Sexual assault offences carry some of the most serious penalties in the Criminal Code. Jail time is usually the sentence sought by the prosecutor if a person is convicted of a sexual assault offence. A person who has been convicted of sexual assault must also comply with the Sexual Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) for at least ten years and potentially for the rest of their life. The stigma that attaches to a sexual assault accusation can be enough to destroy a person’s life. Given this, it is essential that those charged with sexual assaults have a vigorous defence.
Our lawyers have experience running trials and conducting vigorous cross-examinations of complainants who make sexual assault allegations.
SEXUAL OFFENCES INVOLVING MINORS
The Criminal Code contains several offences involving sexual contact with children. All of these offences carry mandatory minimum sentences and are treated very seriously by judges. Defending against these types of cases raise special challenges. Often, the allegations will be historical, meaning that the complaint to police is not made for several years after it is alleged to have happened. In other cases, there will be a very young witness to be cross-examined, which must be done carefully.
Our lawyers have experience dealing with these types of allegations and can help those accused of such offences through the process.
The Criminal Code also contains a number of offences that forbid conduct involving a range of pornographic material, including:
- It is an offence to access, possess, distribute, or make child pornography, which can include written material, audio recordings, visual representations or photographs, and film or videos that show or depict someone who is under eighteen years of age.
- It is an offence – called voyeurism – to secretly make or to distribute a visual recording of someone who is nude or engaged in sexual activity while they are in a private place.
- It is an offence – sometimes called “revenge porn” – to distribute nude photographs or videos of a person without their consent, if the photograph or video was taken in a private place and if the person has a privacy interest in the photograph or video.
Pornography-based charges can cause great embarrassment, at the least, or lead to life-changing legal consequences, at the worst. It is imperative that people under investigation for these offences take the initiative and consult legal counsel immediately.
Our lawyers have the experience to help our clients fight these charges, from investigation to trial. We can assist with minimizing the damage to reputation at the forefront and with obtaining acquittals or fair sentences at the end of a trial.