Assault and violence against partners, spouses, and family members are serious offences. In Surrey, there is court dedicated entirely to domestic violence charges. It is in your best interests to hire a Surrey-based domestic assault lawyer as soon as possible.
A common element in domestic abuse cases is strong emotions. There may be feelings of jealousy, anger, revenge, fear… and when emotions take over, logic is put aside. However, unfortunately, all it takes is one emotion-driven lapse in judgement to be charged with domestic violence.
These emotions may play out in false accusations as well. Because domestic violence often happens ‘under the same roof’, the police are quick to arrive at the scene, make an arrest, and take an accused into custody. Bail conditions will likely be placed on that can include not returning home or contacting your partner or spouse. Sometimes these conditions can be varied in court with the consent of Crown Counsel in court.
Sometimes partners and spouses make false accusations for a number of reasons: to potentially gain an advantage for child custody battles, a divorce settlement, or simply out of anger. Being charged with domestic abuse can affect your job, family, and current or future career. Being charged with domestic abuse can also lead to a criminal record, restrictions on your freedom, and in some cases, you can go to jail.
If you have been, or believe you may be charged with domestic violence, Dale Melville Law can help you. Mr. Melville, the firm’s founder, has defended clients across British Columbia who were charged with domestic violence against a partner.
Surrey Court for Domestic Assault – The Process
The Surrey Provincial Court has a dedicated court for bail, arraignment, and sentencing of domestic violence cases.
What does this mean?
Firstly, when you are arrested for domestic abuse, or any other offence, the police will give you an opportunity to call a criminal defence lawyer. When you get an opportunity to call a lawyer – use it. Call immediately. This is a critical opportunity to get legal advice and help in what will be a very emotional and difficult time in your life.
Secondly, domestic violence charges are taken very seriously. You do not want to wait until your first day in court to contact a lawyer. Before your first day in court, representations can be made on your behalf to Crown counsel, and you should get legal advice on how best to proceed. You should contact a Surrey criminal lawyer who can act immediately on your behalf.
Thirdly, domestic violence charges can take a long time to resolve or go to trial. The COVID-19 crisis will place a further burden on an already resource-strained court system. Several steps are required in cases of domestic violence – Pre-charge interviews with the complainant, varying or deleting bail conditions, bail hearings, and other proceedings are part of the process. They are unavoidable. These steps are a necessary part of the court process. The court process can make it feel like court is dragging on forever and nothing is happening. Having an experienced Surrey criminal lawyer can help you get back to your life back to normal quicker than trying to navigate this process yourself.
What if my accuser wants to withdraw their statement? Are the Charges Dropped?
People mistakenly believe that if the complainant/accuser changes their mind, and tries to withdraw their statement, the domestic abuse charge is dropped automatically. This is not the case. Once a person alleges domestic violence in a police interview, and the police forward that information to Crown Counsel for charge approval, the matter is almost certainly going to court. The complainant/accuser wanting to withdraw their statement or wanting the charges to go forward does not mean they are automatically dropped.
Despite this, there are legal methods by which your charges may be reduced, or sometimes, dismissed. Mr. Melville has successfully done so in several cases in Surrey Court and has achieved outcomes of “No Criminal Record”. To discuss your case with an experienced defence lawyer, call us now at 604-265-7020.
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
Surrey Court for Domestic Assault – Trial
If the matter needs to go trial. Mr. Melville will strongly defend your rights in court and put all Crown’s evidence to the test, and vigorously cross-examine Crown witnesses.
If you decide to take the stand, we will prepare you to best get your evidence before the judge. We will also prepare you for cross-examination by Crown counsel – what to expect, and how to stay calm under fire.
Punishment and Consequences if found Guilty
The punishment for domestic abuse varies widely. Domestic violence can be charged as simply assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, and aggravated assault. On the scale of seriousness simple assault is first, and aggravated assault the most serious (generally).
The sentencing judge will consider the person being sentenced and the facts they were found guilty of. Sentencing has sometimes been referred to as an art rather than a science. For more serious offenders and more serious offences, going to jail is a real possibility, but the person charged and the charges themselves can vary too widely to express sentencing in a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Your Surrey Domestic Assault Lawyer – Dale Melville Law
When you call Mr. Melville, he will explore your options right away. He will examine your case in thorough detail and explore every option available to you. Mr. Melville will fight for you in negotiations with Crown counsel, or vigorously defend your rights at trial.
Contact us today for a free consultation by calling us at 604-265-7020.
Our offices are in New Westminster and Surrey BC.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently conducting all consultations by phone until further notice. Thank-you for your understanding.