Sexual assault is a very broadly defined offence that can include anything from rape to unwanted, unsolicited or uninvited touching of a sexual nature such as the proverbial stolen kiss or grabbing a person’s breasts, genitals or buttocks. The Criminal Code (Section 271) defines sexual assault as any non-consensual touching or other physical contact between two people that is sexual in context.
If you have been accused or charged with a sexual assault in Hamilton, in Toronto or throughout Ontario, you need a criminal lawyer who can help increase the odds of winning your case. You should speak with a criminal lawyer experienced in sexual assault cases before speaking with the police about any allegation of a sexual assault as anything you say can be used later should you be charged.
In most instances, once the police have received a complaint of sexual assault, criminal charges are laid. With years of related professional experience, the criminal defence lawyers Hamilton have successfully handled a large number of sexual assault cases throughout Ontario including Hamilton, through the legal process at the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice in Ontario.
Criminal Code Sexual Offences
Beyond sexual assault, a number of other sexual offences exist under the Criminal Code including:
- Sexual Interference & Invitation to Sexual Touching (Criminal Code Sections 151 and 152)
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor or a Person with a Disability (Criminal Code Sections 153 and 153.1)
- Incest and Bestiality (Criminal Code Sections 155 and 160)
- Voyeurism (Criminal Code Section 162)
- Child Pornography (Criminal Code Section 163.1)
- Luring (Criminal Code Section 172.1)
- Indecent Acts (Criminal Code Section 173)
As many of these sexual offences necessarily come with mandatory minimum jail sentences if convicted, and a mandatory order that a person be listed on the Sexual Offenders Registry, it is paramount you retain a criminal lawyer with expertise in sexual assault and other sexual offences. We have earned a reputation as one of the most respected criminal defence law firms in Canada.
Sexual Assault And Consent
In order to obtain a conviction of sexual assault, the Crown must prove that the complainant did not consent to the sexual contact. The complainant must be capable of consenting to the sexual contact, and consent must be freely given.
According to the Criminal Code, generally, the age of consent is 16 years of age in Canada, meaning that once a person turns 16, they are legally old enough to consent to sexual contact with someone else.
Consent, however, varies and is dependent on age.
For example, for a youth aged 12 or 13, they can legally consent to sexual contact with another youth who is less than two years older than they are, as long as the other person is not in a position of trust or authority towards them specifically; is not someone with whom they are in a dependent relationship; or the relationship is not exploitative towards them.
For a youth 14 or 15 years of age, they may legally consent to sexual contact with someone who is less than five years older than they are, as long as the other person is not in a position of trust or authority towards them specifically; is not someone with whom they are in a dependent relationship; or the relationship is not exploitative towards them.
Also, if a youth of 14 or 15 years of age is legally married, he or she may consent to sexual activity with their spouse.
If You Have Been Charged With A Sexual Assault Offence
We are the right criminal law firm to handle your sexual assault or offence in Hamilton, the Toronto and GTA area because:
- Our track record of winning is outstanding
- We are among the most respected criminal law firms in Canada
- Our fees are highly competitive
If you have been charged with a sexual assault offence, it is the Crown’s responsibility to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If charged with a sexual assault offence, it is to your benefit to retain an experienced criminal lawyer, sooner rather than later, under any circumstance. Beyond the charge or case itself, your lawyer will assess all circumstances surrounding the incident to ensure your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms have not been violated.