Assault & Threats Lawyers in Calgary
If your matter involves violence in the context of a domestic situation i.e. a child, parent, sibling, wife, girlfriend, or common-law spouse; the police, prosecutors, and judges take such allegations VERY seriously. These types of assaults are typically referred to as “domestic assault”. For more information on assaults in a domestic context, please refer to the information under Domestic Violence.
Assault & Threat Charge
Assault can be defined as “the intentional application of force to a person without their consent”. Thus, assault charges can be laid in a wide variety of situations ranging from very minor applications of force, like grabbing someone, to much more serious actions, like kicks, punches, and even choking.
People are also often surprised by the fact that the decision to “drop” the charges does not belong to the complainant. Technically, once the police decide to lay the charges, the complainant becomes just another witness in the case that the police and the Crown Prosecutor are pursuing.
The Crown Prosecutor is the only person who can decide whether or not to drop the charges. Crown prosecutors are experienced government lawyers who will only drop the charges if there is:
- Insufficient evidence or
- It would be contrary to the public interest to prosecute.
Common Assault and Threat Charges
Assault and Threat charges are the most basic, and the most common types of violence charges. Unlike many other charges, the substantive evidence against you does not come from the police. The case will likely come down to the testimony of the person who says you threatened or assaulted him or her, and of course your evidence on the point. When reflecting on the incident, be sure to write down as much as possible about your interaction with the person against whom you are alleged to have committed an offence. Document injuries you have suffered, telephone calls made, and damage done.
In cases of Common Assault and Threat charges, the likelihood of going to jail if convicted is relatively minor, particularly if there is no criminal record for similar offences.
Offences that are typically associated with assault and physical violence, and are considered more serious, include the following:
- Assault of Police Officer
- Assault with a Weapon
- Assault Causing Bodily Harm
- Sexual Assault
- Break and Enter to Commit Assault
- Unlawful/Forcible Confinement
Bail Conditions for Assault & Threat Offences
If you are released while your charge works its way through the courts, you can expect to have the following conditions imposed:
- No communication with the alleged victim (this includes calling, texting, e-mailing, meeting, or passing messages through another person)
- A “no-go” condition banning you from going anywhere near the alleged victim’s home or place of work
- No weapons
- No drugs or alcohol if the police or Judge has reason to believe you were under the influence of intoxicants when you committed the crime)
As charges move from basic assault to more serious versions, the risk of jail time increases dramatically. It is important to note that although jail sentences can sometimes be served in the community, recent amendments to the Criminal Code have taken away that judicial discretion in cases involving significant violence. As such, the prospect of serving actual jail time is substantial.
Fortunately, because of the unpredictability of witness testimony, it is often a good idea to set the matter down for trial. Alternatively, there is a broad range of resolutions available to Crown and defence, often resulting with no criminal conviction at all on less serious variation of the charges.
If found guilty of assault, the possible penalties include the following:
- Up to five years in jail
- Up to three years of probation
- Fines of several thousand dollars
- An order that you give a sample of your DNA to the Canada-wide DNA Data Bank
- An order banning you from owning any weapons for up to ten years.
In addition, a conviction for assault can have a very negative impact on your ability to find or maintain certain types of employment. Employers are wary of permitting someone found guilty of assault to work with children, the elderly, or other vulnerable sectors in society.
Our criminal defence lawyers tailor the approach we take to every case depending on the specific goals of our clients. Whether it be completely avoiding a criminal record; avoiding a finding of guilt on a specific charge; or staying out of jail, we will create the roadmap to give you the best chance possible of achieving that result.
- What is assault?
- The victim of the assault changed their mind and does not want to press charges. Can they have the charges dropped?
- What are the best defences to an assault charge?
- How can I get my assault charges dropped?
- Self-Defence Laws in Canada
Michael Oykhman is a very professional lawyer and the first time I spoke to him he asked about my situation and he gave me some very helpful advice and assistance and also told me his odds of winning this case. During the days I was in contact with micheal I could feel the level of professionalism of him and his team, he is able to respond back to you with any questions you have within 24 hours. In the end he was as successful in helping me win my case as he had initially promised me.If you are still struggling to find a lawyer, I highly recommend Michael Oykhman.
Please give yourself a favour and contact Mr. Michael Oykhman if you need any legal advice or if you are in a terrible situation. Even-tough, the odds are not in your favour, still they will go extra miles to help you out in bad situation and get you favourable outcome. Moreover, They will work on your file even after the business hours. I don’t have words to say thanks to Mr. Michael oykhman and Kiran Cheema who had worked on my file and get me out of trouble. I’m very grateful for your assistance and exceptional service. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Laura Bobyn my lawyer was amazing and so supportive of my case and me. She fought with Tenacity to get my victory. It was amazing to hear how knowledgeable and how her attention to every little detail of my case was shown in her defence! She is the best and I would recommend her to anyone of my colleagues or people in my life! Thank you, Laura!
This law firm is your go-to!
I had the pleasure of working and trusting my case with Joseph Beller. I had 2 counts against me, and in the end, Joseph was able to present and use his “fighter skills” in court to have my charges lowered to a conditional discharge. On top of this, this firm follows its mission values statement by being ethical, transparent, available, and very friendly. Joseph and his team treated me with the utmost respect from start to finish. Thank you again, Joseph! I hope to never call you again 😊
Joseph Beller, from the very beginning when I first contacted and then retained Joseph as my representative I felt I was in good hands. When I emailed him with a question. I got a prompt response. We communicated often on the phone as needed. Joseph kept me informed as to the process. He made sure I knew all the potential results so I knew and could plan for the different outcomes. I know this his his job. But appreciate his professionalism and also his ability to not make me feel any extra stress. Well done.