Even a Simple Assault Charge Can Be Serious in Calgary Courts
As you may already know, it's all too easy to find yourself charged with assault in Calgary. According to the law applicable in Alberta that defines criminal assault, any purposeful unwanted physical contact, or even the threat of physical violence without any contact, in certain circumstances, is grounds for an assault charge.
While it is somewhat true that some common assault charges come with the threat of less extreme penalties, all assault charges are taken very seriously by the Calgary Police and Crown prosecutors. Anyone accused of assault in Calgary should take their charges seriously, too, and should contact a criminal defence lawyer to assist them with their case as soon as possible.
Two Types of Assault Proceedings in the Calgary Courts
Many relatively minor crimes in Calgary are tried as "summary conviction offences," while more serious crimes are considered "indictable offences." Certain types of crimes, such as assault, are called "hybrid offences," and can be tried as either summary conviction or indictable offences depending on the circumstances and the severity of the alleged crime. Crown prosecutors, after consulting with Calgary Police or other law enforcement, will typically decide whether to proceed with an assault charge as a summary conviction or an indictable offence, though there are times that a Calgary defence lawyer may be able to raise certain points that influence the decision.
If your case is tried as a summary conviction offence, your trial (if you and your defence lawyer decide to proceed to trial) may happen much faster, and will take place only in front of a judge rather than in front of a full judge and jury. You will also face more limited penalties if you are convicted, but these penalties, including up to six months in jail, can have a significant impact on your life. Six months away from your family, your job, and your Calgary community can be a major setback both professionally and emotionally, and the record of your assault conviction could continue to have ramifications down the road.
There are also potential civil penalties, i.e. fines and possibly restitution, depending on the circumstances of your assault charge, that you may be penalized with. Even if you feel that your assault charge is wholly unwarranted, if you're convicted you could face some significant financial penalties if convicted. Once Calgary police or another law enforcement agency has laid an assault charge against you, it is in your best interests to contact a Calgary criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.
A Calgary Defence Lawyer You Can Count On
Susan Karpa has dedicated herself to defending anyone in Calgary accused of a crime, and she has extensive experience handling all manner of assault cases. She treats every client with the attention and the compassion they deserve, with a unique approach to everyone's defence that takes their situation and circumstances into account. For a free consultation regarding your assault charge, and for representation that can help you move on with your life quickly, please contact her office today.