A Calgary Defence Lawyer's Perspective on Domestic Violence and Abuse: Part 1

No one in Calgary wants to be in an abusive relationship. No one wants to find themselves facing criminal charges over a domestic dispute, either, yet the Calgary courts deal with assault charges and other offences arising from alleged domestic abuse cases every day. It's all too possible to find yourself charged with a crime due to a domestic dispute even if no violence occurred, and in some cases even if you are the victim of abuse yourself.

How can you protect yourself against criminal charges arising from domestic disputes in Calgary? Attending counseling with your partner to find healthy ways to handle problems in your relationship is key, but it won't eliminate your legal vulnerability. Understanding the various laws that can lead to an arrest by the Calgary Police and/or charges brought by the Crown prosecutor is also important. Knowing what the law has to say about domestic violence and other forms of domestic abuse can help you avoid behaviors that might be considered criminal.

If you have already been charged with an offence related to domestic abuse/domestic violence, understanding the law will also help you as you work with your Calgary defence lawyer.

Assault Charges Arising from Domestic Disputes in Calgary

One of the most common charges arising out of domestic disputes in Calgary is a charge for assault. Any unwanted physical contact can lead to an assault charge in any situation, and in the emotionally-heated circumstances of an argument between two people in a relationship such contact can occur. Simply grabbing someone's arm, blocking someone's path, or touching them in any way that they do not consent to can lead to a criminal charge for assault.

In fact, you can find yourself facing an assault charge for domestic violence even if no physical contact occurred. Making verbal threats of violence to someone, or making intimidating gestures with a weapon of any sort, can also meet the legal definition of assault and lead to an arrest by the Calgary Police and a charge being laid against you by the Crown prosecutor. False allegations of abuse can also lead to arrests and criminal assault charges—domestic abuse is something the criminal justice system is increasingly vigilant about, and this can lead to arrests and charges without evidence and possibly in violation of your Charter rights.

Arguments happen in every relationship. For the sake of your relationship and your future, remember that any threat of violence or any unwanted physical contact can lead to an assault charge in the Calgary courts. Keep the law on your side, and avoid these potentially criminal acts. If you do find yourself charged with assault or another crime arising out of an alleged occurrence of domestic abuse, contact an experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer right away to protect your rights and give yourself the best possible chance to put your life and your family back together again.

In Part 2 of this article, we'll look at non-physical domestic abuse as defined by the laws at work in Calgary. In the meantime, if you have questions about your case please contact me today for a free initial consultation with one of Calgary's fiercest defence lawyers.