Domestic Violence is a very serious allegation, and may have a major impact on your life. It is important to know your rights, and understand exactly what your bail conditions are, and how you should follow them.
Most Common Bail Conditions:
In most domestic assault cases, there is usually a strict condition prohibiting the accused from contacting the complainant (the alleged victim). This is by far the most important and breach-heavy clause in most domestic assault cases. No contact is interpreted very strictly: directly or indirectly, through any electronic or written means or by direction of any third party. There are usually no exceptions to this bail condition, unless the crown allows you have written revocable consent. It is very important that you follow your bail conditions.
Failing to adhere to the no-contact clause or any of your other bail conditions may lead to further criminal charges, including a Fail to Comply charge (which may or may not lead to another bail hearing). Be sure to know what your conditions are – contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your have been charged to know your rights!
Can the charges be dropped by the complainant?
For public policy reasons, after a complaint has been made against an accused, the power is no longer in the complainant’s hands. Rather, the power to press charges is now in the hands of the government, including the police and the crown attorney’s office. Public policy governs in these cases, and therefore the Crown pursues the accused very hard, in order to protect the rights of victims of domestic abuse. If the complainant attends the court in order to attempt to drop the charges, they will be directed to the Victim Witness Assistance Program, where they will be asked to make a statement which can be introduced as evidence at a bail hearing or trial.
When Can I Go Home?
If you have clothes/other belongings at home, you must look at the conditions of your bail to ensure that you are permitted to go back home. If you do not have this condition in your bail, you should speak to the crown attorney’s office in order to request this condition.
My Conditions Have Changed; I want to Vary my Bail Terms:
In some instances, your spouse may move out of your home, and you may feel that this allows you to move back home. This is usually not the case. Be sure to look at your bail conditions, if you are required to live with your surety, you will not be allowed to move out of their residence without approval from the crown, which can only be achieved through a bail variation. If the crown does agree to a bail variation, the change must be made in court. If it is a surety bail, then the surety must approve of the change and sign the new bail papers.
Domestic Assault Program (DAP) or (PARS)
Some individuals who have been charged with more minor cases of domestic assault will be offered the Domestic Assault Program or DAP. This program requires that the accused plead guilty to the charges before the court, which will be accompanied by a bail variation. A bail variation under these conditions should allow you to go home on the same day, and is typically accompanied by a five month adjournment that allows the accused to partake in the PARS or DAP counseling program. Sentencing occurs after the counseling course is finished, and after the accused has received a favourable or passing grade in the course. Successful completion of DAP or PARS usually is accompanied by a Conditional Discharge, however hiring private counsel may assist you instead in attaining a Peace Bond, which is not a finding of guilt, and will not appear on your criminal record.
The DAP or PARS counseling program is a 17 week counseling program, that addresses issues of violence, anger, and anger management. Programs are offered by various agencies who take into consideration cultural/linguistic barriers.
Know your rights before entering into this program. The Crown offers the DAP as a carrot to many accused who are desperate to go home and meet their wives/families. However, it is very important to know that by entering into this program, you may need to plead guilty and admit to each element of the offence of assault. You may also receive a criminal record for this admission of guilt.
This program is designed for people who are either guilty of the offence, or have no reasonable prospect of defending it at trial. If you have a viable defence, or are not guilty for any reason, this program is not for you. Contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your options.
Call now for more information: (416) 858 – 7800
The Law Office of Rishi Singh: Toronto Criminal Defence Lawyer. Former Duty Counsel Lawyer. Mr. Singh provides expert legal advice and protects the rights of individuals facing criminal charges. Mr. Singh has written numerous articles on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Singh represents clients in Bail Hearings and Criminal Matters in Toronto, Markham, Vaughan, Kitchener, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Kingston, Mississauga, Oshawa, Burlington, Oakville, Etobicoke, Barrie, Hamilton, Guelph, Belleville, and throughout southern Ontario. Justice Does Not Wait – Call Now! Legal Aid Accepted. Rishi Singh’s Criminal Defence law firm defends charges of assault, theft, fraud, over 80, impaired driving, refuse, domestic assault, drugs and other serious charges. Call (416) 858 – 7800 Now!