Arrested for Domestic Violence? Learn How Our Lawyers Can Help

Crimes involving domestic violence committed against an intimate partner have the power to turn people’s lives upside down. In addition to the stress and stigma attached to the accusation itself, the conditions imposed can upend lives from the moment the police are called. 

We know that most people faced with domestic violence charges want their lives to go back to the way they were. It can feel particularly frustrating when the complexity of a long-standing relationship is reduced to words on a police report that is devoid of context, and that paints only one side as an aggressor. We understand that every story has two sides, and we’re committed to fighting for you.  

We approach every domestic violence case with the goal of mitigating the potential consequences of a conviction. We understand what’s at stake. The only thing preventing a domestic violence charge from turning into a drug conviction is unrelenting advocacy from experienced Montreal criminal lawyers who have dealt with many of these cases before. Our lawyers are prepared to do what is necessary to fight these charges and secure the best possible outcome for our clients.

What to Do if You Have Been Charged with a Domestic Violence Offence

Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent

If you have been charged with drug trafficking or possession with intent to traffic, it is crucial that you exercise your right to remain silent. You should avoid making any statements to the police.

The role of law enforcement is to collect evidence, not to act as judge or jury. The police provide information to the prosecutor to help them decide whether or not to press criminal charges. Therefore, it is imperative that you only discuss your case with your lawyer.

Start Preparing Your Defence

If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is crucial to act quickly and start preparing your defence while the details are still fresh in your mind.  It is generally recommended that you reflect on your version of events and take mental note of important information, such as:

  • Potential witnesses who can corroborate your account; 
  • Messages exchanged between you and the complainant  (or any evidence that may be useful down the line);
  • The moments leading up to the violence (what was said/done and by who); 
  • Injuries that you may have;

Respect Your Release Conditions

When you get arrested, you may be released and given a promise to appear that lays out certain conditions. It is important that you read and follow these conditions carefully. If you fail to comply, you could face additional criminal charges, which would make it more difficult to resolve your current case.

Although these conditions may be a source of stress, they can be modified either by consent of the Crown or through an application to Superior Court.

Consult with a Criminal Lawyer

You no doubt have many questions and are concerned about your future. You require the guidance and support of experienced criminal defence lawyers in Montreal who have repeatedly helped people like you.

Contact us today to learn how we can guide you through this challenging time. We are fully prepared to take on your case. Let’s get started!

STEP INTO OUR OFFICE

UNDERSTANDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENCES AND WHAT TO EXPECT

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is not a particular crime in the Criminal Code. Rather it entails any form of violence against an intimate partner. Charges typically take the form of: assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, choking, aggravated assault, uttering threats, forcible confinement, criminal harassment, and more.

What happens if you breach your conditions?

You may be arrested and face additional charges if you violate your conditions. This could result in you being detained pending trial and is generally viewed as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Can my release conditions be modified?

Release conditions may be modified with the prosecutor’s consent or an application to the Superior Court, depending on the circumstances of the case.

What happens if I’m convicted of a domestic violence offence?

According to Section 718.2(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code, domestic violence is considered an aggravating factor in sentencing. This means that it is difficult to obtain more lenient sentences for such crimes, although not impossible. While there are no mandatory minimum sentences for assault, the sentencing directives tend to act as de facto mandatory minimums.

What is criminal harassment?

Criminal harassment covers a wide array of non-violent behaviours that cause the complainant to reasonably fear for their safety. In order to be convicted of criminal harassment, the accused must be aware of the effect of the conduct on the complainant (although recklessness or willful blindness is a substitute for actual awareness).

What is your approach to resolving domestic violence files?

Our approach to resolving domestic violence files will vary from case to case. Factors to take into consideration include the duration of the relationship, the nature of the criminal activity, the duration of the criminality (whether this was a one-time instance or years of abuse) and the individual profile of the accused. We often work alongside our clients to build a profile through rehabilitation (such as therapy, anger management, rehab, etc.) that presents the best version of the offender and works to address the causes of the events in question. Of course, where there is no viable path to satisfactory resolution through negotiation, we will vigorously defend the interests of our clients at a preliminary inquiry, trial or contested sentencing hearing.   

If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence offence, the time to act is now. We’ve helped others facing similar situations and will do everything in our power to help you as well. Contact us today for a consultation.

Facing criminal charges in Montreal or surrounding areas? Contact us now—we’re here to help!

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