What is domestic assault?
Domestic assault is any act of violence, controlling behaviour or coercion in an intimate relationship. It can be physical or emotional and includes simple assault, issuing threats, sexual assault, aggravated assault, assault occasioning bodily harm and assault with a weapon. Domestic assault can also occur between former partners.
Penalties for domestic assault in Canada
Even if a complainant does not wish to press charges, the Crown’s Counsel always recommends the offender be charged following a domestic assault allegation. The penalty for domestic assault depends on the degree of the crime and your background – for example, your criminal history.
You will likely serve jail time if convicted. Depending on the severity of the crime, you could serve up to:
- Two years for a minor offence
- Five years for a serious offence
- Ten years for an offence of sexual nature or one causing bodily harm
- Fourteen years for aggravated domestic assault
The courts will likely release you on bail until your trial date if you have no history of violence. Before releasing you, however, they will also consider factors like your employment, mental and physical health and history of drug use.