from counselling services.
In Hamilton, the PAR Program offers programs that address issues domestic abusers face in their own lives. PAR stands for Partner Assault Response, and the counselling PAR provides stresses identifying past and current sources of anger and how to manage such anger in productive and peaceful ways.
An accusation of domestic assault does not automatically mean that the individual convicted will face time in custody. In domestic cases, it is possible that an individual’s charges will be dropped if they agree to enter into a peace bond. A peace bond is a court order where the individual promises to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a maximum of one year. There may be additional criteria included in the peace bond, such as conditions that mandate staying away from a certain person or a certain area.
Peace bonds are especially beneficial because they do not give the accused individual a criminal record unless that individual violates the conditions of the peace bond. This is a much less disruptive option for domestic issue resolution.
The lawyers at Smordin Law understand the intricacies of dealing with domestic matters. These matters are sensitive and can become especially complex because they involve individuals who have close familial ties. It is important to retain a lawyer in domestic matters, as a lawyer can ensure that individuals have the best chance at a resolution that is most beneficial for all parties involved. If you are facing charges that stem from a domestic situation, contact Smordin Law to discuss your next steps.
Smordin Law Criminal Lawyers
41 King William St. #200
Tel: 1 (905) 525-0005
Toll Free: 1 (844) 525-0005
Fax: 1 (905) 525-5716