Violent & Domestic Offences

Violent offences refer to a number of charges that arise from allegations of violence or a threat of violence. Charges can range from Criminal Harassment to Home Invasions.

Violent offences refer to a number of charges that arise from allegations of violence or a threat of violence. Charges can range from Criminal Harassment to Home Invasion.

A common example of a violent offence is Assault. Assault charges can include assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, or aggravated assault. Aggravated assault refers to charges where the complainant alleges substantial injury from the force applied.

If you have a close relationship with the complainant, your charges may be categorized as Domestic. This typically includes family members, and current or former partners.

Domestic charges may result in stricter sentences.

There is a large spectrum of defences including identification, self-defence, and consent.

With charges that involve police surveillance or eyewitness identification, Roulston Criminal Defence Firm can analyze the evidence to safeguard against improper identification.

Prosecution of violent crimes and domestic offences often requires reliance on testimony from alleged victims. Sometimes these alleged victims have ulterior motives such as, civil law suits, child welfare matters, property issues, divorce. 

At times, the Crown will prosecute a Violent Offence even if the complainant wishes to withdraw their allegations. This is most common in Domestic Violence cases. We can expose the truth through vigorous cross-examination and by making sure you have the opportunity to tell your side of the story.

In most cases, particularly Domestic Violence cases, release conditions prohibit you from contacting the complainant, even if you otherwise reside in the same home. It is possible for you have those conditions changed but doing so often requires consent from the Crown.

If you are a first time offender charged with a less serious offence like simple assault, you may be eligible for the Alternative Measures Program (AMP). If you complete the conditions imposed by AMP, your charges will be withdrawn.

Similarly, if you are charged with a less serious offence that is in some way engendered by a mental health disorder, you may be eligible for Mental Health Diversion (MHD). If you meet MHD’s criteria and successfully complete treatment conditions, your charges will be withdrawn. Although Domestic Violence offences cannot be referred to AMP, they can be diverted through MHD.

In Domestic Violence cases, you may be able to resolve the matter by signing a Peace Bond after which your charges will be withdraw. A Peace Bond imposes a number of conditions over a period of months. Depending on the allegations the length of the Peace Bond may vary. Breaching those conditions will likely result in a new set of charges.

AMP, MHD and peace bonds require the Crown’s consent so it is vital to have a lawyer with the resources necessary to make these resolutions available.

The legal consequences depend on a variety of factors including your criminal history, the nature and extent of the charges, the degree of provocation, and the degree of pre-meditation.

Sentences may vary from a fine, to a probationary period, to a jail sentence. For instance, Robbery with a firearm carries a minimum sentence of four years imprisonment, or if the firearm is prohibited, five years imprisonment. Comparatively, a simple assault or uttering threats on which the crown proceeded summarily may result in a fine.