Convictions for Sexual Offences Carry Serious Consequences
The stakes are high for those charged with sexual offences. Individuals who have been charged could face onerous bail conditions, such as being banned from using computers or visiting parks or other places where young people may be present.
Individuals who are convicted of such offences face the possibility of a long period of incarceration. In fact, many sexual offences carry mandatory minimum sentences, sentences that must be imposed upon conviction. There are also consequences particular to sexual offences, such as registration on the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank.
Furthermore, having a sexual offence conviction on one’s criminal record could create disadvantages in relation to obtaining employment and in divorce and child custody cases.
Retain an Experienced Lawyer to Defend Against Sexual Offence Charges
Sexual offences are a complex area of the law. Firstly, as there are rarely any eyewitnesses to the alleged crime, these cases generally proceed on a “he said/she said” basis. In these cases, the judge or jury’s sense of how believable the accused and the complainant are will determine the outcome. Secondly, given the sensitive nature of these offences, there are a number of legal safeguards to protect complainants, including restrictions on the type of evidence that can be presented in court.
If you have been charged with a sexual offence, it is important to retain experienced counsel who will defend you against unreasonable bail conditions and assist you in challenging the Crown’s case and raising every possible defence.
What are the Different Types of Sexual Offences?
The Criminal Code includes several types of sexual offences, including:
- sexual interference
- touching a person under the age of 16 years in a sexual way (s. 151);
- invitation to sexual touching:
- encouraging a person under the age of 16 years to touch the accused or another person in a sexual way (s. 152);
- sexual exploitation:
- touching a young person (between 16 and 17 years old) in a sexual way or encouraging a young person to touch the accused or another person in a sexual way, where the young person is in a dependent or exploitive relationship with the accused (s. 153);
- sexual exploitation of a person with a disability:
- encouraging a person with a physical or mental disability, without his or her consent, to touch his or her own body or the body of the accused in a sexual way, where the accused is in a position of trust or authority in relation to the person with the disability (s. 153.1);
- sexual assault:
- applying force (force can be anything from touching to intercourse) to another person without his/her consent in a sexual way (s. 271);
- sexual assault with a weapon:
- committing a sexual assault while carrying, using or threatening to use a real or imitation weapon (s. 272(1)(a));
- sexual assault causing bodily harm:
- committing a sexual assault that leads to any hurt or injury that is more than temporary or minor (s. 272(1)(c));
- aggravated sexual assault:
- wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of a person while committing a sexual assault (s. 273).
- see our Aggravated Assault page for definitions of wounding, maiming, disfigurement and endangerment of life
What is the Potential Sentence if you are Convicted of a Sexual Offence?
A conviction for a sexual offence will almost always result in a term of imprisonment. The term could range from a few months to life imprisonment, depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.
It is important to realize that most sexual offences carry a minimum mandatory sentence—a sentence that must be imposed upon conviction—that could range from 90 days to 7 years, depending upon the case. While consulting a lawyer prior to pleading guilty is always important, it is particularly important when the offence carries a mandatory minimum sentence. Before pleading guilty, consult a lawyer to find out what options are available to you.
In addition to serving a sentence, most individuals convicted of sexual offences will be required to provide a DNA sample for the National DNA Data Bank and be registered on the National Sex Offender Registry, which imposes continued monitoring and reporting conditions. Furthermore, those convicted of an offence involving a person under the age of 16, may be prohibited from being around children under 16 years old.
DUVADIE Law will Provide a Vigorous Defence against Sexual Offence Charges
As the burden is on the Crown to prove the case against the accused and the accused in sexual offences cases often has little evidence to provide other than his or her denial, challenging the credibility and reliability of Crown witnesses and evidence is often the key element of a sexual assault case.
DUVADIE Law will vigorously challenge the credibility of all Crown witnesses and evidence.
We will also raise all evidence that supports your denial and raise all defences available to you.
Some of the most common defences in sexual offences cases include:
- consent of the complainant;
- mistaken belief that the complainant had consented; and
- mistaken belief that the complainant was over 18 years of age, where the accused took all reasonable steps to determine the complainant’s age.
If you are facing a sexual offence charge, please call DUVADIE Law at 613-422-1155 or Toll-Free at 1-855-422-1155 to set up your free 30 minute consultation.
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