Montreal Sexual Offenses Lawyer
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is section 271 of the Criminal Code and involves any touching that was done for a sexual purpose without the other party’s consent. This offence is far reaching and spans anything from an unwanted kiss to sexual intercourse.
What Other Sexual Offences Are There?
There are all sorts of other sexual offenses that the Criminal Code explicitly prohibits, such as: prostitution (s. 286.1), voyeurism (s. 162), sexual interference with a minor (s. 151), invitation to sexual touching (s. 152), and sexual exploitation (s. 153). Also, much like with regular assault, sexual assault can take on different forms, such as: sexual assault with a weapon (s. 272(1)(a)) sexual assault causing bodily harm (s. 272(1)(c)), and aggravated sexual assault (s. 273).
What Defences Are Available For Sexual Assault?
When it comes to sexual assault in particular, the most common defences are: (1) that the sexual conduct in question never took place; (2) that the sexual conduct in question took place but that the complainant consented; (3) that the sexual conduct in question took place and the complainant did not consent but you had an honest but mistaken belief that the complainant had communicated their consent.
What Happens If I’m Found Guilty Of A Sexual Offence?
When it comes to sexual offences committed against minors, many of these offences carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. Of course, when it comes to sexual offences more generally, on top of the stigma that comes with a conviction, you may also need to contend with placement on the sex offenders’ registry (which is mandatory for most sexual offences). While the crime of sexual assault (s. 271) does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, there is a maximum sentence of ten years of incarceration and, in the post #MeToo era, prosecutors often seek jail time for these offences.
Charged With Sexual Assault - Now What?
If you’ve been charged with a sexual offence, it is absolutely vital that you exercise your right to counsel immediately. More importantly, you should further invoke your right to remain silent.
Generally speaking, if you have a good recollection about the events in question, it is usually a good idea that you write down your version of events, especially take note of:
- Potential witnesses
- The words that were exchanged between you and the complainant
- Every sexual act that took place (and how consent was obtained)
- Any motive the complainant may have to fabricate these allegations
It is also a good idea to keep hold of any exculpatory evidence (such as text messages exchanged) that can help you down the line.
If you’re being investigated for a sexual offence, have been criminal charged or just have questions about your rights and obligations under the law, contact S. Zalman Haouzi Avocat today!