Faith In The Legal System
See how we handled our recent case, R v AN.
We recently represented a father charged with assaulting his stepson. My client came to me fearful and upset that he had been charged with a criminal allegation of assault when he knew that what he was doing was in the exercise of disciplining and parenting his young stepson.
My client explained to me that his stepchild was troubled and had a history of abusing his siblings. On the day of the incident, his stepchild was screaming and becoming violent. This forced my client to take certain actions. He admitted that he did place his hands and physically touch this child. Of course, the child did not consent to these acts. Physical touching without consent constitutes the actus reus of the offence of assault.
My client explained what he did and why. I began building my defence theory and strategy brick by brick for my client. We built an argument around the use of force by a parent pursuant to the physical discipline sections of the Criminal Code as well as mistake of fact and defence of property. I counselled my client on the inherent risks of proceeding to trial. Most people do not understand this, but the crown prosecutor is the most powerful person in the courtroom. If we end up in front of a judge it is because of the prosecutor. At any moment though, the prosecutor has the power to stop the trial. This can result in the charges being withdrawn or stayed. I negotiated with the prosecutor along the way and even at trial.
The young child testified and gave evidence as to his version of events. His sibling also took the stand and gave her version of events. At this point, I continued to negotiate with the prosecutor when we were not in the courtroom in front of the judge. I knew the risks that my client was facing. Our strategy depended on a number of factors and because I knew our judge and I’m familiar with his decisions I was worried. My client kept insisting on having faith in the legal system. I didn’t share his faith. However, we kept at it and I’m happy to say that the charge has been completely withdrawn. My client is walking away from a jail sentence, a criminal record, and a potentially devastating impact on the family law side. He’s overwhelmed with joy. He’s since clarified he maintained faith in me not the actual legal system.
If you’re currently facing charges, it is essential to seek a qualified lawyer. Contact our team at Ross Lutz Barristers to see the same success as we saw in R v AN.
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