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Toronto Assault Charges Lawyer

Youth Assault Charges in Toronto, Canada

Every day young offenders (under age 18) are charged with assault in Canada. If the case does not involve bodily harm or a weapon, the youth is normally charged under Section 266 of the Criminal Code. These cases are often referred to as common or simple assault charges. The alleged victim can be another youth or an adult. In all youth criminal cases, the parent or guardian is supposed to be served with a “Notice to Parent, Adult Relative or Other Adult” by the police under subsection 26(1), (2), and (4) of the YCJA (Youth Criminal Justice Act).

What is considered an assault under Section 266?

The criminal definition of assault in Canada is extremely broad and includes any contact with another person without consent. A push, shove, grab, or even an assaultive gesture without any actual physical contact can be sufficient to meet the definition. While one does necessarily not need to hit, punch, or kick the other person assault, most cases involve some form of physical contact. Charges are laid in cases that involve no actual injury to the victim. Any unwanted contact is sufficient. Once charges are laid, ultimately it will be up to the Judge to decide if an assault took place unless the charges are withdrawn beforehand.

What can I do as a parent to have my child's assault charges dropped?

No parent(s) wants to see their child in the criminal justice system. Hiring a criminal lawyer immediately is the first thing any parent should do when their child is charged. In addition to having a lawyer, the child’s current behaviour and the parents’ control over the youth is also important. Factors that can help the case include:

  1. The parents having control over the child such that they will follow the advice of their lawyer such as attending counselling, performing community service, and other tasks
  2. That the youth not breach conditions of release (bail or criminal undertaking) by keeping the peace and being of good behaviour along with abiding by any all clauses (no contact, not to attend at, etc.)
  3. That the youth continue to attend school and/or their extracurricular activities in a disciplined nature.

In a youth case if the child (teenager) is able to follow instructions and remain out of trouble after arrest they stand a much greater chance of having the charges withdrawn allowing them to move on with their life. If the accused youth continues to disobey their parents, school officials, and even their own lawyer, the situation will only get worse. In assault cases where there is no significant injury a criminal record can almost always be avoided so long as the youth is willing to rehabilitate themselves, follow instructions, and make amends for what happened.

My son/daughter committed the assault because they were being bullied or treated poorly

Unless the actions were made in self-defence the motive of bad treatment is not a factor that would cause the accused to be found not guilty. This being said, the overall background and reasoning behind why the incident happened is helpful for your child’s lawyer in discussing the case with the Crown Attorney and in asking the Judge for leniency. It is important that any abusive communications from the “victim” that are made over text, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other forms of media be preserved and provided to your child’s legal counsel. Bullying can lead to assault charges against the bully (if physical) or their victim in cases where the victim physically lashes out for revenge.

School related incidents

Many youth assault cases originate at school. When school officials become aware that a student has been assaulted they are required to call the Police and often the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) so that an investigation can be commenced. Sometimes a School Resource Officer (SRO) is involved in the case if they have information on any of the related parties. While schools have the power to impose disciplinary actions on their students, an assault is considered a Police matter which is properly dealt with by the criminal justice system.

Co-accused cases are also common for youth crimes and many incidents are the result of the child hanging around with the wrong crowd. When charges are laid, it can be particularly difficult for the youth because it often forces them to be apart from their friends and social group.

My son/daughter has been told they cannot return to their school

When anyone is charged with a crime, the police have the discretion to release them while they await their court date with a Promise to Appear (Form 10) and/or a Criminal Undertaking (Form 11.1) or hold them for a bail hearing. If held for bail a surety (often the parent in youth cases) may be required to supervise their release. In assault cases, a condition of release (whether on the Undertaking or Bail) is that they have no direct or indirect contact with the victim. Conditions may also include that they not attend at places the victim is known to be. This means the accused is often unable to return to the same school where the incident took place. Sometimes a lawyer is able to have these conditions varied at a later point in time.

Family related incidents

Sometimes the assaultive behaviour is happens at home or among family members. It may have been directed towards a parent or sibling of the accused. In cases where the sibling is the alleged victim, and particularly if the sibling themselves is under age 18, the Police, Courts, and Crown Attorney’s office may want to prevent the accused youth from returning home in order to protect the victim. From their perspective, it is inappropriate to have a sibling, who was the victim of the assault, having to fear that such an incident may happen again.

As such, in these cases it often will take some time, and perhaps some counselling, before the youth can return home. Family related assault cases occur when the parents, siblings, or even the accused themselves call 911 to report an incident. Most of the time they have no idea of the incredible consequences that will quickly follow a call to the police in these circumstances.

Utter Threats

Charges for uttering threats are common alongside assault charges. When the police investigate they will ask if any threatening statements were made. It does not need to be a death threat. Any threat of violence or even damage to property is sufficient for the police to charge. Sometimes the threat is made online often via Facebook, Snapchat, or through text messages. Screenshots may be gathered by the Police as evidence of the crime.

What is the YCJA (Youth Criminal Justice Act)?

While young offenders are prosecuted under the same Criminal Code as adults, the YCJA provides for specific practices that are not in place for adult offenders. This includes special provisions in regards to sentencing, evidence, notifying parents, and access to information. Contrary to public belief, a youth charge can become part of an adult criminal record. It is essential that your child’s lawyer work to minimize the likelihood of this happening.

I am the parent who called the Police. I don’t want my child prosecuted. How can I stop this?

Unfortunately, once the Police get involved the parent is no longer the decision maker however your input is extremely important. As mentioned above, the youth’s current discipline and willingness to follow instructions are extremely helpful to his or her lawyer in trying to get the Crown Attorney to drop the charges against them. Having a parent who can say they have control over their child, that they have been disciplined at home, that they are of current good behaviour both generally and academically, and that the youth has attended counselling to deal with the underlying issues can be extremely beneficial to their case.

What is the punishment for assault charges for youth?

It is ultimately up to the Judge in the court to decide what the punishment will be for those they find to be guilty. Similar to adults who are charged with assault, youth punishments can include probation, fines, jail, and a criminal record. 


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. We charge a flat fee of $5000.00 +hst for most cases that we are able to resolve without a trial.



   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