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Domestic And Non-Domestic Criminal Harassment

Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Criminal Harassment Law Firm

There is a zero tolerance policy against domestic assault, threatening and criminal harassment in Ontario, regardless of whether the complainant is your wife or husband, your common-law spouse, one of your children, or a current or past girlfriend or boyfriend. If you are facing an allegation of criminal harassment you will, in all likelihood, be prosecuted. A conviction for criminal harassment is very serious and can result in significant penalties, including jail time. In addition, a conviction can hurt your case for custody and access in the event of family court proceedings.

Once a charge is filed, only the Crown can withdraw it. Even if your accuser decides not to move forward with the case, the Crown is likely to prosecute. It is important to have a qualified Toronto criminal harassment defence lawyer on your side. As a senior criminal defence lawyer, I have the knowledge and the experience necessary to defend charges of criminal harassment. I will challenge the prosecution's case and work hard for your acquittal.

I work to expose those who make reckless accusations to advance a separation or divorce strategy or simply to be spiteful. I expose lack of evidence and uncorro-borated criminal harassment allegations. I conduct independent investigations and thoroughly prepare your case for court.

Section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada, reads as follows:

Criminal Harassment

  • 264 (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

Prohibited Conduct

  • (2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of
    1. repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
    2. repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
    3. besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
    4. engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

It is an aggravating factor on sentencing if the person convicted of criminal harassment also, at the time of the offence, contravened the terms or conditions of a court order such as a Section 161 order, a Section 810 recognizance to keep the peace, a peace bond or a bail order.

Working to Preserve Your Freedom

In domestic criminal harassment cases, the bail conditions are as much of a concern as the charges themselves. The conditions are very specific, restrictive and usually include a prohibition on cohabiting or communicating with the complainant while your case is pending. If the complainant continues to live in your home, you will be allowed to return to your home one time, with a police escort, for personal belongings. If appropriate, I will file an application for a bail variation with the Superior Court of Justice seeking a change or variation to the conditions of your bail.

Some clients may be eligible for the Partner Assault Response program (PARs). This is a counselling program that you attend in exchange for being granted a discharge. This type of resolution will require you to plead guilty and can cause problems for you.

Sometimes the charges can be disposed of by you agreeing to participate in remedial programs, such as anger management and marriage counselling, and by agreeing to sign a peace bond stating that you promise to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. You may also then be allowed to have contact and to cohabit with the complainant with the complainant's prior written revocable consent. Such a resolution is not automatic; it is the Crown's decision, and careful negotiation is essential. I have been successful in these negotiations on many occasions for my clients.

For purposes of sentencing, it is an aggravating factor if, at the time that the offence was committed, the person charged contravened a court imposed prohibition order pursuant to Section 161 of the Criminal Code of Canada or a Recognizance to Keep the Peace, commonly referred to as a peace bond.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your criminal harassment case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I accept Visa and offer payment plans. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651- 2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or via e-mail.

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