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Partner assault charges are not a separate offence under the Criminal Code, but they do receive distinctly harsh treatment. A zero tolerance approach is followed by the police and the Crown, regardless of whether the complainant wishes to see the charges prosecuted in court, or whether the allegations are made to gain an advantage in a family law dispute. Barriers are put in place to prevent accused persons from contacting or residing with their loved ones. Those found guilty of domestic assaults face potentially stiffer sentences.

Defending Domestic Assault Charges in Ottawa

Brett McGarry works to expose false accusations. He gathers all relevant evidence, including family law documents and communications between you and your accuser. He thoroughly crossexamines witnesses and extensively prepares his clients to testify in court. He works together with experienced family law counsel to ensure that the interests of his clients are fully protected.

Brett McGarry is also frequently retained by complainants to assist in varying bail conditions, and to advise them of their rights, in a justice system that often refuses to listen to their needs.(See the Crown Policy Manual.)

  • What is a “domestic” assault”?

    A “domestic relationship” can be a short dating relationship or a marriage.  A domestic assault can also occur after the relationship is over, for example, with an ex-girlfriend or ex-husband.

    Under the Criminal Code, an “assault” is the intentional application (or threat of application) of force to another person without their consent.  Therefore, an assault does not have to result in physical harm to be a criminal act.  An “assault” can range from a grab or shove to serious punches and kicks.

    In domestic assault cases, related charges often include:

    • Assault with a weapon
    • Assault causing bodily harm
    • Aggravated assault
    • Uttering a death threat
    • Uttering a threat to cause harm
    • Forcible confinement
    • Chocking to overcome resistance
    • Mischief (i.e. damaging property)
    • Criminal harassment
    • Break and enter into a dwelling

    Onerous Bail Conditions

    Harsh bail conditions often bar an accused person from residing at home and communicating with his or her children and spouse. These conditions are generally put in place whether or not the “victim” requests them.   Such conditions can be tremendously disruptive to your family.   There are ways to have the bail conditions varied with the consent of the Crown, or to have them varied at a contested bail variation hearing before a justice of the peace.   Until the conditions are varied you must follow them to the letter, as a breach will result in additional criminal charges.

    Serious defence for serious cases

    The courts take domestic violence seriously.  Charges of domestic assault in Ottawa carry serious penalties and consequences beyond the criminal record and potential jail time involved.  An accusation of domestic abuse can affect where you can live, when you can see your children, and divorce/child custody proceedings.

    The defence of a domestic assault allegation can be complicated.  Domestic trials regularly involve complex principles of evidence, such as the Crown trying to cross-examine its own witness (i.e. the complainant), hearsay statements and recantations.  Defence counsel must be both skilled at getting helpful evidence from friendly witnesses tendered by the Crown, and vigorously cross-examining hostile witnesses.

    Brett McGarry, domestic assault lawyer in Ottawa, is well versed in defending domestic assault allegations.  He works to expose people who make false accusations to advance a family law or divorce strategy.  To this end, it is important to obtain records such as family law documents, emails, voicemails and other communications between you and your accuser.   He thoroughly cross examines witnesses, conducts independent investigations and prepares his clients extensively to testify in court. Brett  works together with experienced family and civil  counsel to ensure that all  your  interests are protected.

Our Success Stories

OA woman Oliver was seeing discovered that he had another girlfriend. When the police showed up, the woman claimed that Oliver had broken down a door and kicked her repeatedly.Oliver faced possible deportation from Canada and the loss of his job if convicted. Oliver was acquitted of all charges at trial in Ottawa.

EEduardo was charged with assaulting his girlfriend with a knife. Brett McGarry cross-examined the alleged victim on affidavits from a family law case. As a result, Eduardo was acquitted of all charges.

J John’s girlfriend found pictures of other women on his cell phone. A screaming match ensued. John’s girlfriend alleged that John choked, hit, and threatened her. John was adamant that his girlfriend attacked him in a jealous rage. John was acquitted based on self-defence after a trial in Ottawa.

N Nathan faced a one-year jail sentence on a charge of criminal harassment arising from a domestic relationship. Nathan was found not guilty after a trial in Cornwall.

B Brenda recanted her allegations of domestic abuse at her boyfriend’s trial. The police then charged Brenda with making a false complaint. Brenda was also charged with breaching her bail conditions by having contact with her boyfriend. Brenda was found not guilty of all charges at her trial in Cornwall.

Brett McGarry Criminal Law
200 Elgin Street, Suite 800 Ottawa, Ontario , Canada K2P 1L5
Phone: 613-884-8576 URL of Map