Spousal assault and “no contact” conditions

As a criminal lawyer, I often see certain fact patterns over and over. One of them typically happens in spousal assault cases. If you’ve been charged with assault, you need a criminal defence lawyer. Contact me. I can help you.

This is how the story usually goes

A couple – let’s call them Jack and Diane – get into an argument. Things get heated. Things get physical. Let’s say Jack slaps Diane, who calls the cops.

Then Jack:

  • gets arrested,
  • has to move out,
  • gets put on conditions like “no contact” and “no go,” and
  • is charged with spousal assault.

Jack and Diane are now part of the life of what the BC Criminal Justice Branch calls a “K” file.

BC Crown Counsel take spousal violence cases very seriously. How seriously? There’s a 21-page Practice Bulletin on the topic in the BC Crown Counsel Policy Manual.

In spousal violence, or “K”, files it’s a standard condition for guys like Jack to be subject to a condition that he have no contact with the victim of his alleged assault, in this case Diane, and not go to places where she lives, works, goes to school, etc.

Then things get worse

What often happens though is that Jack and Diane may find it difficult to be apart from one another. One of them texts the other. Let’s say it’s Diane who texts Jack. Jacks texts her back. Before you know it, they’re texting back and forth. But because they’re in a bad relationship to begin with, it isn’t long before things go sour. Diane decides to report Jack’s breaches of the “no contact” to the police. Now Jack faces a new charge: breach of undertaking. And the courts take that very seriously.

This is not make-believe. It happens all the time.

So now Jack has two criminal charges. It isn’t unusual for a guy in Jack’s situation to find that a prosecutor will use Jack’s breach of the “no contact” condition with Diane as evidence that he can’t—or won’t—follow the conditions of his release, that he’s a loose cannon, that the court needs to be tough on him. We can all guess how this story could end for Jack.

My advice: Just block it

As a criminal defence lawyer, I tell my clients to block the number of anybody they are forbidden to have contact with. Simple as that. Just block it. Don’t have contact with them – just disappear from the story – while I deal with your criminal charges.

Again, if you’ve been charged with assault, you need a criminal defence lawyer. Contact me. I can help you.