Spousal abuse is a class of offence in which one spouse is assaulted by the other. A habitual pattern of spousal assault is particularly damaging because of the physical and emotional damage accumulated over time. Though the legal foundation is the same, the term ‘spousal abuse’ is also known as ‘domestic assault’ or ‘domestic family violence.’ Irrespective of the terminology used, this type of offence can have significant long-term consequences. If you are facing a spousal assault charge, it is best that you work with an experienced and skilled criminal defence lawyer who focuses on defending these types of cases.
In Canada, domestic assault allegations are taken seriously by the courts and police. Offences involving spousal assault are highly prevalent in society. In fact, family violence as a whole accounted for over 25% of all violent crimes reported in 2016, according to an article released by the Government of Canada.
In addition to creating a major imbalance of power and authority in the home, it has a substantial negative impact on children living in the residence. It is also important to note that the chance of the abuse escalating is high if the mistreatment is not dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Conduct Considered Spousal Abuse
Many behaviors classified under the umbrella of spousal abuse and mistreatment do not have to be physical. Other forms of spousal abuse can be:
- Mental or emotional abuse
- Verbal abuse: This can include threatening to harm someone physically, using language considered intimidating or degrading
- Economic abuse: Denying basic living expenses or neglecting to provide mandatory necessities like clothing, shelter, or food
If the spousal abuse is ongoing, it can involve one or more of the aforementioned types of mistreatment. Unfortunately, spousal assault and abuse is frequently not reported to authorities. The abused spouse may not want the other spouse arrested or the abuser may threaten to harm the victim if a report is filed. Just as the types of abuse are many, so are the reasons for not reporting.
Protect Your Rights if Charged with Spousal Assault
When a person is faced with an accusation of spousal abuse or domestic violence, the courts typically enforce conditions that will immediately prevent the accused from being in contact with his or spouse or family. Usually the only way to regain contact with your spouse or family is to either win your case at trial or plead guilty and attempt to receive the lightest sentence possible. Many of our clients who are charged with domestic assault maintain that they are innocent and we are often successful in defending these types of charges at trial. In other cases, the evidence may be overwhelming against our client or they instruct us they want to plead guilty and negotiate the lightest sentence possible. Whether you want to defend your case at trial or negotiate the best possible result, it is important hire the right criminal lawyer to handle your case.
At Kruse Law, we defend those who are facing spousal assault charges and other domestic related criminal charges such as threatening or mischief. We are here to guide our clients through the legal system and to protect our clients from a possible criminal conviction. Under Canadian Law, an assault is almost any violent act that is intentional against another person. In some cases, waving your fist in an intimidating manner can be an assault. In most cases, assault allegations involve actual physical contact. As you can imagine, spousal assault charges encompass a wide range of offences and it is important to work with an experienced criminal defence lawyer who can help.
For a free consultation, click here or call (416) 912-4999 to learn how our firm can assist you in your case.