Sexual Assault - Aitken Robertson Barristers & Solicitors

Sexual Assault Lawyers for Sex Crimes in Peterborough, Ontario

In Canada, sexual assault cases are generally prosecuted to the limit of the law. Those who find themselves accused of sexual assault face some grim possibilities—not just jail time, but also loss of employment and the ruination of their reputations (whether the charges are valid or not). It is important for anyone accused of sexual assault to secure the services of a qualified and competent sex crimes attorney.

Legal Considerations in Sexual Assault Cases

The term “sexual assault” encompasses much more than rape; the law now acknowledges that other forms of unwanted sexual activity can be just as damaging to the victim as forced intercourse. There is also no longer a gender bias in the laws; the court system recognizes that both genders may be victims or perpetrators, and all should be given equal treatment under the law.

Laws concerning sex crimes are covered under the Criminal Code of Canada. The law categorizes sexual assaults based upon the severity of the crime and the degree of personal injury involved. The levels are as follows:

Level One Sexual Assault: Any form of sexual activity that is forced on someone else. This may include kissing, touching, oral sex, or intercourse, but without consent and without causing bodily harm. The maximum prison term for a Level One offence is 10 years in prison.

Level Two Sexual Assault generally involves a weapon, threats to a third party, and/or bodily harm. This level covers sexual assault involving the use of a weapon or threat to use a weapon, bodily harm or threats of harm to a third party such as another family member, or the presence of multiple assailants. The maximum prison term for a Level Two offence is 14 years in prison.

Level Three Aggravated Sexual Assault: Any form of sexual assault that involves the brutal beating of the victim, wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the victim. The maximum sentence for a Level Three offence is life in prison.

There is no statute of limitations for the prosecution of sexual assault in Canada. This means that the victim may press charges at any point after the commission of a crime, no matter how long ago it happened.

Sexual assault charges can be brought even where the victim and defendant are in a relationship. It is illegal for one partner in a relationship to force another into sexual activity; even if the two have had consensual sex before, that does not automatically mean that both parties consent to further sexual activity.

Consent is defined as voluntary agreement, by words or conduct, to engage in sexual activity. The law also states that people have the right to change their minds at any point in a sexual encounter and that consent may be withdrawn at any time. The law generally considers that there was no valid consent if one party is incapable of consenting (for example, he or she is drunk, ill, or otherwise incapacitated), if he or she used the word “no”, if the victim changed his or her mind, or if someone other than the complainant gave consent on his or her behalf.

Aitken Robertson: Defence Lawyers on Your Side

The legal team at the law firm of Aitken Robertson has decades of experience in criminal law, with a solid track record of successful cases throughout Peterborough and Ontario. They offer a free initial consultation, affordable fees with flexible payment plans, and evening and weekend hours. They can represent you in any criminal matter, including drug offences, assaults, theft, and fraud, as well as bail hearings and criminal appeals. You can reach Richard Aitken and his team through any one of Aitken Robertson’s office locations or by calling (866) 762-9218.