Category Criminal
Fight domestic assault charges. Hire a criminal lawyer.

In Canada, domestic assault is a serious criminal offence. The decision to press charges and ultimately proceed with a prosecution lies with the Crown (the government prosecutor), not the victim. This can be difficult for victims who may want to reconcile with their partner or feel pressured to withdraw charges. Understanding the process and your options is crucial.

Why Can’t You Simply Drop the Charges?

Canada takes a strong stance against domestic violence. There’s a zero-tolerance policy, prioritizing public safety and deterring future offenses. This means the Crown prosecutes cases even if the victim withdraws their complaint.

What Can You Do to Influence the Case?

While you can’t directly drop the charges, you can significantly impact the Crown’s decision to proceed. Here’s how:

Affidavit of Support: You can write a sworn statement expressing your desire to have charges dropped. Explain the circumstances, your safety concerns (or lack thereof), and your wish to reconcile.

Cooperation with the Prosecutor: Be forthcoming and truthful with the Crown about the events and your wishes. Engaging a lawyer experienced in domestic assault cases can help navigate this process effectively.

Factors Influencing the Crown’s Decision:

The Crown considers several factors before deciding whether to proceed:
Strength of the Case: The prosecutor evaluates the evidence – witness statements, medical records, and police reports. A weak case with insufficient evidence might lead to a withdrawal.

Your Safety: The Crown prioritizes your safety. If there’s a continued risk of violence, the case will likely proceed.

Your Recantation: While not guaranteeing dropped charges, a well-written affidavit expressing a genuine desire to withdraw the complaint can be persuasive.

Public Interest: The Crown weighs the impact on the community. In repeat offenses or particularly violent cases, prosecution might proceed even if you want charges dropped.

Additional Considerations:

Protection Orders: Even if charges are dropped, you can apply for a protection order to restrict your husband’s contact and ensure your safety.

Safety Planning: Domestic violence is a complex issue. Consider seeking support from victim shelters or counselling services to prioritize your well-being.

While you cannot directly drop domestic assault charges against your husband, you can influence the Crown’s decision. By providing a clear and honest perspective, you can encourage the prosecutor to consider the case’s unique circumstances. Remember, your safety is paramount. Seek legal guidance and consider support services to ensure your well-being throughout this difficult process.

Important Note: This article provides a general overview and shouldn’t be considered legal advice. For specific guidance on your situation, consult a lawyer specializing in domestic assault cases.