The Complexities of Calgary Sexual Assault Charges and Charter Rights: Part 3
This is Part 3 of a three-part article series. Please click here for Part 1 or Part 2.
As discussed in the previous two parts of this article, sexual assault charges and common assault charges in Calgary are somewhat related due to their common origins in the Criminal Code of Canada. Not only are there certain differences in the way these cases proceed in the Calgary courts, though, but there are also differences in the way the public often perceives these cases and is being encouraged to perceive them.
In short, groups like the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Services contend that as many as 97% of all sexual assaults in the province go unreported to law enforcement agencies such as the Calgary Police, and that a fear of being disbelieved is responsible for preventing many alleged victims of sexual assault from coming forward. For that reason, they've engaged in campaigns such as the #IBelieveYou hashtag on social media, encouraging everyone to simply believe any accusation of sexaul assualt they are told about.
While the goals of this type of campaign are to help encourage real victims of sexual assault to speak out, they unfortunately fly in the face of the presumption of innocence, everyone accused of any crime throughout Canada, including those accused of sexual assault in and around the Greater Calgary Area, deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. When it comes to officers of the court such as Crown prosecutors and judges, they are actually required by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to treat everyone as innocent until proven otherwise.
How a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Can Help in Your Sexual Assault Case
Just as it is part of a Calgary defence lawyer's job to stay abreast of the latest news and other developments in the legal and cultural landscape affecting the criminal justice system, it is an important part of our job to stay unbiased, and to listen to and trust our clients. While public opinion may suggest that anyone accused of sexual assault is automatically guilty, your Calgary criminal defence lawyer will treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve, and will ensure that others acting in an official court capacity do so, as well.
In every criminal case, it is a defence lawyer's duty to ensure that rules and laws of investigation and prosecution are followed, and that every person accused of a crime gets fair treatment and a full chance to put forth their defence. This is what makes criminal defence lawyers so essential in sexual assault cases, where opposing views and biases can be especially strong.
A Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer with Your Interests at Heart
If you've been charged with sexual assault, you aren't being tried in the court of public opinion, and you don't have to face court officials who make you feel guilty simply because you've been accused. Contact a dedicated, compassionate, and knowledgeable Calgary criminal defence lawyer to get the help you deserve, contact Susan Karpa today.