A Calgary Defence Lawyer's Perspective on Domestic Violence and Abuse: Part 3
In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the assault laws in place in Canada's criminal code and how they might apply to domestic abuse cases in Calgary. You learned that you can be charged with assault if there is any unwanted physical contact between you and your partner, and even if there is a verbal threat of violence or a physical gesture of intimidation. In cases of alleged domestic abuse involving physical violence, assault charges are among the most common laid against Calgary citizens.
Part 2 examined an aspect of domestic abuse that many ignore: emotional abuse, specifically in the form of what the law calls "uttering threats." Making a threat of violence against another person, their family members, a pet, or someone's property is also a crime in Calgary, even if there is no immediate potential for the violence to take place. Though tempers sometimes flare in every relationship, when they flare in the wrong direction it's all too easy to be charged with a crime.
The assault charges and charges for uttering threats that can arise in alleged cases of domestic abuse in Calgary both come from federal laws that apply throughout Canada. Alberta is one of six provinces that has enacted specific laws aimed at reducing domestic abuse and family violence, and it's important to understand how these laws apply to alleged cases instances of abuse in the Calgary area.
Violation of Protection Orders is a Crime Under Calgary Law
Alberta's Protection Against Family Violence Act doesn't create new or additional crimes for acts that can be part of domestic abuse claims, such as assault and uttering threats. It does, however, enable family members and others in Calgary to obtain a protective order if a judge determines that an act of assault or other form of domestic abuse has occurred. A protective order makes it illegal for the person accused of abuse to approach or live with the alleged victim of the abuse, and may contain other provisions specific to the circumstances involved.
A protective order can be issued against you even if you have not been charged with a crime, and it isn't uncommon for those charged with assault in domestic abuse situations to find themselves served with a protective order before they have had a chance to present their case in court. While this may seem unfair, it is important to remember that violating a protective order is a crime in and of itself in Calgary, and can harm you legally as well as harming your relationship.
Even if you are being falsely accused of abuse, if a protective order is issued by a Calgary judge you must abide by it. No matter what your situation, going against a protective order can only harm your case.
Charges Related to Domestic Abuse Contact a Calgary Defence Lawyer Today
If you've been charged with a crime related to an incident of alleged domestic abuse, you are facing a serious legal situation. It's your right under the law, and in your best interests, to partner with an experienced Calgary defence lawyer. For a free initial consultation, please contact my office today.