Toronto Domestic Assault Lawyers

How to Win a Domestic Assault Case in Toronto

The Canadian Criminal Code talks about domestic assault in Sections 265 and 266; however, it is not referred to distinctly or separate from normal assault charges. What differentiates domestic assault from typical assault is that the involved parties are people who shared an emotional bond at some point. The parties do not have to be married under Canadian law for a case to qualify as domestic assault. The assault could be between a same sex couple, a boyfriend and a girlfriend, or people who were previously in a relationship.

Fighting hard for your case should be your priority when charged with domestic assault because a conviction means a mark on your life by way of a criminal record. In the event that you end up in Family Court someday such as in the case of a custody battle, a record for domestic assault can make things harder for you. It is important that you set yourself for the best defence possible by hiring an experienced domestic assault lawyer like Calvin Barry. Failure to represent yourself with proper legal counsel can result in other consequences of having a criminal record that may include:

  • Compromised education, employment, and volunteer opportunities
  • Conditional sentence in the form of house arrest
  • Indictment that comes with a 5-year prison sentence
  • Limited travel ability
  • Summary conviction that comes with a $5,000 fine or a 6-month custodial sentence
  • Restrictive probation conditions

Our Domestic Assault Defence at Calvin Barry Law

We offer comprehensive defence at Calvin Barry Law whatever the circumstances of your case may be. We are prepared to address every possible scenario, be they be about posting bail, dealing with false accusations, missing witnesses or complainants, and more.

We will make sure to give the judge a comprehensive background of factors that led the assault even when the Crown prosecutor has proven your involvement in the assault. This will allow the judge to see both sides of the case as opposed to just hearing just the complainant’s side which may result in a ruling against you.

Know that if it can be proven that the accused is not a danger to society, it is possible to be released on bail. As your domestic assault lawyer, we will make sure to get bail in a timely manner and argue for better conditions during the Bail Review or the Bail Hearing. We understand that common bail conditions can be life-altering as they often involve banning from the family home and cessation of any communication between the complainant and accused. We try to facilitate a reconciliation whenever possible.

Part of our defence for domestic assault is gathering evidence aimed at casting doubt if a crime was truly committed by the accused on the day in question. We will help you find witnesses and help prepare them for your defence. This is important because in instances wherein the complainant chooses to recant the story or change details, or do not want to move forward with the case anymore because of strong emotional bonds, the Crown prosecutor may still continue with the case. Strong evidence and well-built defence by our team at Calvin Barry Law is key for a trial that represents you fairly. We take care to conduct the trial with respect to the complainant and only focus on countering the prosecutor’s intentions.

In the event that the complainant does not show up for a trial, a material witness warrant may be issued by the judge upon request of the Crown prosecutor. As your legal counsel, we will protest the prosecutor’s actions to prevent the issuance of such a warrant and call upon the prosecutor for a withdrawal of charges.

Some witnesses and complainants make false accusations in a domestic assault case due to a mental illness. Some do this to manipulate the case in the Family Court to result in a more favourable outcome for them in a future custody battle or to retaliate after the end of the relationship. Our team at Calvin Barry Law will pore through their evidence and identify discrepancies as well as point out possible motives.

At Calvin Barry Law, our team has the patience and skills necessary to cross-examine witnesses of any age. Consult with a Toronto criminal lawyer by calling Calvin Barry at 1-866-961-4963.

Domestic Assault FAQS

A domestic assault charge in Canada involves individuals who have a domestic relationship such as siblings, boyfriends-girlfriends, common-law partners, married couples, same-sex partners, and the like. As such, a domestic assault charge requires a lawyer who does not only have knowledge of the law but is also skilled to handle the complexities of human relationships as it pertains to the law.

Defending a domestic assault charge poses different challenges as compared to defending other cases. Some legal complexities can only be used for the defence’s advantage when introduced by the right party. It is of utmost importance to have a competent Toronto domestic assault lawyer who can present a strong defence when facing the relentless prosecutors who often handle domestic assault cases.

Calvin Barry is a sexual assault and domestic assault lawyer in Toronto with over 30 years of collective experience as a Crown prosecutor and now as a criminal defence lawyer. He has been successfully defending cases of domestic assault, sexual assault, and other forms of assault as he is well-versed with the prosecution tactics used in such cases. Get in touch with Calvin Barry at 1-866-961-4963 should you need a sexual assault and domestic assault lawyer in Toronto, the GTA, and the rest of Ontario.

Answers to some domestic assault FAQs are below.

What Is Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault is a type of assault that happens between individuals who are in a domestic relationship. The involved parties could be intimate partners or family members. This can include parents, children, dating partners, siblings, ex-spouses, and spouses. Acts that are committed with the intention of causing fear via death or bodily harm between people who have a domestic relationship fall under domestic assault.

Is it Possible to Get A Domestic Assault Charge Dropped?

A charge of domestic assault cannot be dropped in Canada even when complainants want to retract their statements. This is because a charge of domestic assault belongs to the Crown once laid by the police. What is possible is for the complainant’s input to have a significant influence on how the prosecutor will handle the case. There is chance that the prosecutor may drop the case if there is no reasonable chance of conviction or if pursuing the charge is not in the best interest of the public.

What Does It Mean for The Police to Have Reasonable Grounds to Lay A Charge of Domestic Assault?

Reasonable grounds are needed before the police can lay a domestic assault charge. This means that they cannot act on mere suspicion.

What does having reasonable grounds mean? It means having enough basis to believe that an offence was committed just by looking at the details of the allegation from the point of view of an unbiased, prudent person.

The police may need to rely on information such as observation of the injuries of the victim, witness statements, information from the 911 dispatch, and visible property damage to determine if reasonable grounds exist.

Is A Bail Available for a Domestic Assault Charge?

With a charge of domestic assault, the accused will typically be detained by the police for a night and then goes to a bail hearing the following day. During the bail hearing, the Crown can oppose the defendant’s release or consent to a release based on specified conditions. If a bail release was opposed by the Crown, there will be a contested bail hearing before a Justice of the Peace.

Do Domestic Assault Cases Go to Trial?

There are times when the Crown can be persuaded to accept a guilty plea to a lesser offence or withdraw the charge based on available data; hence, not all domestic assault charges result in a trial.

How to Defend Against A Domestic Assault Charge?

Consulting with an experienced domestic assault defence lawyer is one of the smartest first steps when defending one’s self from a charge of domestic assault as this is a charge that cannot be dropped easily. Building a strong defence can lead to an acquittal, a withdrawal of charges, or more lenient penalties via a plea bargain with the Crown.

Calvin Barry has over 30 years of legal knowledge and experience to help you defend yourself from a domestic assault charge. Call Calvin Barry Law at 1-866-961-4963 for a consultation at your earliest convenience.

What Are Expected During A Trial for Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault cases that result in a trial are usually complex and challenging. As a defendant, you should know that you will face limitations even when you can represent yourself in court. A defendant is not allowed to cross-examine the complainant and will need an appointed lawyer to do so. Court-appointed lawyers will not help you in other aspects of defence. They do not have to conduct the cross-examination in a manner that you want as their sole responsibility is to cross-examine the complainant in any manner they deem fit.

Note that domestic assault trials usually involve the Crown submitting prior alleged incidents of abuse as part of the evidence to form a background narrative. This narrative evidence is often highly prejudicial to the defendant as this is not proof of the alleged offence but only a way to create a narrative that fits the alleged offence. An experienced domestic assault lawyer will know how to counter these prosecution tactics with a good defence that focuses on what happened and not what allegedly happened in related incidences.

What Happens to The Children that The Accused Has with The Complainant?

The topic of children is usually discussed in the court as the bail is being set. The court will usually set restricted circumstances with which the accused can see their children. This often involves the help of a third-party to facilitate the arrangements.

What Penalties Await Those Found Guilty of Domestic Assault?

The penalties for domestic assault vary depending on the severity of the offence. For those who plead guilty or were found guilty after the trial, the penalty for a charge of domestic assault can be as lenient as a discharge to as severe as a long jail sentence. Ancillary orders such as firearms prohibition or DNA order can be expected.

How Can A Charge of Domestic Assault Affect The Accused?

Once convicted for domestic assault, the charges will remain on the accused’s criminal record. If you’ve been convicted of domestic assault, the mark on your permanent record can have life-long effects on your living arrangements, ability to gain employment, maintain future relationships, and freedom to travel. It is best to avoid a conviction as best as you can with the assistance of an experienced criminal defence lawyer.

Calvin Barry Law is at your service. Hiring a seasoned domestic assault lawyer is your best defence to avoid life-long negative effects and combat false allegations. Contact Calvin Barry at 1-866-961-4963 if you are looking for a domestic assault lawyer in Toronto and nearby areas.

What is Sexual Assault?

Non-consensual physical contact that interferes with someone’s sexual integrity is classified as sexual assault in Canada. Touching someone’s buttocks, genitals, and breasts without that individual’s consent is likewise defined as sexual assault even when the purpose of the perpetrator was non-sexual.

What Penalties Await Those Found Guilty of Sexual Assault?

The consequences of a sexual assault charge can affect the accused’s reputation for life. An arrest may result in losing one’s job, being placed in restrictive bail conditions, and receiving unwanted attention and publicity. A guilty plea or a conviction will result in 18-24 months imprisonment for a summary conviction or as much as 10 years imprisonment for an indictment. A conviction or a guilty plea will also lead to registration in the provincial sex offender registry, the national sex offender registry, and the national DNA Data Bank.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Domestic Assault Defence Lawyer?

The fees charged by domestic assault lawyers depend on the complexity of your charge and other factors regarding the case. At Calvin Barry Law, we offer decades of legal expertise and knowledge to defend you in court. Contact us at 1-866-961-4963 to discuss our fees as well as what we can do to assist you.

Criminal Law – Areas of Practice

Impaired Driving / DUI / Over 80

Have been charged with impaired driving in Toronto? Calvin Barry and his team of lawyers have successfully defended numerous cases involving drinking and driving allegations. Our law firm has extensive experience in this area of law specifically.

Domestic Assaults

If you are charged with domestic assault, do not plead guilty before you consult with a lawyer at our firm. Calvin Barry and his team have successfully defended numerous cases involving domestic assault and have experience in this area of law.

Sexual Assaults

Have you been charged with sexual assault, sexual interference or other sexual related offences? The lawyers at Calvin Barry Professional Corporation can help. We have extensive experience with this area of law.

Violent Offences

If you are facing charges of a violent crime, you should seek the advice of our lawyers immediately. These offences can carry severe penalties and you need to ensure that your rights are protected. We have represented clients with a broad variety of violent crime charges successfully.

Drug Related Offences

If you are charged with a drug related offence do not plead guilty before you consult with one of our lawyers. We understand that all criminal allegations are serious to the person charged, and at Calvin Barry Professional Corporation, we have successfully defended numerous types of drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.


Calvin Barry and his team have successfully represented individuals charged with various types of fraud, and fraud related offences. Fraud is committed when one, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defrauds the public or a person of any property, money, valuable security or any service.


Calvin Barry Professional Corporation
113 Front Street East
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 4S5
Open from 9am – 7pm.