Do you know what happens if you get charged with sexual assault? Now, do you know what you can do if you get charged with historical sexual assault? We’ve broken down the criminal code here for you to understand what you can do to avoid a criminal record.
Can someone accuse me of sexual assault years after an alleged incident? Will I be charged?
A statute of limitations period does not apply to sexual assault accusations in Canada. This means a complainant may raise allegations against an accused at any point in time. Sexual assault charges can still be brought against the accused even if the alleged incident of a sexual nature occurred in the distant past. If historical sexual assault accusations are brought against you, Roulston Urquhart will work tirelessly to clear you of these charges.
What does statute of limitations mean?
In Canada, there are three types of criminal convictions. These include summary, indictable and hybrid. Summary offences are less serious and may result in shorter jail terms, lesser fines, or probation. Indictable offences are crimes of greater severity and risk facing longer prison sentences and significant monetary penalties. For a hybrid offence, the Crown Prosecutor determines whether the case will be designated as indictable or summarily based on the facts.
A statute of limitations is the restricted time period that the Crown may lay charges against an individual. For a summary offence, the statute of limitations is up to six months after the alleged incident. For indictable offences, a statute of limitations does not apply. This means that there is no restriction as to when an individual can be charged with an indictable offence, which includes sexual assault.
What does case law say about consent?
A major Canadian case that involved consent regarding sexual assault was R v Ewanchuk (1999). This case determined that implied consent was not a valid argument in a sexual assault case. Whether the complainant consented is determined by their subjective internal state of mind at the time the touching occurred. The consent provided by an individual applies only to that specific sexual act, it does not provide a blanket consent to future acts. This case emphasizes the requirement for individuals to receive consent for all sexual activity.
Historical Sexual Assault Example: Hockey Canada
It was alleged in 2003 six players on the Canadian world junior hockey team sexually assaulted a woman in Halifax. Sources have claimed that video footage of the reported incident exists. The allegations of the historic sexual assault in 2003 highlight that an individual can still be investigated and charged for an act nearly 20 years later. Since a statute of limitations does not apply for sexual assault charges, these types of accusations can be investigated at any point.
Historical sexual assault allegations can be very harmful to your present-day reputation, family, and career. The lawyers at Roulston Urquhart are highly experienced in defending alleged sexual assault charges. They have even represented clients in sexual assault trials with sexual abuse criminal charges dating forty years back. Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence lawyers have developed a respected position in the legal field for their work in this area.