SUMMARY: Woman is charged with assault for punching boyfriend in the face.
RESULT: Charges withdrawn
DEFENCE LAWYER: Sean Fagan
Regina v. X.X.
Charges: Section 266 of the Criminal Code
Although it is men who often appear before courts for domestic violence charges, women can and do get charged for these offences as well. Just like domestic violence as a whole, woman on man domestic violence often goes unreported. In a mutual assault scenario, it is often the first person to call the police who gets labeled as the victim.
In this case, X.X., a woman, was alleged to have tracked down her partner via GPS tracking device to a local bar where a jealousy-fuelled, verbal argument ensued. Both parties were alleged to have been highly intoxicated, and ultimately, the verbal altercation led to the woman punching the man in the face multiple times, causing injuries and bleeding. Of course, like all cases, these were just allegations, and there are always two sides to every story.
Many people are shocked to learn that the test for whether an Assault took place is extremely low. Simply put, it is:
was there an intentional application of force without consent?
This is a very low threshold. A light push, shove, slap, or even a flick, can constitute an assault in law, and if the prosecutor occurred this occurred, a judge will have no choice but to enter a verdict of guilty. Moreover, once a person is charged, it can be extremely difficult to have the charges withdrawn, even if the victim wants them withdrawn. The Canadian justice system is different than the American system. In some states, if the victim wants the charges “dropped”, then they get dropped. This is not the case in Canada.
The objective in this case, like most of this nature, is to avoid the entry of a criminal conviction that could have a multitude of negative consequences. X.X. retained the legal services of experienced defence lawyer Sean Fagan who was ultimately successful at securing the withdrawal of this most serious criminal prosecution, sparing X.X. a criminal conviction.