Though the accused may have a surety for bail, a domestic assault charge can result in unique issues at bail hearings.

  • First of all, the accused is more likely to find that the Crown is opposed to release of the accused from custody. It is much more common to find Crown Attorneys denying consent releases and refusing bail to persons facing domestic assault charges than it is to persons facing other types of assaults or low level criminal charges. Even if the Crown is in favor of release, there are most likely going to be some very significant strings attached.
  • The most common ‘string’ is a condition that requires absolutely no contact, directly or indirectly with the Complainant or the supposed victim in the assault. If one looks at a common scenario, with a husband charged with domestic assault against the wife, this condition means that the husband is not going to be permitted to have any contact with the wife—no contact by telephone and not residing with the individual, even though they may have been married and lived together on a regular basis for years and years. This situation can be extraordinarily disruptive for families who are already in crisis.
  • It is common to be able to negotiate a term that says contact with children can be arranged through a mutually agreeable third party. This means that the accused must arrange to see the children using a third party like an in-law or a brother or neighbour. Often in these cases, Family Law counsel works closely in conjunction with the Criminal Lawyers to make sure that whatever order the Family Court makes, it is something that the criminal court will respect and vice versa. It is very common for Criminal Lawyers to work with Family Lawyers. Often these are families with some issues or with a separation or divorce in place.

If you need legal representation, please call a Toronto Criminal Lawyer.

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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.
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