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What Happens When You Get Charged with Domestic Violence in British Columbia

There is no justification for domestic violence. It degrades the victim’s Human Rights, shatters the dreams of a family and denies children the opportunity to have both a male and female role models from an early stage. Domestic violence includes all forms of aggressive behavior in a relationship that intimidates and controls a spouse or partner. The vice can occur long after a relationship is over.

British Columbia police and prosecutors have zero tolerance for domestic violence. Below, we look at what happens when you get charged with domestic violence in British Columbia.

Not Guilty Pleas and Defences

If you take a no guilty plea, your case will go on trial within 3-4 months. Upon your instruction, when the case is at the arraignment hearing, it will enter a not guilty plea to help obtain trial confirmation and hearing dates. Your criminal lawyer in Vancouver may invoke self-defence, defence of property or defence of others to convince the court that you are not guilty. Domestic violence charges revolve around establishing credibility between the plaintiff and the accused person’s versions of what happened. We are experienced in advancing these defences to help you get an acquittal in the courts. 

Peace Bond

At times, you and your partner may decide that criminal proceedings are not the best way to solve domestic violence and request a peace bond. A peace bond is a document showing that you agree that the plaintiff had reasonable grounds to fear for their life and personal property due to your actions. It does not indicate the admission of assault by the defendant. Your lawyer will discuss with the prosecutor to help avoid admitting things you prefer not to directly reveal under section 810 of the Criminal Code, to help avoid a Criminal plea. Failure to adhere to the Peace Bond condition makes you liable to charges of a breach under section 811 and can result in a criminal record. 

What Happens if Found Guilty?

If you plead or are found guilty of domestic violence, a sentence hearing will take place. The Crown Prosecutor and your defence lawyer make final submissions about what is your deserved sentence. The judge will decide on the best way to rehabilitate you based on several factors including whether you are a first-time or repeat offender and the extent of violence among others. The sentence may include:

A fine: This is to be paid within a specified time. Failure to pay before the lapse of time can make you unable to renew your driving license or land you in custody.  

Probation: You may be required to be reporting to a Probation Officer several times a week. Other conditions might include:

·       Enroll for anger management program

·       Enroll in a drug and substance treatment program

·       Stop using drugs and alcohol

·       Being barred from being in certain places and contacting the plaintiff

Custodial Sentence: In the unfortunate case, you may have to serve time in a provincial correctional center or a federal prison.

Why Contact Us?

At N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation, we can deal with domestic violence cases to help you avoid a criminal conviction. If you are facing domestic violence charges, visit us today to have our experienced Vancouver domestic violence lawyer handle your case.