Sexual assault is treated with the utmost severity by the Crown. Even a false accusation may leave a lingering mark on the life of the accused.
What is sexual assault? In Canada, the definition of sexual assault in quite broad. It involves all nonconsensual sexual activity such as groping, kissing, fondling and rape.
In Ontario, a conviction will bring with it severe consequences such as a long-term sentence, restricted contact with loved ones, loss of job opportunities, strict supervision upon parole as well as being registered as a sex offender.
If you are facing a sexual assault charge, whether founded or unfounded, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Toronto. Your rights, freedom and reputation are at stake. John Erickson has been practicing as a sexual assault lawyer for over 20 years, during which he has successfully defended countless individuals. Erickson Law fights on your behalf to ensure that justice is served.
What is the minimum sentence for sexual assault in Canada? A mandatory minimum sentence is one that the judge is not allowed to go under. The type of sexual assault you are charged with determines the minimum sentence.
Absolute Discharge: This means that the person is free to go and they will not have this charge reflected in their record. Any record of the discharge is removed one year from the date of the discharge.
Conditional Discharge: This includes probation which means the person will have to perform certain actions or restrain from certain activities during the probationary period. After completing the terms of probation, the conditional discharge becomes an absolute discharge.
Contact a Lawyer Immediately Before Talking to the Police. Upon arrest, many people panic and assume that talking to the police will lighten their sentence or swing things in their favour. This isn’t advisable. Instead, request to contact a lawyer immediately.
Upon your first interaction with the police, first ask If you are under arrested and detained or if you are free to leave. If you are free to leave, do so immediately. If not, the police have to let you have one phone call to a lawyer or a free duty counsel. Your lawyer will most likely advise that you exercise your right to remain silent.
Can you stay silent during interrogation? Even if the police persist with their line of questioning, politely decline to say anything until your lawyer arrives. Under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, your right to silence is fully protected. Even if the charges are unfounded, saying something without a lawyer present could be used against you during the trial and hurt your chances of an acquittal.
There are several reasons why you should hire a skilled and competent criminal lawyer without delay. Here are just a few of them; A sexual assault charge boils down to one person’s word against the other’s. A good lawyer is able to spot the inconsistencies and improbabilities in the accuser’s version of events.
The lawyer works with you to determine if there are any ulterior motives for the allegation. Your lawyer may also be able to obtain further evidence that shows that the accuser is not reliable or credible. There are several courtroom advocacy strategies to test the complainant’s credibility. If you have to testify at trial, your lawyer prepares you for the cross-examination that will come your way.
A lawyer may be able to prove that any evidence brought against you was obtained illegally, meaning that it will be excluded and not used at your trial. Apart from all of the above, a skilled and qualified criminal defence lawyer is able to bring a wealth of knowledge to the table that helps in strengthening your case and improving your chances of an acquittal.
Contact Erickson to Maximize the Chances of Winning Your Case. All criminal charges are taken seriously, but the Crown is particularly stringent with those involving sexual misconduct. If you are accused of sexual assault charges, you will need a lawyer who can provide an equally serious criminal defence; your rights, freedoms, and reputation are on the line, and we will fight to ensure justice is served.