In Ontario, most domestic abuse cases end without going to trial. In some cases, a criminal defence lawyer may be able to obtain a resolution which even leaves you without a criminal record. This may be by way of a peace bond or some other resolution. As part of negotiations with the Crown, it may be amenable to your case to participate in a court-approved counselling program.
The Crown has the discretion to decide based on the particular facts of each case, whether or not a court-approved counselling program would be amenable. Cases will vary and each particular case must be of a nature that a program can be completed while ensuring the safety of all parties involved. It is the job of your criminal defence lawyer to prove to the Crown that your case justifies a resolution through one of these programs. One such program is the Partner Assault Response Program (PAR program). If you have been charged with domestic assault in Bowmanville, Courtice or Newcastle, a criminal defence lawyer can help you fight your charges and negotiate on your behalf for a resolution that works for you.
About the Program
The Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program is a court approved psycho-educational counseling course designed to help participants recognize, and avoid abusive behaviours. Its goal is to increase safety for partners and increase accountability on the part of offenders. The program aims to: increase an offender’s understanding of domestic violence and abuse, non-violent strategies to engage in healthy relationships, to reduce the likelihood of reoffending, and to assist victims/partners by providing information that will help them to make informed decisions about their safety and relationship with the offender. The program covers 10 learning topics and exercises over a total of 12 sessions, covering material like identifying the different types of abuse and their effects, anger management strategies and non-abusive conflict resolution among other things. Participants may also be asked to complete some additional work outside of the sessions such as additional reading. Once the program is completed, participants are issued a Certificate of Completion and Comprehensive Report.
When and Where
If you are charged with domestic assault in Bowmanville, Courtice or Newcastle, the course is offered at the Durham Regional Headquarters in Whitby. Participants can expect to complete the program within 2 to 3 months depending on their availability and motivation with flexibility offering both daytime and evening groups. Sessions can be completed in small groups of 2 to 3 people with separate groups for male and female participants or one-on-one sessions.
The program is covered by most extended health benefit insurance plans. If you do not have such a plan, you will be given a quote at your assessment based on a sliding scale ranging from $80 to $120 per counselling session.
If you have been charged with domestic assault, it is vital you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. At Aitken Robertson we provide professional advice and a vigorous defence with flexible fee arrangements to achieve the most favourable outcome for you. Please call our Oshawa office at 905-725-3564 for a free 30-minute consultation.