Domestic Assault is any assaultive behaviour that takes place in the context of an intimate partner relationship, which generally includes (opposite or same-sex) current or former spouses, common-law partners, and dating partners. If the police are called in response to a report of an assault taking place, then the person accused of causing the assault, will often be arrested.

Being arrested and charged with a domestic assault allegation, is a serious offence. Not only is domestic violence considered to be an aggravating factor, but also, such a charge is (often) exceptionally disruptive to one’s life and family; not the least reason being that almost always, a “no contact” and “no go” order will be imposed that restricts the Accused person’s communication with the Complainant, along with prohibiting attendance at any known address, place of employment, school, place of worship, etc., where the Complainant may be. This “no contact” and “no go” often includes the children as well. Simply put, the Accused’s life is turned upside down as they will be forced to find accommodation outside of the family home, while having no contact or communication with their loved ones.

While defences to domestic assault exist – including a denial of wrongdoing, as well as the possibility of consent and self-defence – many Clients are seeking to mend the relationship, rather than challenge the evidence. There is no “right” or “wrong” decision when a Client determines what avenue they may wish to pursue. Rather, what matters most is what the Client’s end goal is when facing a domestic assault allegation.

The options of how best to proceed to accomplish the Client’s goal, along with the pros and cons of one’s options, are critical in the decision-making process for the Client. With that in mind, reviewing disclosure and discussing the intimacies of the allegations, along with the history of the relationship are vital. Similarly, how to accomplish any change in bail to allow for contact as soon as possible and/or a return to the family home are also issues to consider.

Together with Mr. Israels, the Client formulates a “plan” – how best to accomplish the Client’s goal(s) – whatever they may be. While domestic assault remains a serious offence, if handled correctly, the end result/goal of the Client can often be obtained.