Charges become “domestic” when they are laid in the context of a romantic relationship. Generally, any type of romantic history between the parties classifies the charge as such. Sometimes, this can be as simple as having only gone on one date with the other party.
Common domestic charges include assault, harassment, and uttering threats.
This classification as “domestic” is important because Crown Attorneys and Judges are required to give particular attention to them due to the inherent safety concerns and public policy concerns. For an accused person, this classification could also mean harsher penalties than for similar non-domestic charges.
First time offenders may be eligible to enter into the Early Intervention Program (EIP) to resolve their charges. The accused must plead guilty to the charge(s) and must meaningfully participate in domestic violence counseling. In London, this counseling is conducted through Changing Ways, and it may involve sessions and “homework”, encouraging conflict resolution without violence. Upon successful completion of the EIP program, participants normally receive a conditional discharge which includes a period of probation.
We understand that domestic charges can be especially stressful because of the impact they have on your personal life. Domestic charges often result in having to move out of your home, not seeing certain family members, and generally have “increased stakes”.
DeMelo Law is experienced in representing clients on domestic charges and has successfully seen clients through the Early Intervention Program. Have you been charged with a domestic charge? Contact Cassandra at DeMelo Law for a free consultation.