Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual activity. It can consist of anything from a kiss to a touch to sexual intercourse.
A conviction for even the most minor sexual assault charge will have a major impact on your life. Nearly every sexual assault conviction leads to incarceration, registration on the national and provincial sex offender registries and registration on the national DNA bank. A conviction also carries a tremendous amount of stigma and will limit employment options and have a negative impact on any divorce or custody proceedings.
Under certain circumstances, a conviction could lead to a mandatory minimum sentence (a sentence that must be imposed upon conviction). For example, if the complainant is under 16 years old, a conviction will lead to at least 1 year in prison. While it is always important to consult an experienced lawyer when facing charges, it is particularly vital when one is facing the possibility of a mandatory jail term.
Sexual assault cases not only carry the potential for serious consequences, but are also complex cases to defend. If you are facing a sexual assault charge, it is vital that you engage a defence lawyer who has experience with these types of cases and a solid understanding of the laws of evidence. The lawyers at Hicks Adams LLP regularly defend against sexual assault cases. We understand the unique features of these cases and know how to put together a successful defence.
Sexual Assault Cases are Complex and Require a Skilled Criminal Defence Lawyer
Sexual assault cases are complex for a number of reasons. Two factors that make these types of cases particularly difficult are that:
- in nearly every case, the word of the complainant is the only evidence available, so the judge or jury’s assessment of the complainant’s honesty or credibility will be the key factor in the decision-making process; and
- due to the sensitive matter of sexual assault cases, there are a number of restrictions placed upon what kind of evidence can be presented at trial.
Given these factors, a defence lawyer must be ready to seriously challenge the complainant’s credibility while ensuring that he or she is following the laws of evidence.
It is also vital that the defence lawyer is able to fully investigate and analyze any and all evidence that exists in the case. As one of the largest criminal defence law firms in Canada, Hicks Adams LLP has the resources necessary to investigate and successfully defend against sexual assault charges. Our investigation may involve reviewing the complainant’s background, including therapy records and working with our network of experts to review key forensic evidence, such as DNA. At Hicks Adams LLP, an acquittal is always our first objective.
Contact Us for a Free Sexual Assault Charge Consultation
Our experience and our positive success rate in these challenging cases will give you confidence that your sexual assault case is in the right hands. Our Toronto criminal defence lawyers are ready to defend you against sexual assault charges. Call us at 416-975-1700 or contact us online for a free consultation.