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Toronto Assault Charges Lawyer

What is the PAR program (Early Intervention) in Toronto criminal domestic cases?

PAR or PARS (sometimes referred to as "Early Intervention" or "Alternative Early Intervention") generally refers to a 12 week (previously 16) domestic abuse course that is approved by the Crown Attorney’s office in Ontario. Part of entering into PARS means accepting responsibility for making the victim fearful (which can be noted in the police computer system and CPIC).

Defendants often agree to enter into the PARS program because a deal is made with the Crown (prosecutor) with regard to sentencing or ultimate case disposition. Typical deals include the Crown agreeing to ask the trial judge for sentences such things as:
  1. Withdrawal (dropping) of the charges
  2. Withdrawal of the charges upon the signing of an s. 810 or common law peace bond
  3. Staying the charges
  4. An absolute discharge
  5. A conditional discharge (and probation)
  6. A suspended sentence (which results in a conviction and formal criminal record, but allows the defendant to avoid going to jail or being placed on house arrest/a conditional sentence)
  7. A shorter jail sentence

If I agree to a PARS type deal will I be able to regain contact with my spouse right away?

In most cases, the Crown Attorney will agree to vary the criminal undertaking or bail conditions to allow contact with “victim”/complainant while the accused attends the 12 individual PARS sessions if they complainant is agreeable to this arrangement. Sometimes this variation will take place after a certain number of sessions have been successfully completed.

While PARS itself is 12 sessions (one per week), the completion court date is usually a full 5 months from the day the accused enters into the deal. For a displaced accused, who is often left without a home and away from their family, sometimes they reluctantly agree to PARS counselling in order to go back home as soon as possible.

Even if a PARS deal is made, the trial judge has the ultimate say as to what the ultimate sentence will be except in cases where the Crown agrees to drop (withdraw) the charges (with or without a peace bond). Whenever an accused has to plead guilty, the sentence is determined by the trial judge, not the Crown Attorney. This being said, it is rare that a judge would give an accused a harsher sentence than what the Crown is looking for (note: “rare” – it does happen, just not very often.)

Is PARS always required in domestic cases? I don't want to have to do PARS.

Absolutely not. It is often possible to negotiate a deal that does not involve enrolling in the formal PARS program. This may include private relationship counselling, alcohol programs, and anger management programs. The benefits of avoiding PARS are obvious, such as:
  1. The case can often be thrown out or withdrawn much sooner (1 – 2 months as opposed to 6 months)
  2. The PARS programs are often highly inflexible and strict with regards to dates, timing, missed sessions, and general treatment of the participants
  3. PARS often relates more to assault and relationship issues when in some cases the program relates more closely to a drug or alcohol abuse problem
  4. Depending on the courthouse where your case is, there is a fee of $350 - $750 dollars (each jurisdiction is different)
  5. In signing up for PARS, the accused is forced to sign papers that admit to or accept responsibility for making the accused fearful. These informal deals do not include formally pleading guilty in court for what happened, but are often noted in the computer system as having accepted some degree of responsibility, which can negatively impact US travel and employment background checks.
Whether you can avoid a formal PARS program will depend on the facts of your case, the courthouse location your matter is being heard at, and the discretion of the Crown Attorney that your lawyer chooses to deal with.

As every courthouse in the GTA and every Crown handles these cases differently, it is extremely important that your lawyer know which Crown is most likely to agree to such a deal (and how to present your case to them).

Do I have to complete PARS for minor mischief (property damage) domestic cases?

I was falsely accused of damaging matrimonial property. If I am innocent, or I only damaged my own stuff, and this was overall a minor incident, why do I have to agree to a 12 week course?

You don’t - sometimes alternative arrangements can be made (but your lawyer must be cautious and know exactly what they are doing). You also have the option of pleading not guilty and requesting a trial date. This may mean you will have to continue to be apart from your family while you await your trial date (which can take 6 months to over a year). If the judge doesn’t believe your story, or believe it enough to find reasonable doubt, you could end up with a conviction and be sentenced to probation or jail (along with a criminal record).

The cases that are often most appropriate for trials involve a dispute of the facts and circumstances where the “victim” and the accused have no intention of resuming their relationship. If you wish to reconcile the relationship and move back into your house, you are often left with little choice but to make a deal with the Crown to undertake some counselling or possibly pars to get them to vary the undertaking and ultimately drop the charge.

If you are married, there is case law (previous court decisions in Ontario) that has established that you can be convicted of mischief for damaging matrimonial property. Even if you are angry and go to the garage and smash up your own car, you could still be convicted of mischief.

Call us today for a free assessment

If you have been encouraged to take a case to trial when the facts are relatively minor (no weapon used or significant injury) and the "victim" is on your side, call us today for a second opinion. Often these types of charges can be withdrawn and the release conditions varied to allow contact without a risky and unnecessary trial.

You don't need to be apart from your spouse and family, spend tens of thousands of dollars, and risk getting a criminal record because of an unfortunate domestic incident.



   call us: 647-228-5969

   contact@torontoassaultlawyer.ca


    call us: 647-228-5969

    contact@torontoassaultlawyer.ca

Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel


* Please note:

If you are the alleged victim, and are looking to help your spouse/partner's case, please see our affidavit services page here.

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with US travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can take calls/emails relating to GTA area cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a domestic assault/threats/mischief related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences and case strategies, call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


         

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  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprint and records destruction
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel
  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprint and records destruction
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel