Sexual assault is taken very seriously in Canada. However, navigating the rules surrounding interpersonal relationships can be challenging, especially in the 21st century, where norms are constantly shifting and becoming more complex. If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is crucial to seek legal counsel from a sexual offences lawyer who can help you understand the nuances of your case.
Unfortunately, relying solely on the police to conduct an impartial investigation may not always be sufficient. Due to limited resources and other factors, the police may simply arrest you and institute criminal proceedings without conducting a thorough investigation. In such cases, it is up to the courts to sort out the facts, making the assistance of an experienced legal professional all the more important.
For more than 35 years, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. has been dedicated to defending individuals facing sexual assault charges in Calgary and across Alberta and has a long track record of success in doing so.
Defending Calgary Sexual Assault Charges
Sexual assault is a complex offence that encompasses a wide range of behaviours, making it one of the most frequently litigated crimes in criminal law. This offence can range from unwanted touching like a hug, kiss, or grope to more severe actions, such as sexual intercourse. The most contentious issue in these cases typically involves the question of consent.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, consent must be voluntary, enthusiastic, and affirmative, and the person giving it must have the capacity to do so. The law also stipulates that consent cannot be obtained through coercion, threats, or deception, nor can it be given by someone incapable of giving it, such as a minor or a person who is intoxicated or unconscious.
Handling sexual offence charges can be a challenging task. Typically, the police commence an investigation into allegations made by a complainant, which may involve lengthy and intrusive measures. The evidence against the accused person may solely consist of witness testimonies or statements from the complainant. In some instances, forensic evidence may be collected by the police.
Those convicted of sexual assault can face significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal counsel to navigate the complexities of such a charge and build a solid defence. Common defences for sexual assault charges include:
- Consent was present between the parties involved in the sexual activity.
- Witness testimonies are not credible and cannot be considered evidence against the accused person.
- The accused person mistakenly believed that the other party had given consent to the sexual activity.
- The accused person has been misidentified, and the alleged sexual activity never occurred.
35 Years of Experience Tackling Calgary Sexual Assault Charges
When crafting a sound defence strategy against a sexual assault charge, nothing beats experience. Patrick C. Fagan, K.C. has more than 35 years of experience obtaining favourable verdicts for clients facing sexual assault charges in Calgary and across Alberta.
Man charged with sexual assault – verdict: charge withdrawn
R. v. KAR, [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Red Deer – October 2020]
KAR, a young man with no criminal record, had been in a “friends with benefits” relationship with a young woman for an extended period. However, after their last sexual encounter, she alleged that KAR had sexually assaulted her and contacted the authorities, leading to KAR being charged with sexual assault.
KAR was able to receive successful representation from Patrick C Fagan, K.C. As a result, the Crown withdrew all charges against KAR, and he was instead required to agree to a Peace Bond and have no further contact with the Complainant.
Man accused of sexual assault – verdict: charge withdrawn
R. v. ASA, [Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary – September 2020]
Patrick C Fagan, K.C. was retained by ASA to defend him against a sexual assault charge brought against him by a colleague. An opportunity arose to resolve the sexual assault prosecution without incurring the costs, anxiety, and risks associated with a trial. Although ASA could have proceeded with the trial and potentially been found not guilty, there was also a risk of being convicted on all charges and facing imprisonment while being registered as a sex offender.
In the end, the sexual assault charge was completely withdrawn in exchange for a plea of guilty to a “common” assault charge. The sentence was suspended, and ASA was placed on a brief probation period.
What are the consequences of a Sexual Assault charge?
Sexual assault penalties are severe, particularly if the allegations involve oral sex or any other type of penetration. The punishment can result in long prison sentences, lasting for several years.
Sexual assault is classified as a “hybrid offence,” meaning it can be prosecuted either by way of indictment or summary conviction, depending on the circumstances of the case. The punishment severity is determined by this decision if the accused person is found guilty of sexual assault. A conviction by indictment can lead to up to 10 years in prison, while a summary conviction can result in 18 months of imprisonment.
Additionally, convicted sex offenders must register with the National Sex Offender Registry under the National Sexual Offender Information Registry Act (SOIRA). This can have significant and long-lasting consequences, such as difficulty finding employment, travelling, or obtaining access to or custody of children.
Given the severity of these consequences, it is crucial to seek legal counsel if facing a sexual assault charge. Even if the accused person plans to plead guilty, an experienced sexual offences lawyer in Calgary, such as Patrick C Fagan, K.C., can assist in exploring all available options.
How Patrick C Fagan, K.C. Can Help You
Drawing on 35 years of experience, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. possesses a deep understanding of how to navigate the complexities of sexual assault charges. He has successfully defended numerous clients throughout Calgary by crafting well-planned defence strategies in sexual assault cases. To learn more about how we can help you, call 403-517-1777 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.