Domestic violence lawyer
If you have been the victim of domestic violence, abuse or assault, it is your best interest to contact a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. You have rights… and we take great pride in defending your rights!
Crimes that involve domestic violence (commonly also referred to as domestic abuse and domestic assault) are often more tragic by nature than other violent crimes. Why? Because they involve criminal actions between two or more people who supposedly loved and trusted one another at some point in time. That is what makes dealing with domestic abuse and violence cases so much more complicated than dealing with standard assault cases. In the end, loved ones or former loved ones get pitted against each other in a courtroom where at least one of the loved one’s freedom, physical safety, psychological health and general security is at risk.
What is Domestic Violence?
To be very clear, there is no specific crime labeled as “domestic violence” in Canadian law. For the most part, domestic abuse starts as a standard criminal offense such as assault, forcible confinement, making verbal threats, stalking, psychological abuse, dangerous driving, or a host of other assault-based crimes. What throws these crimes into the domestic violence category is that perpetrator or perpetrators and the victim or victims are or were at one time in an intimate relationship of some kind.
The term “intimate relationship” covers a very broad spectrum of relationships. It can mean husband/wife, love partners, parent/child where the child is of adult age, family members, dating partners, or perhaps roommates.
As is the case in assault, domestic crimes do not have to involve acts of physical violence. If psychological, mental, or emotional abuse is evident, it could be classified as domestic abuse.
Protecting the plantiff
When a loved one feels compelled to reach out to law enforcement for help related to a domestic assault, there is a high level of certainty that someone is getting arrested. You see, law enforcement takes these charges or accusations very seriously. They have to because domestic altercations usually involve two people who are living in the same dwelling. When the perpetrator is removed for the safety of the victim, they are essentially being removed from their own home.
Once charges have been filed, law enforcement and the courts have an obligation to protect the plaintiff from the defendant. To do this, the defendant is taken before a judge within the first few days of being arrested. The judge must decide whether or not the defendant needs to be confined in jail. If bail or release is granted, the judge has to decide what kind of conditions they need to place on the defendant after release.
If there is sufficient reason to believe the plaintiff could be in some danger, the judge could issue a restraining order. That would put the defendant in a situation where they might not be able to return home. The judge could also choose to limit or restrict communications between the parties as well as any children if the charges involve immediate family members.
The bottom line is this, the plaintiff must be protected from the potential of additional violence and potential harassment against them at all costs. Even if the plaintiff decides they want to drop the charges, the prosecutor still has an obligation to review the circumstances of the alleged crime. If they believe there is an ongoing threat to the plaintiff, they could choose to keep the charges against the accused on file.
Procedures for the defendant
Since the underlying charges with domestic abuse and violence are in fact criminal charges, the defendant will need to hire a domestic violence lawyer that has proven experience dealing with these sorts of legal matters. A good domestic violence defence lawyer should be hired prior to any conversations with law enforcement and certainly prior to the defendant’s first appearance in court.
It would be the responsibility of the domestic violence lawyer to determine the best course of defense for the defendant. During the first court appearance, a lawyer for family violence would be the one trying to negotiate the conditions of release. Defendants still have rights, and any conditions the court might place on the defendant’s release should be fair and reasonable.
Prior to a potential trial, there might be an opportunity for a peaceful resolution to the case. That’s when hiring a divorce lawyer familiar with domestic abuse might be the right decision. If both the defendant and plaintiff were to agree to simply part ways, that could be enough to satisfy the prosecutor.
If you have been arrested for a domestic crime/violence, your first reaction should to immediately contact a domestic violence defence lawyer. You are facing serious criminal charges that could quickly result in your going to prison. You need an attorney to protect your interests and rights from the very start.
Call Cabinet Gelber Liverman, we will be there to help you through this difficult process.