An assault occurs when a person intentionally applies direct or indirect force to another person without the other person’s consent.
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I went from looking at 3-5 years and got out within 3 months of the day I was incarcerated. He was always respectful to my family and me.
– N.L., Google Review
A trial judge might well instruct the jury on the question of credibility along these lines:
- First, if you believe the evidence of the accused, obviously you must acquit.
- Second, if you do not believe the testimony of the accused but you are left in reasonable doubt by it, you must acquit. (Note: this is a more contentious point)
- Third, even if you are not left in doubt by the evidence of the accused, you must ask yourself whether, on the basis of the evidence which you do accept, you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt by that evidence of the guilt of the accused.
This decision has had a profound impact on how “credibility” is assessed in Canadian Criminal Courts. The decision has had a profound impact on how evidence is weighed in domestic assault cases.
Whenever someone faces accusations of domestic violence, the Courts will usually impose immediate conditions that prevent the Accused from having contact with his family members. This is often the case even when the accused’s spouse and / or children seek to have contact with the accused. As soon as these charges are laid, a defence lawyer must quickly assess whether or not family members desire to have contact with the Accused pending resolution of the charges. If defence lawyers do not act promptly, conditions may be put in place that effectively banish an Accused from his home and segregate him away from his family.