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Domestic Violence Lawyer Toronto

Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Domestic Violence Charge Law Firm

There is a zero tolerance policy against domestic assault and threatening 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 domestic assault or threatening, you will, in all likelihood, be prosecuted. A conviction for domestic violence or threatening 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 domestic violence and assault defence lawyer on your side. As a senior criminal defence lawyer, I have the knowledge and the experience necessary to defend charges of violent crimes. 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. I expose lack of evidence and complaints without any confirmed injury or uncorroborated threat allegations. I conduct independent investigations and thoroughly prepare your case for court.

Working to Preserve Your Freedom

In domestic assault and threatening 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. 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 domestic violence 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.

Pre-Trial Charter Applications

Often, the best defence to a criminal charge involves a challenge to the investigation that resulted in the arrest of the accused or the collection of evidence against the accused. The police are not allowed to breach the rights that are guaranteed to the accused by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I will investigate any possible Charter breaches by carefully reviewing the Crown disclosure documents, including the documents used by the police to obtain search warrants for the home, car or other property of the accused, and the documents used by the police to obtain production orders, such as for cell phone records and wiretap authorizations.

If I detect any violation of the Charter rights of the accused or violation of acceptable investigative procedures established by the courts, I will proceed with an application asking for the exclusion of evidence from the trial of the accused obtained illegally by the police, including the statements of the accused and other evidence seized during the investigation.

I have an established reputation for success in pre-trial applications. Winning a Charter application will result in the exclusion of evidence if the court determines that not excluding the evidence will bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The exclusion of evidence often results in a finding of not guilty if the Crown's remaining evidence is insufficient to prove that the accused committed the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have the necessary experience, research skills, writing skills, and advocacy skills to prepare and effectively argue pre-trial Charter applications. The value of legal writing skills cannot be overstated since proceeding with pre-trial Charter applications will require the preparation of several documents including a Notice of Application, an Affidavit, and a Factum setting out the relevant facts and summarizing the relevant case law.

Electing to Have a Preliminary Inquiry

In all cases, in which a Defendant is facing a possible mandatory penalty of imprisonment for life, the Defendant will have the right to proceed with a preliminary inquiry in the Ontario Court of Justice and then a trial in the Superior Court of Justice before a court composed of a Judge sitting with a jury or without a jury. In the past, this level of court was referred to as "High Court".

The completion of a preliminary inquiry is not mandatory. The Defendant has the right to waive the preliminary inquiry and to proceed directly to trial in either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice. If the trial is to be completed in the Superior Court of Justice, the waiver of the preliminary inquiry will require the consent of the Crown.

At a preliminary inquiry, the Crown is required to call some evidence upon which a properly instructed jury, acting reasonably, may return a verdict of guilt. This is an easy test for the Crown to meet in the vast majority of cases. Accordingly, it is relatively rare for someone who proceeds with a preliminary inquiry to be discharged with respect to all of the charges which he or she is facing. The real value in having a preliminary inquiry is not in the hope of being entirely discharged, thereby bringing the entire criminal proceedings to an end, but in being able to better prepare the case for trial. The defence lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine and test the evidence of the primary Crown witnesses. An experienced and skilled defence lawyer can discover the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown witnesses and commence building an effective defence strategy. A preliminary inquiry is especially valuable for the defence in cases involving young, infirm, unreliable or unsavory Crown witnesses.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your domestic assault or threatening 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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