If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is important to understand the gravity of the situation and take immediate steps to protect your rights and defend yourself against these serious charges. At the law firm of Yoav Niv, we are dedicated to helping clients facing sexual assault allegations navigate the legal process and fight for the best possible outcome in their case.
Definition of Sexual Assault in Canadian Law
In Canada, sexual assault is defined as any unwanted sexual contact or behaviour that violates a person’s sexual integrity. This includes a wide range of behaviours, from inappropriate touching to non-consensual intercourse.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, there are three categories of sexual assault:
Sexual assault: This includes any unwanted sexual touching or behaviour that is not severe enough to meet the definition of sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm.
Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm: This includes any sexual assault that involves the use of a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm.
Aggravated sexual assault: This is the most serious category of sexual assault and includes a sexual assault that causes wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the victim.
It is important to understand that sexual assault can be committed by anyone, including someone the victim knows, such as a friend, family member, or romantic partner. Consent is a crucial element of sexual assault, and it is illegal to engage in any sexual activity without the other person’s explicit and voluntary consent.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the legal process and work to defend your rights and interests.
Penalties for Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a serious crime in Canada, and convictions can carry significant penalties, including imprisonment and a criminal record. The specific penalty will depend on the severity of the offence and the circumstances of the case. For example, sexual assault that involves violence or the threat of violence may be punished more severely than non-violent sexual assault.
In addition to the criminal penalties, individuals who are convicted of sexual assault may also face social and professional consequences, such as difficulty finding employment or housing. A conviction for a sexual offence may include continued monitoring and supervisions under the sex offender registry. It is important to understand the potential consequences of a sexual assault conviction and take all necessary steps to defend against these charges.
What to Do When Facing Sexual Assault Charges
If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is important to take the following steps:
Remain calm and composed: It is natural to feel overwhelmed and distressed in the face of such serious allegations, but it is important to remain calm and avoid making any statements or taking any actions that could potentially harm your case.
Seek legal representation. An experienced lawyer can provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the legal process, including negotiating with prosecutors, challenging evidence, and advocating for your rights in court.
Do not speak to law enforcement or anyone else about the allegations (except for your lawyer). Anything you say can and will be used against you, and it is important to have legal representation present to protect your rights and interests.
Gather evidence. If you have any evidence that may be relevant to your cases, such as witness statements or documentation, it is important to provide this to your lawyer as soon as possible.
How a Calgary Sexual Assault Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer can provide valuable assistance in defending against sexual assault charges, including:
Advising you on the legal process and your rights. An experienced lawyer can explain the legal process and advise you on your rights and options at each step of the way.
Negotiating with prosecutors. A lawyer can work to negotiate a favourable resolution to your cases, such as a plea bargain or reduced charges, in order to minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.
Challenging evidence. Preparing a defence for an alleged sexual crime requires careful file review and the potential to prepare an accused to testify in his or her own defence. Due to the “he said, she said” nature of such cases, much depends on the credibility and reliability of the alleged victim. Credibility refers to a witness’s willingness to tell the truth, while reliability refers to a witness’ accuracy in recalling events. Both credibility and reliability are tested by means of cross-examination by defence counsel in the course of a preliminary inquiry and/or trial. A lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and seek to have it excluded from your case if it was obtained illegally or is otherwise unreliable.
Representing you in court. A lawyer can provide strong advocacy and representation in court, fighting for your rights and working to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is important to take immediate action to protect your rights and defend yourself against these serious charges. At the law firm of Yoav Niv, we are dedicated to helping clients facing sexual assault allegations navigate the legal process and fight for the best possible outcome in their case. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.