If you have been accused of domestic violence, the very first thing you should do before saying or signing anything is seek the best criminal lawyer Toronto has to offer. While most couples or families will argue from time to time, sometimes there is a fine line between what is considered relatively harmless disputes and those which verge on abusive situations. No matter how minor you believe those allegations to be, you should understand from the very beginning that domestic violence is a crime in Toronto as it is in most of the civilised world. But what exactly constituted domestic violence? As a Toronto criminal lawyer, let’s take a look at that for a moment.
Interchangeable Terms Used by the City of Toronto
Previously, the term domestic violence was used in reference to violence being perpetrated by one or sometimes both partners in a relationship. However, the City of Toronto often uses other terms interchangeably when referring to the act of violence in a relationship. Sometimes a Toronto criminal lawyer will call it spousal abuse and other times it’s referred to as intimate partner violence. The City recognizes that sometimes domestic violence is between a husband and wife, partners cohabitating and even same-sex partners. Criminal lawyers will also note that domestic violence is not always perpetrated within the confines of the home. Domestic violence often carries over to the workplace and so the laws pertain to any time violent acts are committed, no matter where they take place.
Statistical Background of Interest
When you think of domestic violence, what comes to mind? Most criminal lawyers and people immediately assume that the man is the perpetrator and the woman the victim. However, with the current acceptance of same-sex relationships and the understanding that sometimes the woman is the offender, it bears looking at a few statistics before assuming you are safe if you are in a same-sex relationship or a woman being the alleged offender. According to the most recent criminal lawyer statistics published on the City of Toronto website, 83% of alleged perpetrators are men and 17% of those accused are women. It is not clear how that breaks down further into the type of relationship the parties were in, but statistically according to criminal lawyer studies, men are still being detained in larger numbers than their female counterparts.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence?
The answer to this question isn’t quite as straightforward as it might seem. Bear in mind that according to criminal lawyers, domestic violence refers to causing physical or emotional harm to the other party in a relationship. The penalty, therefore, would be contingent upon being found guilty and to what degree the violence was perpetrated. As a criminal lawyer, for example, slapping someone across the face could be considered as a violent act but would it carry the same weight as breaking their jaw or an arm? Obviously, it probably wouldn’t carry the same degree of penalty.
As a criminal lawyer, the bottom line is always going to be that the person being accused of domestic violence should find a criminal lawyer in Toronto as quickly as possible. Whether or not you feel you are guilty, things could quickly get out of hand without proper representation. Say or do nothing until you have contracted a criminal lawyer. That is your best defense.