Domestic assaults are considered especially serious criminal offences, and usually carry harsher sentences than normal assault offences.
The key distinction between a regular assault and a domestic assault is that a domestic assault involves two people with a pre-existing relationship, such as partners or spouses. It can also extend to assaults between parents and children, siblings, and others in a close familial relationship.
To qualify as a domestic assault, the defendant has to use force or the threat of force against the complainant without their consent. Like all other assaults, domestic assaults can result in several different charges, such as:
- “Simple” domestic assault
- Aggravated domestic assault
- Domestic assault causing bodily harm
- Domestic assault with a weapon
When domestic assault charges are laid, they are often accompanied by other charges, such as uttering threats, criminal harassment, and mischief to property. Once a domestic assault allegation is made, the police will almost always arrest and charge the person alleged to have done it. And, after an arrest is made, the Crown will almost always proceed with the case, even if the complainant wants to drop the charges.
In order to obtain bail, a court will usually impose special terms and conditions. These conditions will often prevent the accused from having contact with the complainant until the case is resolved. This will usually prevent the accused from returning home. If there are minor children in the home, a client’s visitation rights and access can also be affected until the charges are resolved.
The consequences of a domestic assault conviction can also be devastating. Even beyond the risk of imprisonment, a criminal conviction for domestic assault can interfere with your ability to work, travel, and have access to your children.
When a domestic assault charge is laid, emotions are usually running high. The domestic assault lawyers at Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP understand the frustration one can experience after being charged with domestic assault. We have the experience to help our clients through the initial shock of being arrested and placed on restrictive bail conditions. We can take steps to lift those conditions and help you get your life back to normal.