What You Need to Understand if Charged with Assault
Most people have an inaccurate or incomplete understanding of what it means to be “charged with assault”. Most believe that such a charge would require physical evidence, but as far as the government is concerned that is not the only way a person can be assaulted.
The simplest offenses that have to do with assault will only merit a fine, but the gravest ones can sentence a criminal to up to 99 years behind bars. Moreover, assault charges can be based purely on even an oral threat.
Whichever the case may be, assault charges must be taken seriously – you need to know what your rights are whether you are being the one charged or doing the charging.
Types of Assault Charges
- Simple assault – Injuries resulting from the assault are minor and no weapon was used to commit it
- Verbal assault – Oral and non-physical in nature, resulting into psychological, mental, and/or emotional injury
- Sexual assault – Sodomy, molestation, rape, or any other kind of sexual act or offense is committed without the victim’s consent
- Aggravated assault – Use of force against another individual as well as use of weapon
- Physical assault – Typically committed prior to an attempt on murder, resulting into “grievous” physical harm
- Felonious assault – The most serious of all assault charges, this often but not always includes use of weapon, results into serious bodily harm, and exercising force against another person’s will
Here’s what to do if your charged with a crime
What happens if the assault charges prove true?
If a person charged with assault is found guilty, the consequences of his actions will depend on various factors.
- Age, current overall condition, and background of the defendant
- Criminal background of the defendant
- Circumstances surrounding the incident in which assault had been committed
- Damage or harm that resulted from the assault
- The amount of force exercised against the plaintiff
- Weapons used – if any
- Premeditation on the defendant’s part and the defenses he or she presented in court
State laws vary when it comes to assault charges as well. As such, they are sure to have an impact on the final judgment. Here are a few examples of what a person found guilty of assault charges may face.
- Required to perform community service
- Required to attend anger management classes or something similar
- Payment of fines and penalties
- Revocation of permit to own or carry weapons
Do you need an attorney?
Whichever side of the law you find yourself in, hiring a lawyer is a must when assault charges are involved.
As a victim, a lawyer will go a long way in helping you claim justice. As a defendant, a lawyer can ensure that you are not unfairly accused and tried.
Either way, lawyers will also help you seek witnesses and experts to support your case.
They will also ensure that all evidence and corroborating statements are properly noted and submitted to court. They will also provide you with the necessary training and support so that you may conduct yourself effectively when you are being questioned under oath.
An Insight on Canadian Impaired Driving Laws
Even moderate drinking, which is defined as drinking more than two drinks in a day for men and more than one drink in a day for women, can affect driving performance. This level of consumption usually leads to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.03 percent for both men and women.
Even at low BAC, alcohol affects the driving performance, reducing the reaction time of the driver and making the decision-making process slower. The ability of a driver to divide his attention between two or more visual stimuli can be reduced even with BAC’s of 0.02 percent or less.
This article explores Canada’s regulatory approaches aimed at reducing alcohol-impaired driving in Canada, including laws lowering the legal limit of BAC’s for drivers and the penalties for impaired driving.
The following is an overview of the federal laws related to driving under the influence (DUI) offenses and penalties.
Criminal Code of Canada Includes Six Impaired Driving Offenses:
- The operation or having care or control of a motor vehicle, while the ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug. It is an offense to operate or have care or control of a motor vehicle, if the ability to drive is impaired by alcohol and / or drugs. If a person’s ability to drive is impaired, the amount of alcohol a person has consumed is irrelevant. Therefore, a person can be sentenced to impaired driving, although his/her alcohol level is below the legal limit of 0.08%.
- The operation or having care or control of a motor vehicle, while a BAC is over 0.08%. This offence is solely based on the individual’s BAC. Even if the driver is sober and his driving seems to be safe, it is an offense to operate or have care and control of a motor vehicle if BAC is above 0.08%.
- Driving with a BAC over 0.08% and causing injury or death. These two offenses were adopted in 1985 to ensure that drivers who cause death and injuries due to serious deficiencies in their driving suffer with serious implications. It is an offense to cause an injury or fatality, while BAC of the driver is greater than 0.08%. These offenses do not require proof that the accident was caused due to high BAC or impairment. Rather, the prosecutor should just prove that the defendant was over 0.08% BAC, and that he has caused an accident with death or bodily harm. The driver cannot escape liability, even if the accident was caused by something else, such as lapse of attention, poor road conditions or other factors.
- Failure in providing a sample or taking part in standard field sobriety tests (SFST) and Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) test without a valid reason. It is an offense for a driver to refuse or not comply with the request of a police officer for a sample of breath, blood, urine or saliva, unless the driver has a “reasonable excuse”.
- Failure to provide a sample or to take part in SFST or DRE test and cause injury or death. In the past, by refusing to provide a sample, the defendant was able to prevent more serious consequences. The law was amended in 2008, which makes it a crime for drivers if they fail to provide a sample or do not take part in SFST and DRE, if they knew or should have known that someone is killed or injured in an accident. These offenses carry the penalty which is same as the penalty for impaired driving causing injury or death. This eliminates the previous benefits of denial.
- Driving while prohibited by federal law or while having a suspended license. In 1985, Parliament created a separate criminal offense of driving while prohibited by federal law. This change was introduced to help combat the problem of offenders who continue to drive even if their licenses are suspended or when they are forbidden to do so.
Provincial Impaired Driving Laws
In addition to the application and prosecution of federal offenses under the Criminal Code, territories and provinces also have the constitutional authority on the highways and the licensing of drivers under their jurisdiction. This means that provinces and territories may legislate laws related to DUI.
The following is an overview of key territorial/provincial impaired driving laws.
Short-Term Administrative License Suspension Program
Contrary to the misconception that most of the accidents are caused by drivers who are well over the legal limit, about 20% of accidents are caused by drivers with BACs below legal limit of 0.08%.
Recognizing that the risk of accidents related to impairment begins even below 0.08% BAC, all provinces except the Quebec have established administrative license suspension (ALS) programs to intervene with the drivers who have BAC’s of 0.05% or higher.
The important elements of these programs include the immediate suspension of license and fines / fee recovery.
Graduate Licensing Programs
Graduate licensing programs are a key element of any policy aimed at reducing the risk of accidents among young people. Graduate licensing programs are designed to provide the novice and young drivers the chance to gain driving experience. These programs usually have certain requirements which include 0.00% BAC, limits on the number of passengers and night time driving restrictions. Duration of the program depends on the province or territory, but generally ranges from 1.5 to 3 years.
.00 BAC Restrictions on Novice and Young Drivers
Alcohol is a factor in nearly 45% of all deaths among young people aged 16 to 25. Although this age group accounted for only 13.2% of the population of Canada in 2006, they accounted for 33.4% of total deaths related to alcohol.
Almost all territories and provinces have a restriction of 0.00% BAC for novice and young drivers as a part of their Graduate licensing program. A major limitation in most of these programs, however, is that the .00% BAC restriction is withdrawn when full program of licensing is completed.
Ignition Interlock Programs
Ignition interlocks have proved to be an effective tool in stopping impaired driving.
Using the same technology as used by the police in breathalyzers, ignition locking device prevents a car from starting or continuing in operation if the alcohol level in the breath is more than a set limit.
The technology provides offenders who have lost their licenses an opportunity to regain driving privileges while ensuring that they can’t operate a vehicle in case they are in an impaired condition.
Despite their effectiveness, interlock usage is somewhat limited in the country. All territories and provinces except Yukon have ignition locking programs for offenders. But, all such programs are voluntary. Rate of participation in volunteer programs is only 10%.
Vehicle Forfeiture and Impoundment
Many suspended and banned drivers continue to drive, at least from time to time during the period of suspension or revocation of the license. Studies show that these are the drivers that are more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who are authorized. Suspension of license alone is not sufficient to prevent offenders from driving while impaired. Therefore, vehicle-based sanctions are necessary to deter and prevent some disqualified and unlicensed offenders from driving while being impaired.
If you aren’t familiar with the legal world, it can be intimidating. Thankfully, you can learn a lot of great information on lawyers, so that you can select the best one for you. Read on and learn how a great lawyer can really help you with many different causes.
Before looking for a lawyer, define your question. The first thing to ask is whether you even need a lawyer. You need a lawyer if you are in a divorce, charged with a crime or have an upcoming lawsuit. No matter your reason, you need a competent lawyer.
Although a lawyer specializing in a particular area of the law may cost more upfront, they generally save you money in the end. They’ll take less time to complete your case than a general lawyer would, thanks to all the learning he’d have to do at your expense.
Keep away from lawyers who leave you feeling uneasy. This is also true of their fee schedule. Never sign a blank check for their retainer! Ask for an estimated cost so you know what to expect.
Record every time you interact with your lawyer. Take note of dates, times, subjects of discussion and any mentions of billing issues. This can help you deal with any problems which might come up later, like unexpectedly large bills or fees you don’t understand.
Don’t give your lawyer an enormous retainer up front. If your lawyer requests a large retainer, make sure you know what this is paying for. You may also want to shop around for lawyers who will take a smaller retainer, then charge you any extra.
Create and stick to a budget. You might have a situation and case where you feel you are right, but at what cost? Check out the fee structure being offered by each lawyer. Discuss with them your budget and your goals for hiring a lawyer. Make sure you find out what unexpected things could happen to increase your costs.
When choosing a lawyer, thoroughly research them. When you consult both the bar association and online testimonials and reviews, you will be able to easily decide whether or not to hire a particular lawyer. That can save you money, time and aggravation, later.
You need to communicate with your lawyer on a regular basis. If your attorney tells you that you must meet certain deadlines that will affect your case, do it on time. Being prepared ahead of time will ensure that things go much smoother.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the lawyer. Good lawyers are wise when it comes to the law but are also skilled with people. Find a different lawyer if yours doesn’t do this.
See if you can do anything to lessen the attorney costs. Maybe you can assist in getting the court appearance paperwork ready. If documents from the courthouse are required, ask if you can pick them up personally so the staff of the law office does not need to be paid for doing it.
Stay away from lawyers who assure you that your case is a sure thing. This is a red flag for a casual, poor quality lawyer. There are always twists and turns in a legal case, so you need a representative that is ready no matter what happens. Choose your lawyer wisely to avoid this issue.
Be aware of the fact that every lawyer is covered by malpractice insurance in case they are responsible for an error that costs you in some way. If they don’t do that, their rates will go up. Your lawyer doesn’t want that, so rest assured that they will handle your case morally. Put your trust in your lawyer, when it comes to handling your needs the right way.
Don’t just take your lawyer’s word when it comes to his experience. An attorney may claim strength in a certain field, but that might be false. You need to ask for specifics about their rates of success. Don’t hire lawyers that deal with finances to assist you with a criminal case.
Communication is the most important thing when hiring a lawyer. Are they actively listening to your issues? Does he answer your questions? Are they talking at you and not talking with you? All of this is crucial to think about. You should feel comfortable with your lawyer, and if you don’t, then you should seek legal services elsewhere.
If you are dealing with a personal injury, choose an attorney who is willing to work on contingency basis. That way, he or she receives no fees unless you prevail. This allows them incentive to grab as large a settlement as they can for you. In the event that you win, your lawyer typically collects his or fee before calculated expenses.
No one want to need to hire a lawyer. But, when you know more about what makes a good lawyer and how to find a great one, you are prepared for the possibility. Use the information you’ve just learned to find the best possible attorney for your case.
Like most people, you may not know much about how the legal system really works. At some time, however, you may need the services of a lawyer, and knowing how to find one can be difficult. This article will help guide you through the process of hiring an attorney.
Any time you meet with a prospective lawyer, request a written estimate of fees. Legal representation can vary greatly in pricing; therefore, you should be cognizant of the fees charged before hiring a specific attorney. It would be a shame to lose your lawyer after your case has already begun.
You may wish to have the lawyer on retainer already, in case of the worst happening. This will ensure that you’re not pressured into taking the first lawyer that comes along, you will already have an established relationship to rely on.
If you have a lawyer retained, they will always be available if the need arises. This will allow you not to be under too much pressure so you’re able to take some time when you’re looking for a trustworthy lawyer. When you retain a lawyer, you have help when you need it.
Generally speaking, take your lawyer’s advice. They are experienced in legal matters, but speak up. Make sure to let them know if you aren’t comfortable. The lawyer will want to get you the best outcome, but they are balancing [...] Continue Reading…
Personal injuries can make your life miserable, but even if it’s not a serious injury, compensation may still be appropriate. Reaching a settlement in a personal injury lawsuit is a difficult and complicated process. This article contains tips that will help you make the best decisions regarding your personal injury.
When documenting for your case, make sure to include the amount of income you have lost during your injury. Documentation of work that was missed, or financial losses that you took due to your injury is always helpful. Also be sure to include any money you lost due to classes you needed to skip.
Just because you had a preexisting condition, it does not mean that you are not eligible to be paid for any accidents you are in. The best thing that you can do is to practice honesty with your lawyer.
If you have friends or colleagues who have had personal injury complaints previously, seek out their advice on good lawyers. By doing this, you stand a much better chance of finding a lawyer you can work well with and who will get the outcome you desire. Be sure to get the best lawyer you can possibly afford.
Look online for a personal injury lawyer with a good reputation. You can find a great deal out this way. The key is to find someone that has a great track [...] Continue Reading…
You do want a lawyer that can handle your case right? Sometimes, if a lawyer is good they may cost more. That may be true sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be true for you. Read on to see how to hire a great lawyer without spending all of your money.
Hiring a lawyer should be the first thing you do if you are in trouble with the law. Make sure that you do not try to go forward with anything yourself, as this can put you in a situation where you may break a law. Lawyers can deal with it quickly and correctly.
Never hire the very first lawyer that is found when you’re trying to locate one. Make sure you do your research wisely, as failure to do so may have steep consequences for you! Research all you can about the attorneys who interest you.
You can prevent issues by finding a good retainer. That way, you do not feel lots of pressure and can take enough time to find just the right attorney. Keep a good lawyer on retainer so you can get legal advice anytime you need.
Take some time to think about exactly what your trouble is before looking for a lawyer. Are you 100 percent sure that you require the services of an attorney? You are likely to require a lawyer when you have been [...] Continue Reading…
While a lawyer will have spent many years in school to earn the hard-earned degree that is hanging on their office wall, that doesn’t automatically mean that they can help you with your specific legal needs. Read on to find out how to get the best lawyer for your case. You will not regret that you did.
Never hire the very first lawyer that is found when you’re trying to locate one. Be sure to research thoroughly, because lots can be at stake. Talk to people you know and form a good picture of what a lawyer is like before you retain him or her.
If you are facing serious criminal charges, you need to hire an attorney straight away. Be sure that you’re not trying to take on the case yourself, because you could end up being convicted of a crime.
Do not be shy when it comes to questioning your lawyer. A lawyer that’s good will be able to explain to you exactly what they’re doing during your case. Think about hiring a new lawyer if you feel your lawyer is leaving you in the dark.
Don’t give your lawyer an enormous retainer up front. If you must pay a retaining fee, make sure you are refunded a balance. You might want to comparison shop, as lots of lawyers will take smaller retainers and bill as you go.
When choosing [...] Continue Reading…
Filed under Uncategorized by Jun 17th, 2013.on
When it comes to finding a good lawyer, the search can be quite frustrating. How can you decide which lawyer to trust with so many choices? This article should help you out though.
If accused of committing a grave crime, the number one thing for you to do is hire an attorney. Don’t try to do this alone or you may get into a worse mess. From experience, attorneys know the best way to handle your situation.
Always ask for a lawyers history before agreeing to use his services. The fact that a lawyer is practicing is no indication that he or she is successful or skilled.
Inquire about fee structures with each lawyer you consider. You will see that the more experience a lawyer has, the higher you will have to pay. It is best to know the amount an attorney will cost before hiring his or her services. It would be a shame to lose your lawyer after your case has already begun.
Keep your lawyer on retainer so you can ensure you’re prepared. That way, you do not feel lots of pressure and can take enough time to find just the right attorney. Keep a good lawyer on retainer so you can get legal advice anytime you need.
While it may seem like hiring a lawyer that’s a specialist can be a waste of your money, it may not [...] Continue Reading…
If you’re involved an an accident, you may feel overwhelmed as to what you should do next. If the accident was not your fault, you might wonder how you can secure fair compensation from the other party. In cases like this, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. Keep reading to figure out how to create the strongest case possible.
You should write down the details of your accident and describe your injuries carefully. Go over everything that happened to you, whether you broke an arm or just got a cut. Include any bruising that happens within a couple of days of your accident. Also, think about your mental state after experiencing the accident, like being scared to drive.
Find a bar association to help you locate a lawyer nearby. The Bar can give you good local recommendations and help you verify each lawyer’s good record before you contact potential lawyers.
Bring up the lost income that you experienced when preparing your case. This includes lost wages from being unable to work, whether due to injury or issues like lack of transportation. If you missed class attendance, you can recover money that you paid for it.
Locating the best lawyer isn’t easy. Having said that, it helps to seek out someone with a good amount of experience in personal injury, specifically the type of injury you are dealing with. It [...] Continue Reading…
Filed under Uncategorized by Jun 15th, 2013.on