What to Expect in a Sexual Assault Case

Written by Jerry Steele

Sexual Assault

What to Expect in a Sexual Assault Case

Written by Jerry Steele

Sexual Assault
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For more than 20 years, Steele Law has successfully guided individuals and business entities through the unique challenges posed by criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as prosecutions in state and federal courts nationwide.
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Sexual assault cases are among the most complex and sensitive legal matters in any justice system in the world. Grasping the process and knowing what to expect can be incredibly daunting for those facing these charges in Canada. 

Here, we intend to shed light on the legal landscape surrounding sexual assault charges, the role of a defence lawyer, frequent defence strategies, potential outcomes, and the paramount importance of hiring the right lawyer.

What is Sexual Assault in Canada?

Under Canadian law, sexual assault includes any form of unwanted sexual activity forced upon someone without their consent. This broad definition encompasses an extensive range of behaviours, making each case unique—no two cases are precisely the same. 

Still, Canada takes these offenses very seriously, and as such, the penalties upon conviction can be severe. 

Read more about the Canadian Criminal Code and sexual assault here. 

Overview of the Legal Process

A report to the police followed by a police inquiry usually begins the Canadian legal process for sexual assault cases. When there is adequate evidence to proceed, sexual assault charges are filed, and the case moves forward to court. Legal representation is allowed for both the complainant and the accused person during this process.

The trial stages include selecting a jury (if one will be used), the Crown and the defence providing opening statements, presenting evidence, witnesses, cross-examinations, and finally, closing remarks. The judge or jury then deliberates and lands on a verdict.

Defence Lawyers for Sexual Assault Charges

The defence lawyer plays a decisive for those up against sexual assault charges.

This includes:

  • Ensuring lawful conduct during the arrest
  • Advocating for fair treatment under Canadian law
  • Presenting a solid defence in court

Your advocate should always carefully review all the evidence, pinpoint any discrepancies, and work around the clock to preserve the innocence of their clients until it is proven otherwise.

Common Defence Strategies for Sexual Assault Charges

Because the types of cases that fall under the sexual assault umbrella are so varied, there is no one-size-fits-all defence strategy. Instead, a skilled defence lawyer knows to employ a combination of methods to build strong cases and protect their clients’ rights.

Some common defences include:

  • Challenging the credibility of the accuser’s account
  • Presenting evidence of consent for the act
  • Proving an alibi at the time of the alleged assault

Potential Outcomes of Sexual Assault Cases

In Canadian sexual assault cases, the results can range from full acquittal to conviction. This can include imprisonment and registering as a sex offender—each of which has long-lasting debilitating effects on someone’s life. The level of punishment is often influenced by what happened during the crime and previous convictions. 

There are also social and psychological implications that may affect the suspect regardless of their guilt or innocence. This further highlights the urgency of hiring a strong defence team for reliable legal assistance.

Seek Legal Advice for Sexual Assault Charges

If you’re up against sexual assault charges in British Columbia, seek legal advice immediately. 

At Steele Law, we understand the stakes are high. Jerry Steele, a top BC defence lawyer, offers fierce representation and a robust defence for sexual assault charges. With more than 500 criminal cases dismissed, our team is prepared to stand by you every step of the way.

If you or someone you know is facing sexual assault charges, don’t leave your future to chance. Contact Steele Law now at 778-800-0012.