Category Archives: Domestic Assault

Cyber Stalking Is an Under Reported Crime

In recent years, traditional stalking (harassment) has been replaced with virtual or cyber stalking. Cyber stalking is where one individual follows the online activities of another person, whom they are consumed with and want to know every facet and detail of their life. Another form of cyber harassment is cyber bullying, which is where the harasser posts hateful and derogatory comments about the individual they are stalking.

Unfortunately, this type of criminal activity often goes unreported to law enforcement agencies. Part of the reason people do not report cyber stalking is they might not believe there is anything that can be done because the invasion into their online circles is not serious enough to warrant an investigation. Another reason people do not report this offence is they may feel like the police cannot do anything unless there has been an outright threat made against the victim, their property, friends, or family.

Tips for Dealing with Cyber Stalkers

If you believe you are being harassed and stalked online, remember to do the following:

  • Never under any circumstance agree to the meet the stalker in person.
  • Keep a record of all online contact, such as emails, social media posts, and so on.
  • If you know the person, tell them to stop. If they do not, report them to the police.
  • Consider deleting social media and email accounts.
  • Inform your family and close real-life friends what is going on so they are aware of the situation.

What Can Be Done Legally?

In cases where the cyber stalker is known, potential legal actions that can be taken against the suspect can range from law enforcement making verbal warnings and helping the victim obtain a restraining order to criminal charges for repeated contact. In situations where the cyber stalker is not known because they are using a fake online profile and picture, it can still be beneficial to report harassment to law enforcement agencies, as there are many new and modern technologies they can use to try and help locate the individual.

If you remember, back in August 2014, Robert Campbell was finally brought to justice after investigators used specific techniques to crack through the Internet anonymity software Campbell was using. In that particular case, it did take investigators eight months to finally find Campbell, who was initially charged with 181 offences for crimes including criminal harassment and identity defamation which occurred over the course of a decade.

Even if you feel there is nothing that can be done right now, eventually law enforcement officials could bring the offender to justice. In the Campbell case, he was convicted and pled guilty to 63 of the 181 offenses and sentenced to a six year imprisonment period.

What If I Have Been Accused of Cyber Stalking?

If you have been charged with criminal harassment, it is in your best interests to speak with an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer to discuss your options and obtain actual legal advice. Céline Dostlaer offers a free 30-minute case evaluation by calling 613.695.8585 today!

Assault Offences: What You Need to Know

The general definition of assault is to make a physical attack on another person or attempt to do damage to something. When you are assaulting another person, either directly or indirectly you may be charged with assault with the potential to be fined and sentenced to imprisonment.

You can also be charged with assault if you are attempting to threaten another person with a gesture or verbally. However, in this case the Crown must prove you are capable to carry out this threat. The threat must be of immediate personal violence. If you threaten to harm another person with no exact time or day it is not considered an assault. Simply using words one might deem as threatening is not always considered an assault by law.

Defence of Others and Self-Defence

There are times when you may need to defend yourself or others and this is called self-defence, which is not an assault. There are a few things you need to keep in mind about your actions for them to be considered self-defence.

Some of the factors to consider include, but may not be limited to, how much force was used and whether there were other options available to respond to the potential threat. Second, the nature of the assault or threat taking place that you are defending against. Third, your role in the incident, as well as the age, size, gender, and physical capabilities of everyone involved in the incident. Fourth, if anyone involved in the assault is using weapons or other objects in the altercation. Fifth, the nature and history of the individuals involved in the assault, which can include past altercations or threats. Finally, if your involvement is acting in accordance with the law in trying to stop further harm to be done on anyone involved in the assault. These factors are the same for self-defence as well as defence of others.

Domestic Assault

When it comes to domestic assault, you will find the police take these matters serious and will always respond to your emergency calls. However, what you may not realize is that many potential first time offenders are the ones accused, yet they were the ones who made the phone call to the police in the first place.

They will call the emergency line thinking law enforcement can come and help solve the dispute and after the police arrive, they will separate the couple and start asking questions. This is where many people end up getting themselves or their partner charged with domestic assault. Many first time offenders do not realize just how significant a seemingly minor physical contact, like a push, shove, or grab, is to the police until it is too late.

You have a right to have an experienced Ottawa lawyer with you when you speak with the police at any time, including while being questioned and after being charged in all types of assault cases. Depending upon the circumstances, the charges laid will vary and could range from simple assault or common assault to domestic assault and other such variants.

It is highly recommend to have the expertise of a criminal defence lawyer in Ottawa with you to ensure your rights are protected, like Céline Dostaler. I am always willing to help my clients understand their charges and protect their rights. Contact my Ottawa law firm at 613-695-8595 today for a free case evaluation and consultation.

DISCLAIMER: The above information is provided for reference purposes only and should not be construed as actual legal advice. For professional legal advice to find out your rights and options you need to arrange a consultation with a qualified Ottawa criminal defence lawyer, like Céline Dostaler.

What You Need to Know About Domestic Assault

Domestic assault is considered a serious criminal offence throughout Canada. While it is a form of assault, Canadian Laws have defined the charge as its own specific offence since it involves assault on a family member, relative or other close relation by the accused. The law distinguishes between normal assault offences and domestic assault offences by examining whether the assault was committed in the context of a preexisting relationship between the person being charged and the victim. If the police and Crown establish such a relationship, then the person is charged with a domestic offence.

Even though domestic assaults are essentially the same criminal offences as normal assaults, the Ottawa courts treat them differently due to the trust created through close, personal relationships. In addition, the person charged with domestic assault can have their life turned upside down since the Crown normally imposes specific terms and conditions as part of the conditions for bail. This could involve not having contact with the accused person’s spouse, partner, or even their children.

One of the main concerns with domestic assault is when someone in a relationship uses it as a means to address other domestic issues and problems. For instance, a couple might be verbally arguing and one person gets so upset they call the police and claim they were assaulted by the other person. At this point, the police are required to conduct a full investigation into the claim. In the event the accused did, in fact, commit any form of assault, they can be charged by the Crown.

Keep in mind domestic assault is the intentional use of force or threat of force against the victim without their consent. If the accused simply verbally threatened to use force on the victim, without their consent, the police and Crown can charge the person with a form of domestic assault called uttering threats. This is also a very serious criminal offence. Uttering threats is making threats against the person, their property or their pets. Threats can be verbal, text messages, or emails.

Even if the complainant later changes their mind, they do not have the luxury of dropping the charges. Once a claim has been filed with the police and the Crown has determined there are grounds for a domestic assault offence, the Crown will proceed with prosecuting the accused.

Further, the complainant does not have to be the person being assaulted. A neighbour, relative, or close friend has the right to contact the police and report suspected domestic assault. Domestic assault is a serious criminal offence which can drastically impact a person’s life. If you have been charged with domestic assault, you need to obtain experienced legal representation from Ottawa criminal lawyer, Céline Dostaler. Call 613-695-8595 today for a complimentary case evaluation.

Domestic Assaults

The police take allegations of domestic assaults very seriously, and if they feel that they have a “reasonable suspicion” that an assault may have taken place, they will charge an individual. In Ontario, the complainant, or the victim, cannot decide whether or not the accused will be charged. The police will always lay charges if they believe an assault may have occurred. Although the police have an obligation to investigate all crimes thoroughly, it may feel as though they did not to investigate your side of the story: they took your accuser’s words as gold, and did not want to hear the truth. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to work with you, defend your rights, and ensure that you are not found guilty of something you did not do.