Domestic Assault Lawyer

Remember that in Canadian criminal law, you are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Whether an actual assault has or has not been committed depends on the specific facts of each individual case.  In some cases one party gets charged with assault even though a fight might have been consensual.  Consent can be a defence to an assault charge.

The most frequent type of assault seen in the criminal justice system is common assault (also known as “spousal assault” or “domestic assault”). This is Section 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

A “domestic assault” is typically where the crime takes place in the home, usually by one spouse against another.  Very often with domestic assaults there are no witnesses other than the person accused and the complainant.  These are difficult cases and create challenges for the Crown to prove in many situations.  Often there has been a pattern of violence over a long period of time.  Repeat offenders are not uncommon.  At the same time, spousal assaults are one area of law where false accusations can occur.  Even when good investigative police work has taken place it can still be difficult to figure out the facts of the case and to apply the law to those facts.

Spousal assaults are taken very seriously by the Courts and if you have been charged with a spousal assault you are well advised to speak to a lawyer.  Call this Red Deer Criminal lawyer and get an experienced lawyer on your side.  Remember, there are a lot of resources stacked against you.  If you don’t have your own lawyer looking out for your interests things can really go against you.

Assault As Defined In The Criminal Code

265. (1) A person commits an assault when

(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or

(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.


(2) This section applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.


(3) For the purposes of this section, no consent is obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of

(a) the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;

(b) threats or fear of the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;

(c) fraud; or

(d) the exercise of authority.

Accused’s belief as to consent

(4) Where an accused alleges that he believed that the complainant consented to the conduct that is the subject-matter of the charge, a judge, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that, if believed by the jury, the evidence would constitute a defence, shall instruct the jury, when reviewing all the evidence relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused’s belief, to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.

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