Sexual Assault Lawyers Toronto
Sexual assault lawyers are an important part of the justice system in Toronto. They help victims of sexual assault get the support and legal assistance they need to make their voices heard. Sexual assault is a heinous crime, and it's important that victims have access to the best legal representation possible.
In this blog, we will explain what sexual assault is, some of the legalities around charges for it, and why it's important to pick the best sexual assault lawyer to ensure you get the proper criminal defence.
How does the Criminal Code of Canada Define Sexual Assault?
Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offenses of assault and sexual assault as follows:
A person commits an “assault” when:
- 265 (1) A person commits an assault when
- (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
- (b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
- (c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.
(2) This section applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm, and aggravated sexual assault.
(3) For the purposes of this section, no consent is obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of
- (a) the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;
- (b) threats or fear of the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;
- (c) fraud; or
- (d) the exercise of authority.
Accused’s belief as to consent
(4) Where an accused alleges that he believed that the complainant consented to conduct that is the subject matter of the charge, a judge if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that, if believed by the jury, the evidence would constitute a defence, shall instruct the jury, when reviewing all the evidence relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused’s belief, to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.
What Are the Penalties If Convicted of Sexual Assault In Canada?
The penalty for sexual assault in Canada can range from 18 months to 10 years in prison. Depending on the severity of the offense, additional penalties may also be imposed. In some cases, there is a mandatory minimum sentence or fines that must be imposed by law.
In addition, if convicted of sexual assault you will be required to register as a sex offender. Registered sex offender means having one’s name and information accessible to police officers and other authorities across Canada.
It is important to note that even if you are not convicted of sexual assault, allegations of this nature can still have serious consequences including public humiliation and damage to your reputation.
The Components Of A Sexual Assault:
Sexual assault crimes involve a range of different behaviors and can be composed of three components:
- Non-consensual sexual contact or touching. This includes unwanted physical contact, such as fondling or kissing without consent.
- Threats or coercion. This includes making threats to harm the victim in some way if they do not submit to the perpetrator's demands.
- A form of force or violence used to gain compliance from the victim. This may include violent behavior, such as pinning down the victim and forcibly performing sexual acts on them against their will.
These three components must all be present for an act to be considered a crime according to Canadian law. If even one of these components is missing, the act will not be considered a criminal offense.
In addition to understanding what constitutes sexual assault, it is important to also understand why it is such an egregious crime.
Sexual assault has a profound impact on victims, often resulting in long-term physical and psychological trauma. Victims of sexual violence are more likely to suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues. They may also experience difficulty forming trusting relationships or engaging in daily activities as they struggle with the emotional aftermath of their attack.
This makes sexual assault one of the most serious crimes that can be committed in Canada and its penalties reflect this level of seriousness.
How Toronto Criminal Lawyers Defend Sexual Assault Charges
Being charged with sexual assault is a serious matter that can have life-altering consequences. If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is important to seek the help of a qualified sexual assault lawyer in Toronto as soon as possible.
A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options. In many cases, there may be defences available that can help you avoid a conviction.
For example, if the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity, or if you did not intend to commit a sexual assault, these may be grounds for dismissal of the charges.
An experienced sexual assault lawyer will know how to build a strong defence on your behalf and give you the best chance at avoiding a conviction.
What is the age of consent in Canada?
The age of consent in Canada is 16. This means that a person must be at least 16 years old to legally agree to any form of sexual activity. The age of consent applies regardless of the gender or orientation of both parties involved.
It is important to note that there are certain exceptions to this rule, such as if one party is in a position of trust or authority over the other. It is also illegal for anyone over 18 to engage in sexual activity with someone under the age of 15. In these cases, even if consent was given by the minor, charges can still be laid against an adult partner.
Finally, it should also be noted that different provinces have their own laws regarding the age of consent
The Importance of a Strong Defence in These Types of Cases
Sexual assault cases are notoriously difficult to win. The stakes are high, and the victim's credibility is often called into question. That's why it's so important to have a strong defence team in place.
A sexual assault lawyer in Toronto with experience handling these types of cases can make all the difference. They will know how to build a solid defence and will be able to anticipate the prosecution's strategy. This can give you a much better chance of winning your case. If you're facing sexual assault charges, don't try to go it alone.
Strategies That Can Be Used to Prove Innocence or Reduce Sentencing
In some cases, there may be evidence that can be used to show that the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity. In other cases, there may be evidence that the alleged victim was not actually assaulted. For instance, if there are no injuries consistent with sexual assault, this may be an indication that the alleged victim was not actually assaulted.
It is also important to remember that even if you are convicted of sexual assault, there are still strategies that can be used to reduce your sentence.
If you have no prior criminal history, this will likely be taken into consideration by the judge when sentencing. Additionally, if you take responsibility for your actions and show remorse, this will also likely be taken into consideration by the judge.
If you have been charged with sexual assault, it is important to contact a sexual assault lawyer in Toronto today and ensure that you have the best possible defence. A qualified Toronto criminal lawyer will be able to review your case and advise you of your legal options. There may be defences available that can help you avoid a conviction.
Contact Titan Defence LLP today for more information.
Author: Titan LLP
NOTE: THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THIS SHOULD ONLY BE RELIED ON FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES. THIS BLOG IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE BY AN ACTUAL LAWYER. THE LAW ALSO DYNAMIC IS CHANGES OFTEN, AND AS A RESULT, THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN MAY BE OUTDATED AFTER TIME. THIS BLOG MUST NOT BE RELIED ON AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ACTUAL LEGAL RESEARCH.