Domestic assault charges are one of the most common in the Ontario Court of Justice. Many individuals charged with these offences have no prior history with the courts. It is important to have a lawyer assist you through the court process. You need to understand your rights, and the potential consequences of any deals that are being offered to you.
Often the Crown will suggest that you enter the “PARS” program. PARS is a counselling program approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General. If you are successful with your counselling, the Crown will either peace bond your charges or ask the judge for a lighter sentence after you plead guilty.
This may sound like a good offer, but how do you really know it is right for you? Do you have any idea of how strong your defence might be at trial? Are there ongoing family court proceedings that might be impacted by you accepting a peace bond? Are you a regulated professional who might be impacted by any criminal sentence? These are questions you need to explore with your own lawyer before deciding if a deal is right for you.
People charged with domestic violence offences often think that their charges will be dropped because the victim will ask the Crown or police to do so. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. The decision to continue a prosecution rests entirely with the Crown. They can continue trial proceedings without the cooperation of the victim.
Don’t waste time hoping your charges will be dropped. Hire a lawyer to discuss your options and determine the best strategy for your needs.