If you have been charged with assault, you need to have a seasoned criminal lawyer on your side to mount a strong defence. But what if you could simply get those assault charges dropped?
This is possible will depend on different factors, including the severity of the allegations and your criminal history. Only the Crown has the power to drop the charges, and even if the victim recants their testimony, the charges might remain in place.
However, if the allegations against you are not too serious, you have nothing to lose in trying to get the charges withdrawn with the help of your criminal lawyer Brampton. Here is how to get simple assault charges dropped.
1. Stay calm and cooperate
After being accused and charged with assault, it’s in your best interest to remain calm and in control of your emotions. Denying the events in a violent outburst will not help your case.
You should also cooperate with the investigation in any way you can. Suppose the complainant refuses to cooperate with the investigation. In that case, the Crown could be more likely to drop the charges, especially if no third-party witnesses and not much evidence are available. But the charges will remain in place if you are the one refusing to cooperate.
2. Consider a pre-trial resolution
Your lawyer could engage in discussions with the Crown to see if it would be possible to get the charges withdrawn in a pre-trial resolution.
One way to get a pre-trial resolution is to enter a guilty plea. This will not exactly cause the charges to be dropped, but in exchange for your guilty plea, you should be able to receive a more favourable sentence. You would also be able to avoid the expenses of a trial, which could make this an interesting option.
3. Show that the alleged assault was trivial
If the charges against you concern a trivial situation, the Crown should not waste time with it. If you can prove that the assault was not serious and that you never intended to cause any harm to the complainant, the Crown could agree to drop the charges.
After all, there is a public interest in prosecuting someone who has been accused of a serious assault, but not someone who has been charged with knocking another person down by accident.
4. Be serious about considering counselling and apologies
Unless you have been charged with aggravated assault, the Crown could agree to drop the charges against you if you are ready to apologize to the complainant and turn to counsel to help make sure you will never be charged with assault again.
You could get enrolled in a rehabilitation program or have to perform community service. The charges would be withdrawn in exchange for your efforts and good faith.
5. Agree to a peace bond if you are offered one
In a minor case of assault, the Crown could offer you a peace bond. If you agree to this peace bond, you will have certain conditions to follow. In exchange, the charges against you will be dropped.
Agreeing to a peace bond is not the same as offering a guilty plea. It does not mean you admit that the allegations against you are true, but simply that you agree that the complainant has a reason to be afraid of you.
Signing a peace bond will prevent your case from being a trial, and you will not have a criminal record.
6. See if you could get a discharge
You could get an absolute or a conditional discharge if you plead guilty to the offence and if your lawyer can help establish that it would be in the public’s interest to receive the lightest sentence possible.
Whether or not it’s possible for you to get a discharge also depends on the severity of the alleged assault, your circumstances, and the circumstances in which the event took place.
While a conditional discharge comes with conditions you must comply with for a certain period, an absolute discharge comes with no conditions or consequences. Keep in mind, however, that absolute discharges are very rare.
7. Mount a strong defence if you are innocent
If you are innocent and did not commit the offence, you are accused, and you shouldn’t plead guilty or agree to a peace bond.
Instead, you should work with your lawyer to mount a strong defence to hopefully prove that the charges against you should be dropped. It’s also possible to get the charges dropped to prove that you acted in self-defence or defended your property.