The information provided below is designed provide some basic legal information. It is not legal advice. If you would like legal advice about what to do with charges you are currently facing, you will need to talk to a lawyer. Please visit the Contact page or complete the form above to connect with Michael.
Domestic Assault Charges
Domestic assault (or spousal assault) is a major concern in Canada and especially in Manitoba. Manitoba has a “zero tolerance” policy in effect for domestic violence. What that means is that the police do not have discretion about whether to charge someone with domestic assault or not. If the police have reasonable and probable grounds to lay a charge of assault, they must do so. Once charges are laid, only the Crown Attorney can decide if the charges should be dropped and it is not up to the victim or the complainant. In an effort to streamline the judicial process, the courts in Winnipeg separated domestic violence matters from all other criminal matters to help reduce delay. Both Winnipeg courts and police take domestic violence very seriously.
In Canada, there are varying degrees of assault charges and different assault-related charges including simple assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and aggravated assault. Uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm is also considered a violent offence and can be a domestic violence charge. An assault occurs anytime one person contacts another person’s body, either directly or indirectly, without consent and there is some degree of harm. At the low end of the spectrum, a simple assault could be an unwanted push and at the higher end of the spectrum a simple assault could be a strike or a blow with a closed fist. More serious forms of assault result in more serious charges based on the degree of harm caused.
For some people, the first criminal charges they ever face are domestic assault charges. They are unfamiliar with the criminal law and the justice system and they have many questions. If you have an assault charge or a domestic violence charge, you should contact Michael Dyck immediately because he can provide you with some basic information about how the system works. If you hire Michael Dyck as your lawyer, in most cases he can attend court appearances for you so that you can focus on your family or work. Michael Dyck will discuss your case with the Crown attorney assigned and advocate for you to try and have the case resolved in your favour. He knows the importance of avoiding a criminal record and he will work with you to see if that is possibility in your case. Do not try and face the charges and court on your own, you should consider hiring a lawyer.