There are many types of sexual offences, which reflect the many ways in which people can come into sexual contact with each other. Offences include invitation to sexual touching; sexual exploitation; prostitution; sexual interference, voyeurism, corrupting morals, and child pornography. Sexual offences are considered by the police and the courts to be extremely serious and they attract some of the most severe penalties in the Criminal Code. A person convicted of a sex crime will be required to provide a sample of his DNA to the National DNA Databank, will be registered as a sex offender, and be unable to work, travel or live where he chooses except under strict limitations. This is in addition to a jail term and probation.
Sexual assault cases are complex and are prosecuted by specialized teams of police and Crown attorneys. If you are charged with a sex crime, you should hire a trial lawyer who has the knowledge, experience and track record of success to defend you properly.
Preparing Your Defence in a Sexual Assault Case
Because sexual assault cases are “credibility” cases where often the only people who know what really happened are the complainant and the defendant, they require a lawyer with a great deal of knowledge and experience to defend successfully. There are many rules that apply specifically to sexual assault cases, such as limitations on the types of questions a complainant can be asked; special applications that must be brought for access to forensic evidence such as DNA; motions for disclosure of important documents and other evidence; as well as rules for support people and protective screens and publication bans.
Sexual assault cases are won with preparation. To begin crafting your defence, we will sit down early and often with you to go over all of the details that are important to your case, from how the relationship between you began, to the specifics of the incident in question, to the contact you had afterwards. We will interview witnesses, review the disclosure, conduct an independent review of the evidence, even retain the services of a private investigator if the situation requires it. While the focus of the police and prosecutors is on the moments before and after the sexual activity, we will examine the entire context and background in much greater detail. If the complainant is lying about whether sexual activity occurred, or whether it was consensual, we will want to get to the root of why that person has chosen to lie. Often a complainant is motivated by jealousy or anger. Sometimes s/he suffers from regret after sex and does not wish to admit that it was consensual.
Whatever the reason is, we will assemble the most comprehensive, compelling case possible to ensure that you will not be subjected to the severe penalties that accompany a conviction for sexual assault.
And we have the knowledge, the experience and the track record of success to prove it.
The making, possession and distribution of child pornography have been re-classified by the government as “zero-tolerance” offences with millions of dollars spent on investigation and enforcement, and the creation of specialized teams of police and prosecutors. Sentences for these offences have been increased significantly, including minimum sentences of a year in prison for a first offence.
It is easy for the government to target these cases, because children are seen to be vulnerable and the people caught in police dragnets are easy targets for hatred and misunderstanding. Most consumers of child pornography do not sell or distribute it; they are merely downloading it for their own use. Just as there is a big difference between a recreational drug user and a commercial-scale trafficker, the person who downloads a few images from the internet is not the same as the professional who exploits children and sells pornography for profit. The problem is that under the current legal regime, the occasional users and the commercial traffickers are considered as one and the same.
Inappropriate images of children are usually downloaded from the internet using file-sharing programs such as LimeWire. These programs require that the content be left on the system for access by others; that is how the system works. People who download for their own use are being labelled as distributors because of the nature of these complex computer programs and not because they have any intention to share or distribute the material, let alone profit from it.
At The Defence Group, we have experience both prosecuting and defending criminal cases successfully, and bring that expertise to defending the case. We know how the science behind these file-sharing programs works; and we know how to challenge the search warrants that police use to investigate and lay charges. These cases are complex and require the specialized resources, from computer experts to counselling services and rehabilitation programs that are required to secure the best possible result in a hostile and unforgiving legal environment.