The serious nature of sexual assault charges makes it crucial to consult an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Not only are the penalties for a conviction extremely serious, but there are long-term consequences to your reputation and livelihood.
In our experience, even wrongful accusations and charges can put extreme stress on relationships and family life.
We will help you understand your charge and start assessing the evidence against you.
If you are innocent, the claims against you have been fabricated, or the evidence against you is insufficient, we will put together a strategic and well-considered legal strategy.
Our priorities will be to:
- Identify weaknesses in the case against you
- Examine all legal issues raised by the collection of evidence against you
- Consider challenging search warrants or other judicial authorizations
- Engage other professionals such as biologists or private investigators
- Seek to convince the prosecutor to withdraw the charges
- Defend you vigorously if your matter proceeds to trial
An experienced defence for sexual assault offences
What is sexual assault?
The charge of sexual assault covers all non-consensual touching of a sexual nature.
While many people may rush to judgment, the truth is often considerably more complex. For both the victim of an alleged assault and for the accused, emotions run high and claims are difficult to prove and often difficult to defend against. The situation is made even more complex when the allegations from the alleged victim concern an event that took place many years ago.
Piecing together historical or recent events requires a sophisticated and experienced lawyer. We will help you go through the events, closely examine the evidence, and start to build your defence.
Examples of sexual assault charges
With sexual assault charges, there are numerous things to consider, such as:
- The part of the body that was touched
- The circumstances of the alleged offence
- The motive of the accused
- The behavior of each party involved
- The potentially mistaken belief in communicated consent
A charge of sexual assault encompasses a wide area of behavior, with differing degrees of gravity.
It can range from fondling and unwanted touching of a sexual nature to forcible penetration. All such offences are considered sexual assault.
What are the penalties for sexual assault?
If your case goes to trial before a judge or jury, it is likely that you will have already experienced some of the negative effects of a sexual assault charge.
The damage to relationships, family life, and reputation often start with accusations against you.
If you are convicted of sexual assault, there are other serious and far-reaching punishments according to Canadian law:
- A maximum of 10 years in prison for a charge of sexual assault
- A possible requirement to submit a DNA sample
- Registry on a sexual-offenders database
- A possible requirement for regular reporting to authorities
- Possible monitoring for the rest of your life
Aggravating factors include:
- The age of the victim at the time of the offence (more serious if under 16)
- The use of a weapon or an imitation weapon
- Threats of bodily harm or causing bodily harm to the victim
In cases where such factors or a previous criminal conviction are present, there will be harsher penalties, with mandatory minimum sentences and higher maximum penalties applied.
A charge of aggravated sexual assault includes potential penalties up to life imprisonment in the most serious cases.
How we will defend you
Sexual assault cases are rarely simple to prove or to defend against.
This is because:
- The defendant and the complainant are often the only two witnesses
- The two versions of events may be very different – “he said/she said”
- There may be complicated medical and DNA evidence to consider
- The defendant may deny that the incident ever happened
- The quality of witness defence or credibility of their evidence may be brought into question
- The defendant may believe reasonable steps were taken to ensure that consent was granted
- Drugs or alcohol may have been used before the alleged assault
The complexities mean that a successful defence requires an in-depth understanding of the specific laws and rules that apply to sexual assault charges, and considerable experience in defending them.
At Friedman Mansour LLP, we combine an academic knowledge of the law as well as courtroom skills honed with years of experience to defend all manner of sexual assault cases.
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The night I was charged with assault after a night out drinking was the worst night of my life. As a police officer, an off duty assault conviction would have jeopardized my career. I have worked closely with lawyers my entire nine year career. Either directly with Crown on a case or through cross-examination by defence counsel and after a few minutes of speaking with Solomon shortly after my arrest I knew his knowledge and ability to articulate legal principles were unmatched. He spent nearly an hour on the phone with me gathering facts and providing clear instructions. Throughout the process he kept me updated as to what was going on and I was extremely impressed with his handling of my case. Solomon did his homework on the accusers and witnesses and prepared an unbelievable defence which ultimately led to the charge being dropped on the first day of trial and allowing me to continue my career as a police officer. I’d recommend Solomon to anybody who is in need of expert legal defence.