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CASE DETAILS

Charge(s): Assault (Domestic)
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Our Client(s): Mr. B
Complainant(s): Toronto Police Service & Ms. M
Year: 2017
Lawyer: T. Edmund Chan
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Please Note: Past results not predictive of future results.

The Background

When an incident happens between two people in private, the case is often a complicated battle between two sides of the story. If an incident occurs in private, without third party witnesses and without leaving other kinds of evidence, most of the case relies on the testimony of two people: the accused, and the alleged victim. Handling the defence for such a case is rarely easy.

Mr. B and Ms. M had been in a relationship for a few years and there were no known incidents of violence between the two. While staying at a hotel, Ms. M looked at Mr. B’s phone and saw he’d sent a message to his ex, the mother of his children, and confronted him over it. The two argued, and Ms. M alleged that during the argument Mr. B punched and shoved her. During the argument, Mr. B left the hotel, and Ms. M phoned the police.

During her statement to the police, Ms. M refused to receive medical attention, and the officers noted they saw no injuries. Three days later a warrant was placed for Mr. B’s arrest, and he turned himself into the Toronto Police.

The Goals

We spoke with Mr. B over the phone to review his case and discuss the options. Circumstances made it difficult for him to visit our offices, but we gladly host meetings over the phone to suit client needs. He said he wanted the charges dropped as quickly as possible, and wasn’t sure he planned to resume his relationship with Ms. M. Our goal would be to have the Crown drop the charges against Mr. B, and quickly.

The Strategy

After reviewing the notes made by police officers the fact that Ms. M refused medical help and did not appear to have any injuries became a focus.

While we were preparing Mr. B’s case, Ms. M approached police and retracted her previous statements. In a case based almost entirely on two conflicting testimonies, the Crown’s testimony was no longer useful. Without this necessary evidence the Crown had effectively lost the case and we began discussions to have the charges withdrawn.

One of the main considerations of the Crown when deciding to move forward with a charge or not is the prospect of success. A case that cannot be won is a waste of time and resources for both the Crown and the defence. This makes negotiating for dropped charges much easier.

The Results

With the main piece of evidence lost the Crown agreed to withdraw the charges before a trial was reached. Mr. B was still uncertain if his future included Ms. M or not, but at the very least he had no concerns that a wrongful charge of assault would impact his or his children’s lives.

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