City: Napanee, Ontario
Our Client: Mr. S.
Complainant: Ontario Provincial Police
Charge(s): Assault; Unlawfully in Dwelling House (with intent to commit an indictable offence)
Lawyer: Lavinia Inbar
Case Study: Charges Withdrawn – Assault and Unlawfully in Dwelling-House
Mr. S. lived with his partner and her two disabled little boys from her previous and sometimes abusive relationship. Mr. S. and his partner attended the home of her ex to collect her little boys after their weekend access visit. Mr. S. went to the front door and during the transfer of the children; he had a verbal exchange with the ex, a Mr. T. He warned Mr. T. about the abusive nature of the text messages that he was sending to Mr. S.’s partner. This prompted a verbal confrontation between the two men, Mr. T., smiling, puffed out chest and said: “Well what are you going to do about that Bud?” At that moment the boys were passing between them on the steps on the way to their mother who was waiting at the car and Mr. S. said: “I’m not going to do anything in front of the boys.” Mr. T. raised his voice and said: “Come on and do something. If you’re here, do it.” Then Mr. T., who was the bigger of the two men, made a threatening move towards Mr. S. who pushed him back. Mr. T. didn’t fall and instead grabbed Mr. S. The door swung open, driving the doorknob into the wall, damaging the wall. They fell on the steps as they were wrestling. The boys called out something. At the sound of the boys’ voices both men stopped. Mr. S. said: “Are we going to leave it at this?” Mr. T. said yes and shook his hand on it. Mr. S., his partner and the little boys left. However, later, Mr. S. was arrested and charged with Assault and Unlawfully in Dwelling House (with intent to commit an indictable offence).
Mr. S. had no criminal record. He was a hard-working young man who had taken college courses, had a good job where he was well liked and admired and was a good man to his partner and the little boys. The goal was to have the charges withdrawn.
Mr. S. was not guilty of the offences, so a plea bargain on any terms was not an acceptable resolution. Accordingly, we began to collect evidence for a trial. But we would simultaneously keep the lines of communication with the Crown open to try to convince the Crown to withdraw the charges. A combination of efforts by Mr. S. himself, information from his partner and glowing letters of reference, gave us the basis upon which to pitch a peace bond resolution to the Crown.
Based on the materials that we provided, the Crown decided to offer a peace bond resolution and the criminal charges with withdrawn.