*2024 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Domestic Assault and Uttering Threats Charges

It is extremely easy to be charged with a domestic crime in Toronto. Common domestic related charges include assault, uttering threats to person, uttering threats to property, mischief, and breaches of undertaking.

Domestic Charges after Spouse Calls the Police

Some people are surprised to learn how easily and commonly domestic assault or threats charges are laid after a spouse calls the police. Many people wind up facing criminal charges because they get in an argument with their girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife, and one of them decides to pick up the phone and call 911. Once that phone call is made, at least one party will likely end up being charged.

In most provinces, the police have very little discretion over domestic matters and are required to press charges in virtually all cases of domestic assaults/threats regardless of how minor the facts may be. Domestic related charges make up the majority of criminal court cases in Canada.Everyday, hundreds of Canadians get charged with assaults or threats because of a domestic incident that would have been no big deal anyway.

Any unwanted contact that is reported to police in domestic incidents can result in charges. Maybe a wife lightly pushes her husband causing no pain or injury. If reported to police, she'll likely be charged with assault. Maybe a husband, in the heat of the moment, states he's going to break his wife's cell phone. If reported to police, he'll likely be charged with uttering a threat to damage property. It's truly that easy to be charged for relatively harmless things (and it happens all the time).

What happens when police are called for domestic incidents?

The first thing that usually happens is the police will show up at the door and separate both parties. They will then question both parties individually taking notes of all statements that are made.

At this stage, the parties are usually unaware of the tremendous consequences that will result in talking to the police. Many times the wife or husband talks to the police because they expect them to scare some sense in their spouse, or to mediate the matter. Instead, these statements will result in their spouse being arrested and charged.

It should be noted that while many spouses are under the impression that they have the power to have the charges dropped at a later date, in reality they do not. Charges normally go forward even if the spouse requests that they be dropped.

Arrested for a domestic incident

If charges are laid, the police will handcuff and arrest the person they are charging and then transport them to the police station.

At the station, the police have the discretion to either release the accused with an undertaking and/or notice to appear in court, or to hold them for a court appearance. Many times, individuals are held for a court appearance because the police do not want to shoulder the responsibility of releasing the person themselves. If the police release the person without a court appearance, and the person commits a further crime, it could be seen as improper police conduct. As such, many individuals charged with domestic matters are held for a court appearance (meaning they will possibly have to spend up to three nights in jail).

Normally, if the person is arrested on any day other than a Friday or Saturday, or a day before a holiday, the court appearance is held on the day of or the day after the arrest. Depending on several factors including court availability, the individual may be held for up to three clear days (or longer with consent of the accused).

At the initial court appearance, the accused will either be released on an undertaking and promise to appear in court, or the matter will be set down for a bail hearing. This will largely depend on the opinion of the prosecutor who will examine factors such as whether the accused poses a continued risk of harm to the victim, and whether the accused will likely show up for court (flight risk).

In short: Most individuals will eventually be released on an undertaking, but the police may hold the accused for up to three clear days in jail and require a court appearance before an undertaking is granted.

Domestic Assault Charges

Assault charges are a common result of domestic calls. It is very easy for the police to extract incriminating statements from angry spouses in the heat of the moment.

They’ll ask if the spouse touched or hit them in any way (without consent). Perhaps the wife will say “yeah, he put his hand on my shoulder”. With a spouse who is angry and perhaps not fully understanding the question, the police can easily also obtain a statement saying the contact was without consent.

The police will then charge the husband with assault. It doesn't matter whether there are visible injuries or whether any actual physical harm was inflicted, all the police need to press charges is a statement.

Domestic Threats Charges

Being charged for making threats is also common in domestic matters. There are two types of threats charges: 1) threats to person, and 2) threats to property.

All it takes is one person to tell the police a threatening statement was made and usually the person will be charged based on this alone. No audio recordings or written written statement is needed, just one person saying "he said it" is enough.

Charges for threats are extremely common. Common statements reported to the police that result in charges include: "I'm going to kill you", "I'm going to beat you up", "I'm going to hit you", "I'm going to burn the house down", and "I'm going to smash your car windows".

Police will also try to obtain statements by questioning each of the spouses. They'll ask questions like "did he say he was going to hurt or kill you?" The problem is that in the heat of the moment, and not being aware of the tremendous consequences attached to saying "yes", a spouse will tell the police a threatening statement was made resulting in charges without realizing the tremendous consequences attached to providing the police with this information.

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Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

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Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
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  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
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* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2024 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2024. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel