Experienced Domestic Assault Lawyers in St. Catharines

Family Violence Law Firm

If you or your loved ones are charged with domestic assault, you need an expert lawyer to defend you in court.

Domestic assault is any form of abuse that happens between persons in an intimate relationship. The two people involved may be of the opposite; they may be former or current spouses, common-law partners, or dating partners. In some cases, the relationship is between parents or legal guardians and children. (Note that abuse is defined as physical acts or gestures that imply an assault, implying physical assault on another person, verbal, psychological, or financial) 

Even if there was no physical action by the accused, but the victim believes that there was a threat of assault, the police can still arrest the accused

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Domestic Assault Defence Law

As experienced domestic assault lawyers in St. Catharines, we know that these charges are treated seriously by the court system.  

Domestic assault is not explicitly defined under the Criminal Code of Canada. However, most acts considered as family violence are illegal in Canada under many provisions in the Criminal Code. Even if a person is not arrested and charged with domestic assault, they may be arrested and charged
with crimes, such as:

Although domestic violence is not explicitly defined under the Criminal Code, it is treated more seriously by police and crown prosecutors due
to these reasons:

In 2019, 24.3 thousand women and 5.9 thousand men were victims of domestic assault or intimate partner violence in Ontario. However, not all who are accused of domestic assault are guilty of the charges. 

If you or someone you know has been accused of domestic assault, you need to consult a domestic assault defence lawyer in Oakville with years of experience and a high rate of success in domestic assault defence

“As an assault defence lawyer, I know how false allegations of domestic assault can impact your life. 

It is my job to thoroughly go over all circumstances in a case and build an effective domestic assault defence while making sure that your procedural protections are maintained.”

Robert Kivlichan

Founding Partner and Criminal Defence Lawyer

Founder, KIVLaw Defence Law Firm, Robert Kivlichan

Domestic Assault Defence

A top domestic assault lawyer can defend you successfully if you have been falsely accused of domestic assault. Following are some defences a St. Catharines assault lawyer may use, depending on the circumstances in your case:


The Crown prosecutor must prove that the accused assaulted their partner or spouse without their consent. However, if it is established, for example, the accused and their spouse agreed to participate in a potentially harmful activity, such as rough sex. In that case, the Crown cannot prove that the complainant did not give their consent to the accused.


This is a common defence to all types of assault charges. However, this defence can only be used when it meets the criteria under the Criminal Code of Canada:

Generally speaking, it involves any unwanted sexual act that may or may not have included violence. There are various different allegations, including:


Frequently Asked Questions

When someone reports a domestic assault incident, police respond immediately. When they find evidence that an assault occurred, the police will likely arrest the accused and take them into custody.

Even if the assault is minor, the police have no discretion. They have to arrest the accused and take them to the police station. The accused will be processed and held in jail. Then they can be brought before a justice of the peace for a bail hearing. This usually takes place the next day.

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At the bail hearing, a Justice of the Peace will review the domestic assault case before going to trial. They will decide whether the accused should be released from custody while waiting for the case to come to trial or not.

It would be best if the accused had a top domestic assault lawyer in Toronto to attend the bail hearing to ensure their release and avoid going through the strict bail conditions imposed by the court.

In a domestic assault case, the police lay the domestic assault charge on the accused, not the victim of domestic violence. The police lay the criminal charge on information they receive from the victim or witness to the domestic assault.

Even if the victim or spouse decides to stop making further complaints or decides not to push through with the charges, the police must continue the investigation. The complainant or victim has no control over the arrest, and they cannot withdraw the complaint. The complainant or victim also cannot ask the police or the crown prosecutor to drop the charges.

Most domestic assault allegations will result in release conditions that prevent the accused and the alleged victim from contacting each other. Therefore, the accused will be ordered to move out of the family home. This means no contact with the spouse or partner and limited contact with the children.

The penalties for domestic assault depend on the circumstances of each case. It can range from a peace bond to a jail term. Suppose the Crown prosecutor decides to proceed by summary conviction for less severe offences. In that case, the accused may be required to pay restitution to the victim, or they may be required to pay for medical bills or property damage. Suppose the judge decides that the crime does not warrant a jail sentence. In that case, the accused may receive a suspended sentence (i.e., remain under probation) or a conditional sentence (i.e., remain under house arrest).

On the other hand, if the Crown prosecutor decides to proceed by indictment for more severe offences, the accused will serve a jail sentence when convicted. If the accused is charged with sexual assault or assault causing bodily harm, they can face up to 10 years in prison. For aggravated assault, the accused can face up to 14 years in prison.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, a person commits assault when they apply direct or indirect force on another person without their consent. A person also commits assault when he attempts or threatens to apply force to another person by an act or gesture; or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he (the accused) can proceed with his threat to assault the complainant.

Assault with a weapon is an assault using a weapon or an imitation thereof, such as a knife, bat, or stick. It can be any object thrown at the complainant.

Assault causing bodily harm is assault resulting from the act of intending to apprehend or cause damage to another person through offensive contact.

Aggravated assault is an assault where the injury of the victim is much more substantial. Injuries that endanger, wound, maim, or disfigure the life of another individual fall under the definition of aggravated assault.

The KIVLaw defence team is a group of passionate, experienced and capable domestic assault lawyers in St. Catharines that can help you get your life back.

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