A Calgary Defence Lawyer's Perspective on Domestic Violence and Abuse: Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, we looked at some of the ways you can find yourself facing a criminal charge due to an alleged incident of domestic violence. Specifically, we looked at Calgary's assault laws and the fact that any unwanted physical contact and even verbal threats of violence or physical intimidation can lead to an assault charge. False allegations of abuse may also lead to an arrest by the Calgary Police and the laying of assault charges by a Crown prosecutor.
If you've been charged with assault, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced Calgary defence lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to help you understand your options, and can also suggest resources to help you prevent further assault charges and alleged instances of domestic abuse. Most importantly, a defence lawyer is your advocate in Calgary's criminal justice system, and will make sure your rights are protected when you've been charged with assault or any other crime.
Domestic abuse, real or alleged, can lead to other charges aside from assault. While assault charges in Calgary deal with physical violence or the threat of physical violence, the law recognizes several crimes that can be considered emotional abuse. If you are charged with one of these crimes, you could be facing sentences that are as serious as those for assault charges.
Uttering Threats as Domestic Abuse Under Calgary Law
Canada's criminal code includes several provisions that can come into play during alleged cases of domestic abuse. One of these is the provision against uttering threats, which makes it a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to, "knowingly utter, convey or cause any person to receive a threat (a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person; (b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or (c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person."
Note that this is a separate charge from committing assault with a threat or intimidating gesture. When an assault charge is laid against someone in Calgary for making a threat of violence, there is usually an immediacy to the threat for example, raising a fist to someone right in front of you and saying you're going to punch them. There doesn't need to be the same immediacy to be charged with uttering a threat. If you tell someone you plan on harming them, a family member, a pet, or their property, you can be charged with a serious crime.
A domestic dispute is an emotionally heated affair, and things said when tempers are high can come back to hurt you. From both an emotional and a legal standpoint, you're much better off finding a way other than threats to communicate with your partner.
Consult with a Calgary Defence Lawyer for Charges Related to Domestic Abuse
If your partner has accused you of physical and/or emotional abuse and you have been charged with a crime, you are entitled to experienced and dedicated legal counsel. For a free initial consultation, please contact my office today.