Assault Charge Withdrawn
Ms. Williamson recently represented a woman charged with assault. Ms. Williamson’s client was alleged to have hit and scratched her husband during a heated argument. One of their children called 911 and summoned the police. The officers arrived and separated the parties. The complainant told the officers that he and his wife had been drinking and arguing for the past several days. Right before calling the police, the argument escalated where she hit and scratched him. He said he didn’t know what else do to so he told his child to call 911. Ms. Williamson’s client spoke with the police and explained she was trying to get her husband to stay in the home because he said he was leaving. In the process of stopping him from leaving she made physical contact with his body. She explained she did not mean to assault or hurt him in any way. Despite her statement, the police arrested and charged her with simple assault contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code.
Because of the allegation, conditions were placed on Ms. Williamson’s client which included a no-contact condition with her husband and her children. Another condition stopped her from going home. Ms. Williamson’s client was devastated as she believed she was innocent and shouldn’t be removed from her family or her home. However, she worked with Ms. Williamson and took some steps which helped get the conditions removed and eventually the charge was withdrawn.
Assault is a violent offence. Assault is also considered a serious offence. When an assault is alleged to have occurred between people living in the same home if they are in a romantic relationship or if there is a position of trust (for example: a father assaults a child) then statutorily aggravating factors apply. Aggravating factors will increase a sentence if a sentence is pronounced. Police officers and prosecutors generally take a strict approach with assault allegations. Meaning where they have discretion to divert the case or not proceed with charges, they often continue the prosecution and seek a severe penalty.
This case demonstrates the power of negotiation and why it is so important to work with your lawyer and complete the tasks they request. In this case, Ms. Williamson’s client engaged in counselling and completed a course. These steps enabled Ms. Wiliamson to convince the prosecutor that it was not in the public interest to continue the prosecution. Her client’s family was united and is stronger than ever.
If you have been charged with assault, you need a skilled criminal lawyer who specializes in defending serious cases like this every single day. Contact Alberta Legal today.
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