Toronto Domestic Assault Lawyer

A Charge of Domestic Assault is a Traumatic and Disruptive Experience

As result of Ontario’s “zero tolerance” policy, a charge of Domestic Assault is treated differently and more seriously than other allegations of violent conduct. When an allegation of domestic violence is made, the police have no discretion whether to lay a charge.  The terms of bail will be more restrictive.  A minimum, you will be be ordered not to have any contact with the complainant and be required to attend a future court date. A more serious allegation (for example, where an injury is alleged), may lead to your arrest and appearance at a bail hearing, when a justice will decide whether you should be released or remain in custody.

In many jurisdiction a specialized team of Crown Attorneys are dedicated to prosecuting allegations of domestic violence. If you are found guilty after trial, the penalties will be more severe and the terms of probation more strict.

What is Domestic Assault?

There is no specific charge of “domestic assault” in the Criminal Code of Canada. Rather, the law considers allegations of violence in a intimate relationship (for example, between married couples) more seriously than if the same conduct occurred outside of such a relationship (between strangers, for example). Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code in fact specifically considers evidence of violence against a intimate partner as an aggravating factor on sentence.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence includes physical violence or the threat of violence between persons in a intimate relationship, which can includes spouses, dating partners or other family members (such as parents and children). A charge can result from various conduct:

  • Physical violence (punch, slap or choking)
  • Emotional or psychological acts that were intended to induce fear or humiliation

The most commonly laid charge is Assault under s. 265 of the Criminal Code , which is defined as:

  • The intentional application force, directly or indirectly, to another person without their consent; or
  • the attempt or threat of non-consensual application of force.

Depending on the circumstances, other charges are possible, such as Assault with a Weapon (when a weapon was used or threatened), Assault Bodily Harm (when injuries result) and Threatening (when the allegation involves verbal threats of harm or death).

Penalties for Being Convicted for Domestic Assault

If convicted of Domestic Assault, the potential consequences can be severe, including a criminal record, fine, probation orders and potential jail, particularly where there are injuries.  If prosecuted by indictment, the maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years in jail; or, if prosecuted by summary conviction, 2 years less a day and/or a $5000 fine.

The consequence of having a criminal record are serious, impacting one’s prosect of employment and ability to travel.

There can also be additional ancillary consequences , including DNA orders (that you provide a sample of your DNA); weapons prohibitions (that you be prohibited from possessing a weapon for a period of time) and restrictions on your ability to contact the complainant and potentially other members of your family, including children.

What about a Peace Bond?

Criminal charges are often resolved by what is known as a “Peace Bond”, which involves an accused agreeing to comply with a court order (the “bond”), after which the Criminal Code charge is withdrawn.  The length of the Peace Bond will depend on the circumstances of the case, but most are 12 months.

The Peace Bond will typically include conditions of “keeping the peace and being of good behaviour” and not possessing weapons. In the context of a Domestic Assault allegation, a condition of no contact, except with the complaint’s “written but revokable consent” will be included., which means that which means the consent to contact can be withdrawn by the complainant at any time during the term of the order.

A Crown Attorney will generally be more receptive to an accused entering into a Peace Bond than a straight withdrawal of the charge as it provides a measure of comfort that the complainant will be protected (especially by the non-contact term) even after the case is completed.  In certain circumstances, the Crown will ask that some form of anger management or relationship counselling be completed prior to agreeing to the Peace Bond resolution.

The obvious benefit of entering into the Peace Bond is the guarantee of the charge being withdrawn and maintaining a clear criminal record.

Defending a Charge of Domestic Assault

While a charge of domestic assault can be overwhelming, there are steps that you can take toward preparing your defence:

  1. Identify any evidence that that may assist with case. For example, were there any witnesses present? Is there any video evidence that supports your innocence ? Were the text messages before or after the date of the allegation that undermines the complainant’s version of the events?
  2. Ensure you comply with the terms of your bail. While it may be tempting to not take your bail conditions seriously, do not fall into this trap. Your bail is a Court order.  If a term is violated,  you will be arrested and held in custody for a bail hearing, where the Crown will likely oppose your release (especially if the charge is a breach of the non-contact condition). If a condition of your bail is unreasonable, you have options. First, you can approach the Crown for a variation on consent; or, if that is unsuccessful, make an application to the Court.
  3. As soon as possible contact an experienced domestic assault lawyer, to at least have a discussion about your case. The reality is that with time memories fade and potential important evidence can become inaccessible. A lawyer with experience defending domestic assault charges will be able to identify and secure important defence evidence; speak to issues with the Crown case (issues with the credibility and reliability with the complainant’s story or motives to lie/fabricate); and, discuss potential defences (that the assault did not happen or that you acted in self-defence).
  4. Lastly, your experienced domestic assault lawyer should work hard to collect as much positive information as possible about your personal circumstances, which can then be used in negotiating a positive resolution with the Crown Attorney. This effort has often lead to a successful result for my clients, whether through a straight withdrawal of the charge or a Peace Bond resolution.

For over 20 years, Richard Fedorowicz has represented clients charged with Domestic Assault across Southern Ontario, including courthouses in Toronto, Milton, Brampton, Newmarket, and Oshawa.  

If you are facing charges of domestic assault, it is essential to seek legal counsel. Richard Fedorowicz can help you build a strong defense and protect your rights. Call today for an immediate consultation.

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What If The Victim Sustains Injury?

If there is an injury involved in a domestic assault, the penalties through law enforcement and the courts often become more serious. If deliberate bodily harm is caused to another person, it usually falls under aggravated assault. Simple assault can still be charged if no weapon is used and no serious injuries result, but this is still a possible felony charge. If a firearm is involved or the victim suffers from lasting effects or permanent disfigurement, you are probably looking at a first-degree felony charge. Anything beyond visible welts or bruises could be considered a serious injury for some jurisdictions.

Assault Resulting In Bodily Harm

Assault causing bodily harm is a criminal offense in Canada. It is defined as causing bodily harm to another person with intent, recklessness, or negligence. Bodily harm can include physical injuries such as cuts and bruises and psychological injuries.

If you are convicted of assault causing bodily harm, you could face up to 18 years in prison. It is important to note that the Crown does not have to prove that you intended to cause serious injury; it is enough to show that you intended, recklessly or negligently, to cause some form of harm. Therefore, even if your actions did not result in any physical injuries, you could still be convicted of this offense.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a serious crime that occurs when someone intentionally causes harm to another person. It is considered a violent act and can result in severe penalties, including jail time. Aggravated assault can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the injury inflicted and the type of weapon used. Depending on the state, aggravated assault may also be referred to as “aggravated battery” or “domestic violence.”

Most jurisdictions require that the act have been committed with intent to cause serious bodily injury or with a deadly weapon. Simple assaults do not typically rise to the level of aggravated assault unless they result in serious bodily injury (e.g., gunshot). The penalties for aggravated assault vary depending on the severity of the crime and the state in which it was committed. Generally, however, aggravated assault is punishable by a prison sentence of 2-20 years, depending on the circumstances. In cases where the victim was killed or permanently disabled, the offender can be sentenced to life in prison.

What If A Weapon Is Used?

A weapon can be any form, from a knife or gun to a baseball bat or rock. In cases where an act of assault is committed with a weapon, anything can be classified as a weapon used or intended to cause injury or death to another person. The critical element under this section is that the accused must have had the weapon with the intent to use it to commit an assault. Simply carrying a weapon without intending to use it does not constitute an offense under this offense.

The prosecution for the offense of assault with a weapon will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Generally speaking, if the victim sustains serious injuries from the attack, the accused can face up to 10 years in prison. If the victim is not seriously injured but still suffers some physical or psychological harm, the accused can face up to 5 years in prison. In cases where no injury is sustained, the maximum sentence imposed is 18 months in jail. However, it should be noted that these are full sentences and that actual penalties will rely on various factors, such as the severity of the attack and the accused’s criminal history.

Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges

A charge involving domestic violence can be very serious. In some cases it can lead to a criminal record or even a jail sentence. Speaking with an experienced domestic violence lawyer right away is essential if you face a domestic violence charge. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed and may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether.

An experienced domestic violence lawyer like Richard Fedorowicz can provide critical support and guidance throughout the legal process of defending domestic violence, from the initial consultation through to the resolution of the trial. He has a deep understanding of domestic violence law and is well-equipped to handle all aspects of your case, from the initial bail stage (ensuring that the conditions are reasonable and minimal), negotiating a withdrawn of the charge with the Crown Attorney to winning at trial.

With his over 20 years of experience defending defending domestic assault cases in Toronto, Brampton and Newmarket, Richard will be able to provide valuable insights into how the legal system works and what you can expect at each stage of your case. This can be extremely helpful in ensuring that you make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Ultimately, having an experienced domestic lawyer on your side can mean the difference between a successful outcome or not.

Can The Complainant Call The Police To Get The Charges “Dropped”?

The short answer is no. The Crown Prosecution Manual explicitly states that “The Prosecutor must not withdraw charges solely based on the victim’s request.” This means once a charge of domestic assault is laid by the police, it is no longer a private matter and the complainant cannot simply “drop” the charges.

With the law, government policy, and human emotion all involved in a domestic assault case, it is crucial to hire skilled domestic violence lawyers to protect your rights, explain the law to you, and give you the best chance to avoid a conviction. Richard has handled cases like yours before and knows the ins and outs of the law. He is an experienced domestic assault lawyer who will be able to give you the best possible chance of success in your case.

Richard knows what works and what doesn’t when you’ve been handling domestic assault cases for a long time. He knows how to get results for your clients, whether getting the domestic charges dismissed or winning in court. And while results may vary from case to case, an experienced lawyer will know what to expect and how to build a strong case on your behalf. He will also be able to navigate the often-complex legal system with ease, making all the difference in getting a favorable outcome.

Whether you are facing a domestic violence charge or a complainant in the case, you can count on Richard for professional help. Schedule your appointment today!

Richard Fedorowicz – Domestic Assault Lawyer In Toronto

Being accused of domestic assault is an agonizing and overwhelming experience. Not only are you arrested by the police based on the mere say-so of your partner, you then face the trauma of being placed on restrictive bail conditions that keep you separated from your home and loved ones. When faced with domestic allegations, you need an experienced domestic assault lawyer on your side who knows the law, strategies, and tactics necessary to defend your rights. Richard is the top domestic violence lawyer in Ontario. He has successfully defended clients charged with domestic assault from all walks of life since 2001, including persons arrested for the first time and professionals.

Richard can negotiate a resolution with the Crown that involves no criminal record or even a complete withdrawal of the charges in certain circumstances. For bail, if necessary, make an application to the court to remove restrictive bail conditions. If you or a loved one is facing a charge of Domestic Assault , please don’t hesitate to contact Richard today.


An s.266 domestic assault is an assault that takes place between people who are in a domestic relationship, such as married couples, common-law partners, or any other type of intimate relationship. This can include physical assaults, sexual assaults, and even threats of violence. Domestic assaults are taken very seriously by the legal system in Canada and can result in severe penalties for the perpetrator. If you have been charged with an s.266 domestic assault, it is essential to seek out experienced legal help as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.

It depends on the particulars of your case, but generally speaking, defending a domestic violence charge in Canada will cost you upwards of $10,000. This is because domestic violence cases tend to be very complex and time-consuming to litigate. In addition, the Crown Attorney’s office typically dedicates significant resources toward prosecuting domestic violence cases, so it is often an uphill battle for the accused to mount a successful defense.

Victim Witness Assistance Programs (VWAPs) can be involved in domestic assault cases. While every case is different and the level of involvement may vary, VWAPs can provide support and assistance to victims of domestic violence throughout the criminal justice process. This can include help with filing for a protection order, securing housing or transportation, arranging for child care, and more. VWAPs can also help connect victims to community resources that can provide long-term support.

The domestic assault charges may be dropped if the victim does not show up for the court proceedings. This typically occurs if the victim is unwilling to testify or cooperate with the prosecution. However, even if the victim does not testify, the prosecutor may still try to convict the defendant based on other evidence. If conviction looks likely, domestic assault defendants often plead guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a more serious sentence.

A domestic relationship is a relationship between two people who live in the same household. The term is most commonly used in reference to couples who are married or who are living together as partners. Domestic relationships can also include relationships between parents and children, siblings, and other family members.

If the police believe that an assault has occurred, they will lay a charge. The decision to lay a charge is based on many factors, including the severity of the alleged assault, the credibility of the victim and witnesses, and any available evidence.

A written revocable consent form is a legal document that can indicate a mutual understanding between two individuals regarding certain issues, namely domestic assault. This document can be used as proof that an individual consented to, or was aware of, an act of domestic violence should the situation ever go to court.

With over 20 years of experience, I have successfully represented individuals at all levels of courts in Ontario, including the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Court of Appeal. He helped clients get charges dismissed, negotiate favorable plea agreements, and obtain acquittals at trial. His experience and success in defending against domestic violence charges have earned him a reputation as one of Toronto’s top criminal defense lawyers.

Charges for domestic assault can be very serious, as they often involve an attack against someone with whom the accused has a special relationship. Domestic assault charges can result in significant jail time, steep fines, and a criminal record. In addition, a conviction for domestic assault can have far-reaching consequences for the accused, including restrictions on his or her ability to own firearms or visit certain places.

Under Canadian law, the police can lay a charge for domestic assault if they have reasonable grounds to believe that an offense has been committed. This means that they must have reason to suspect that one person has harmed or attempted to harm another person in a domestic relationship.

If you have been charged with a domestic assault, you should immediately seek legal counsel. Domestic assault is a serious charge that can result in jail time and other penalties. The best way to protect your rights and interests is to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The police will usually arrive within minutes of a domestic assault call. Once they arrive, they will likely ask the victim what happened and if there are any weapons involved. They will also ask if the victim wants to press charges. If the victim presses charges, the police will arrest the offender and take them into custody. The offender will then be processed and held at the county jail until their arraignment hearing, typically occurring within 48 hours of their arrest. However, if the victim does not want to press charges, the police may still arrest the offender if they have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. In either case, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

If you are charged with domestic assault, the best thing to do is to contact a domestic violence lawyer immediately. This way, you can get the legal guidance you need to protect your rights and ensure that you are able to return home and see your children as soon as possible. In addition, an experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with prosecutors, and ultimately get the best outcome in your case.

No, the police cannot drop charges if you do not want your partner to be charged with domestic assault. Once the police have been called, and an investigation has begun, it is up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not to press charges. If there is evidence of domestic violence, the prosecutor will likely proceed with filing charges.

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