Accused of a false sexual assault in Canada?
Need help with how to defend yourself against these charges?
Then, you’re at the right place!
Being accused of a sexual assault charge can be a really upsetting and stressful experience. However, you must know that there are steps you can take to fight these charges and protect your reputation.
So, whether you’re facing a wrongful accusation or simply want to be prepared in case it happens to you, it is best to be prepared in advance. Here, in the following discussion, you will know how to beat a sexual assault charge in Canada.
But First, What is Sexual Assault in Canada?
Any non-consensual sexual conduct or contact is considered a serious offense in Canada. It is referred to as sexual assault. According to the Canadian Criminal Code, sexual assault is a violent crime that can cause a prison sentence. Sexual exploitation, physical sex, sexual touching, and any unwelcome sexual activities are all considered sexual assaults in Canada.
Sexual assault can happen in various places, like at home, workplace, and at social gatherings. There are other kinds of forced sexual contact, coercive behavior, and any sexual action that takes place without the victim’s consent.
What are the Grounds for Sexual Assault in Canada?
Let’s learn the grounds for sexual assault in Canada.
Any unwelcome sexual or physical contact, which includes groping, fondling, or kissing, falls under this form of sexual assault. Basically, any type of uncomfortable sexual contact, even without penetration, is considered a sexual touch.
It refers to people in a social position of authority—such as a teacher, coach, or employer, who use another person for sex. For example, sexual exploitation charges will be brought against a teacher who has sex with a student.
Sexual Assault with a Weapon
Here, the abuser uses a weapon or another instrument to act such assault. The abuser may use a gun or knife to threaten the victim. The sentence for assault with a weapon in Canada can include imprisonment for months to years, plus potential fines or probation.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
Aggravated Assault in Canada is a more severe type of sexual assault where the victim is hurt, maimed, disfigured, or has their life at risk. Besides, using a weapon or making violent threats can be involved in it.
Sexual Assault Causing Bodily Harm
It describes a serious sexual assault where the victim experiences a physical injury. It may involve wounds like cuts, bruises, or shattered bones.
What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Canada?
Here in the following discussion, you will know about the penalties for sexual assault in Canada.
In Canada, if the abuser is found guilty of sexual assault, the maximum jail term is ten years, and the maximum punishment for a summary charge is eighteen months. The seriousness of the crime, the victim’s age, and other circumstances can all affect how long the prison term is.
An offender can be sentenced to probation, which may call for a few requirements. For example, reporting to a probation officer, avoiding contact with the victim, and going to counseling. There can be several penalties, too, like jail. For a summary infraction, a probation period will last up to three years; but for an indictable offense, it may extend up to five years.
Registration as a Sex Offender
An individual’s personal and professional life may be significantly impacted if he is registered as a sex offender after being found guilty of sexual assault in Canada. The National Sex Offender Registry maintains a database of registered sex offenders. They must provide their addresses and other information to the officials.
The court may issue a restraining order to save the victim from future damages. For example, there can be orders to avoid the victim or have no contact with them.
As a punishment for sexual assault, the court may impose both fines and imprisonment. However, depending on the gravity of the act and the offender’s financial situation, the fine amount can change.
How to Beat a Sexual Assault Charge in Canada?
If you are falsely accused of sexual assault charges, you will know how to beat a sexual assault charge in Canada with the below points,
Investigate the Allegations
- The key to countering the accusations against you is gathering proof that backs up your position. For example, video footage, witness accounts, and medical records.
- Search for contradictions in the accuser’s speech. You can question the accuser if their words have any contradictions or inconsistencies. It can weaken the prosecution’s case, which you can use for your gain.
- Check to see if the accuser has a reason to lie. You can question the accuracy of the accuser’s claims if they have a track record of lying or doing it for personal or financial gain.
Challenge the Evidence
- It’s important to pinpoint the prosecution’s case’s vulnerabilities. It can help you cast doubt on forensic findings’ validity or point out contradictions in witness testimony.
- To counter forensic evidence, call on expert witnesses. Expert witnesses can assess the prosecution’s case’s reliability and relevance of the evidence.
- Another technique to attack the evidence is questioning the authenticity of the accuser or other witnesses. You can challenge their motivations, previous choices, or any contradictions in their accounts.
Raise a Reasonable Doubt
- It is important to deny the accusations made against you. You must explain that the prosecution still needs to gather solid proof. Any legitimate doubt about the prosecution’s case can result in a conviction.
- You can challenge the prosecution’s case by pointing out gaps or contradictions in the evidence.
- One successful strategy is to claim that the evidence does not prove the defendant guilty with reasonable doubt.
Use Procedural Defenses
- It is possible to get evidence taken off if you can check the legitimacy of the search and evidence seizure.
- You can also claim that the prosecution violated your legal rights.
- You can counter it using different legal grounds, such as time limitation or double sentencing.
Being accused of sexual assault can be a highly stressful experience. If you are ever facing anything like this, there are several steps you can follow to protect yourself and beat the charges against you.
However, it is important to remember that sexual assault is a serious crime with real victims, and preventing sexual assault is everyone’s responsibility. So, you must respect the boundaries of others so that you can avoid any potential risks regarding this.
FAQs: How to Beat a Sexual Assault Charge in Canada?
What should I do in Canada if I’ve been wrongfully accused of sexual assault?
You must immediately talk with a criminal defense lawyer if you have been wrongfully accused of sexual assault in Canada and refrain from conversing with the accuser or the police before seeking legal counsel. Your lawyer can help you to work with the judicial system and build a solid defense against false accusations.
Can I fight a sexual assault accusation in Canada?
Yes, you can fight against the accuser for any criminal charge you’re facing in Canada, which includes sexual assault cases as well.
Can I defend myself if I claim the assault act as self-defense?
If you strongly believe that you needed to use force to defend yourself or another person from harm, you can request the act of self-defense as a defense when facing a sexual assault charge in Canada.
What distinguishes sexual harassment from sexual assault in Canada?
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual attention or behavior that creates an uncomfortable environment at work or school. But sexual assault calls for physical, sexual contact without consent.
How long does the average sexual assault trial last in Canada?
A sexual assault trial can last a few days to many months. It will entirely depend on how complicated the case has become and the complexities coming with it.