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R v MM - Domestic Assault

What Is An Assult Charge

What Happens When A R v MM - Domestic Assault?

By: James M. Lutz, Q.C. & Jillian Williamson

Our firm recently represented a man charged with domestic assault. In this case, my client and his partner had been in a relationship for approximately 18 months. Unfortunately, due to the stresses that inevitably arise in domestic relationships compounded by the stresses of the pandemic an unfortunate incident occurred between the two.  Both parties had been consuming alcohol. Eventually, a neighbor called the police due to overhearing them fighting. The police responded. They heard the complainant crying. They located my client and interrogated him. The neighbor also alleged that my client uttered death threats against her as well. This resulted in an arrest and multiple serious criminal charges before the court.

The offence of assault is committed through the intentional application of force to another person’s body without consent. The offence of assault can be minor where an accused is charged with section 266 of the Criminal Code or severe where if significant injury occurs the accused can be charged with aggravated assault contrary to section 268 of the Code. Assaults that occur in a domestic or intimate relationship are statutorily aggravating which increases the potential penalty.

The offence of uttering threats can occur when someone alleges a person knowingly expressed or conveyed a threat to cause harm or death. In this case, it was alleged my client said that he “would put a bullet between her eyes.”

Through the investigation, the police uncovered more criminal allegations against my client with the complainant through form called a FVIR (Family Violence Investigation Report). This is a report law enforcement use in domestic cases. In some situations, this can lead to further aggravating factors or additional criminal charges. Often times, complainants do not understand this and or it is not the intention for additional charges to result, but it is common and should be known.

In this case, the police and the prosecution had ample inculpatory evidence against my client. My client understood the risk of jail was high if he proceeded to trial. We met and prepared several possible defence strategies. In the end, my client asked me to keep him out of jail. That was his ultimate goal. Fortunately, he was willing to take strategic steps to assist me while I built the best possible mitigation plan. We proceeded to a contested sentencing hearing. Ultimately, the court sided with us and imposed a sentence that kept my client out of jail.

This case demonstrates two important points. First, through the criminal investigation additional charges can arise after the initial incident. This can complicate the original defence strategy that may be in progress. Secondly, building a strategy and working with your lawyer to achieve the best possible result is critical and even though domestic assault is treated very seriously jail isn’t the only option.

If you have been charged with domestic assault, you need an experienced serious lawyer who defends serious allegations every single day.

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When you’re facing possible jail time over a fraud charge, it’s important to find the right defence lawyer. Our defence lawyers team can help make sure you are well represented, and your rights are being protected.

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