Should I Hire a Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer?

Should I Hire a Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer?


Being charged with a crime, such as Assault or Domestic Assault, in Toronto is a significant event that people will try and avoid.  Once you find yourself in that situation, the first question that will cross your mind is whether you should retain a Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer to assist you with your case.

In this article, ____ reasons are provided which suggest that retaining a Domestic Violence Lawyer is your best option, even if you feel your charges are relatively “minor”.

Reason 1 – All Criminal Charges Carry Potentially Life Changing Consequences

There are different levels of Assault charges in the Criminal Code, including:

The least serious, on paper, is Assault Simplicitor.  However, in reality, an Assault Simplicitor charge can carry similar legal outcomes as the more serious Assault charges listed above, including

  • Criminal records
  • Strict bail conditions
  • Jail time

Given that the stakes are high for ALL Assault charges, retaining a Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer to help you navigate the system is crucial.

Reason 2 – The Legal Process Can be Confusing

For individuals charged with crimes, it may be the first time you have had to appear in court.  You will not be aware of the ins and outs of the court process, including:

  • What the stages of the court process are
  • How to dress for court
  • How to address a Judge
  • How to apply for bail variations
  • How to properly prepare for each phase in the court process
  • How long each phase of the court process lasts

A lack of knowledge in this regard can lead to issues arising.  Some of the issues that I see faced by self-represented parties include individuals missing court dates or Inadequately preparing for an important hearing, like a trial. An experienced Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer will be knowledgeable about the entire process to ensure that it is run efficiently and smoothly for your case.

Reason 3 – Returning Home to a Loved One Becomes More Challenging

The unfortunate reality for people charged with Domestic Assault is that they will be legally barred from having contact or communication with their partner or spouse.  Where the parties resided together prior to the charges, this would mean that the accused person is usually forced to leave home. 

Reason 4 – Negotiating with the Crown Attorney Without Counsel Is Fraught with Risk

Getting back home is a complicated process even for the most skilled Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer.  However, with the experience that lawyer has with these situations, you will stand a better chance at returning home, and doing so in a more quick fashion. 

One of the initial steps in a criminal case is for a Crown pre-trial meeting to take place.  This meeting would involve a discussion between the Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer and Crown Attorney about the prospect of resolution, amongst other things.  Many experienced lawyers will present supporting information and documentation to a Crown at this stage to increase the odds of a favourable resolution for their client. 

By conducting this step on your own, (1) you may not know what types of information or evidence is disclosable at this stage and (2) what items could jeopardize your case.    There is a fine line to be drawn by an experienced lawyer as to what and how much to disclose at this step, keeping in mind that a trial may still take place.  That delicate balance is better judged by a skilled defence lawyer rather than a lay person who has not been to court before.

Reason 5 – Not Knowing the Parties or Players in the Criminal Justice System

If you choose to self represent, you will, in most circumstances, not know who you are dealing with at the other end of the table, whether it be a Crown or a Judge.

Each Crown and Judge has different personalities and take different approaches to certain types of criminal charges. Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyers will develop relationships with, and/or collect “intel” for, Crowns and Judges, and they can use that knowledge base to some degree when defending you. 


There is a well known saying that a man (or woman) who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.  The quote suggests that representing yourself in a case is not a smart move to make.  Some of the reasons for this were explored above. There are many others.

When charged with an Assault, it would be wise to explore retaining a lawyer if at all possible in your personal circumstances. Self-representation should not be something that should never be considered, but it should be a last resort.

About the Author – Andrew Captan, Toronto Domestic Violence Lawyer

Andrew Captan is an experienced Toronto Criminal Lawyer and Domestic Violence Lawyer who has been representing clients for over 13 years.  The bulk of his practice is in domestic violence cases.

For a FREE consultation, you can call him at (647) 878 – 6355, e-mail him at or visit his website HERE

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