City: Brockville, Ontario
Our Client: Mr. T.
Complainant: Ms. T.
Charge(s): CC 266 Assault; CC 246(a) Overcome Resistance by Attempting to Choke; CC 264 1(1),a Utter Threat – Cause Death/Bodily Harm
Lawyer: Lavinia Inbar
Case Study: Conditional Discharge – Assault, Threats
Mr. T., an accomplished and educated man had struggled with alcoholism for years and had in fact had a long period of sobriety. But with this disease, people sometimes fall off the wagon and that’s what happened to Mr. T. Due to some stressful circumstances he had started drinking again. He had been away from home for several months and from his 14-year-old daughter whom he loved more than anything. On the day in question he had come to the house and was excited to see his daughter. But he had been drinking. He and his daughter began to argue. Things got heated and she would later accuse him of choking her, pulling her hair and threatening her. She called her brother (not Mr. T.’s son) who is 6’2”. When the brother arrived, Mr. T. was on the couch. A physical altercation ensued between the Mr. T. and the younger man who punched Mr. T. in the gut and knocked him to the ground and when he was down, punched him in the head and then held his arms around his back. Then the brother and sister left the residence. Mr. T. was charged with Assault, Overcome Resistance by attempting to choke and Utter Threat – Cause Death/Bodily Harm.
Mr. T. had no criminal record. The primary goal was to keep him out of jail. However, he did not want to put his daughter through a trial.
Rather than go to trial, we would negotiate an outcome that would not involve a jail sentence. We adjourned the matter while Mr. T. entered residential treatment.
Because Mr. T. had done a significant amount of work upfront to address his substance abuse issue, we were able to obtain a resolution whereby Mr. T. received a conditional discharge. With a conditional discharge a person pleads guilty to the offence, but is not convicted. After a period of probation with conditions, the person is discharged and three years later the matter is purged from the person’s criminal record. Mr. T. was able to avoid jail and a criminal record.