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Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto

Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto

You need a criminal defence lawyer Toronto in a sexual assault case because the Canadian justice system has put in place steps to protect complainants in sexual assault cases. This is admirable, but it makes the defendant’s work in defending him/herself much more difficult. One such safeguard is that you cannot introduce the past sexual history of the complainant into evidence. If we feel the complainants past sexual history is relevant to your case, we find a way of pushing to get everything from this without actually deviating from the rule.

What Is Sexual Assault & How Do We Defend You?

No crime is as personal or traumatizing as sexual assault. As such, the Canadian criminal justice system considers assault charges among the most serious charges in the country.

According to the Canadian Criminal Code, sexual assault is “sexual contact with another person without that other person’s consent.” Sexual assault is criminalized under Section 271 of the Criminal Code, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm under Section 272, and aggravated sexual assault under Section 273.

From the description of sexual assault, it is clear that determining whether there was “consent” is at the heart of all sexual assault cases. Section 273.1(1) of the Criminal Code describes consent at “the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question”.

How We Will Defend You

At Costa Law Firm, we understand how difficult a sexual assault case can be and we, therefore, offer much-needed expertise.

You need a criminal defence lawyer Toronto in a sexual assault case because the Canadian justice system has put in place steps to protect complainants in sexual assault cases. This is admirable, but it makes the defendant’s work in defending him/herself much more difficult. One such safeguard is that you cannot introduce the past sexual history of the complainant into evidence. If we feel the complainants past sexual history is relevant to your case, we find a way of pushing to get everything from this without actually deviating from the rule.

In most cases, you need the police and medical records of the complainant in your defence. As an example, if the complainant claims you raped her and you had consensual sex, medical records will show this. The law states that you can only access and introduce these records as evidence with special permission from the judge. We will put up a convincing argument that you need the records.

How We Will Defend You

At Costa Law Firm, we understand how difficult a sexual assault case can be and we, therefore, offer much-needed expertise.

In most cases, you need the police and medical records of the complainant in your defence. As an example, if the complainant claims you raped her and you had consensual sex, medical records will show this. The law states that you can only access and introduce these records as evidence with special permission from the judge. We will put up a convincing argument that you need the records.

Got A Case? Need Legal Help?

Our Defense

It is often necessary to hire a private investigator in a sexual assault case, especially if you know the complainant is lying for vengeance or other reason. We will hire such a private investigator to assist secure valuable evidence. We will also gather evidence through other means such as through DNA analysis.

The Crown prosecutor will try to convince the judge that there was no consent, and we will do the opposite. The law states that consent should never be assumed or implied or obtained trough treats or coercion. We will try to show that it was actually given. Consent cannot be given if one is impaired by drugs, alcohol or is unconscious. We will show that the complainant had all her/his faculties working fine. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. We will argue that it was never withdrawn.

Many figures of authority find themselves victim of their subordinates because the law states cannot be given if the accused abuses a position of power, trust, or authority. If you are in such a position, we will show that you did not abuse your power and that the sex was consensual.

You could reach us through 416-535-6329 to book a consultation session with a top criminal lawyer Toronto.

Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto

Testimonials

What our clients are saying.

If I could give David Costa more than 5 stars I would. The moment that I called him in 2015, I knew right away that he was the right person to represent my son. He gave my son a list of things to do to help his case. David replied to every email that I sent to him and answered all my questions no matter how many times I asked the same questions. He even talked to my son when he thought my son was not doing enough to get the best possible outcome. We are pleased with the outcome of the case. Excellent lawyer! Highly recommended! Definitely Toronto’s Top Lawyer!
Rusty Moore
Rusty Moore
15:55 16 Jan 19
David Costa was my brother’s defense lawyer on a first degree murder charge. I called the lawyer the moment my brother was arrested. There was absolutely no physical evidence against my brother. There were alibi witnesses and coroner evidence that he could not have killed the victim. And Mr. Costa did everything we asked him to do as our lawyer. He called the alibi witnesses, he made sure all evidences are preserved, he hired a PI and did an investigation of his own. He did everything he could to save my brother from jail. Our whole family is grateful to David Costa for his knowledge, experience, support and strong motivation. David is a very good man.
Jeffrey Wen
Jeffrey Wen
02:34 27 Nov 18
The charges I had were dismissed, however along the way I spoke to a couple lawyers. I stuck with David because I could tell he had a level of knowledge others didn’t. He also was always very quick to get back to me. If I ever need a lawyer in the future it will be David for sure and I also recommend him to anyone needing legal assistance.
James Obryant
James Obryant
17:02 15 Jan 19
The best adoption lawyer in Toronto! David Costa walked us through everything, and was with us every second on the big day! We did not have many face to face meetings, as he communicates very well via email. This is definitely a lawyer who takes his time to do it correctly. We honestly can’t thank him enough!
Ruth Bowen
Ruth Bowen
02:34 13 Jan 19
Mr. Costa is a great lawyer. He is a professional who always answered my calls/emails promptly and kept me informed on the latest information regarding my case. I am happy with the outcome and I recommend him to anyone who needs a defense lawyer.
Frank Elliott
Frank Elliott
06:28 13 Jan 19
From my experience, as a client and referring clients to Costa Law Firm keeps satisfying me and referred family, friends, and business contacts. They are easy to reach, easy to talk to, and make what can be a complex legal system very manageable .
Benji Teixeira
Benji Teixeira
17:41 09 Apr 19
Excellent lawyer with great work ethics, professionalism, knowledge and understanding. I hired him to represent me for traffic violation. He explained me everything about the case and expected outcomes. He studied my case in detail and in the end got the case dismissed. Highly recommended.
Willie Sweeney
Willie Sweeney
16:47 05 Jan 19
My family and I are grateful for the positive experience we had with Costa Law firm. Kowlasar Misir, our Lawyer was extremely honest, thorough and trusting through out the entire process of our family case. We had the pleasure of meeting with Kowlasar for a second time recently and again the help and understanding surpassed my expectations.
Tania E
Tania E
15:14 28 Aug 19
Mr. Costa was a great help with my custody case. He walked me through the process step-by-step and gave me some useful tips. I am relieved now that I got a full custody of my daughter. Back than I was quite shaken by the circumstances and his confidence really was just what I needed.
Jeanne Axy
Jeanne Axy
03:25 15 Sep 19
Back in 2017, my nephew was accused of a fraud over $5000, he was only 19 and my family felt horrible for him. Costa Law did everything to defend him and was able to help him. We are very grateful to David and his team and strongly recommend them.
Katie Quirk
Katie Quirk
12:12 17 Sep 19
David was handling my DUI case and I could not be more grateful. I gave him a call right after I got arrested, he calmed me down and gave me an action plan. I don’t know how things would turn out if I would go with another lawyer. This guy is worth every penny spent on his services.
Clyde Wiley
Clyde Wiley
09:05 19 Sep 19
Costa Law was incredible experience from day one. Very intelligent, compassionate and accessible team, I felt like they actually cared about my case.  I strongly recommend them for criminal defence cases (speaking from personal experience).
Mary Schmitt
Mary Schmitt
04:30 26 Sep 19
Back in 2009 I was a troublesome young man and managed to get a criminal record. Time have passed and I changed, but my record remained as a reminder of my past, reminder that made my life more difficult than needed.  I was referred to David Costa by one of my friends who also had a similar experience. He helped me to get a pardon and today my record is clean. I feel like that weight is finally off my shoulders.
William Palmisano
William Palmisano
03:11 27 Sep 19
Thanks to these guys I was able to close the deal on my dream house! I can’t stop braging about Costa Law, they are an amazing team and deserve all the credit.
Freddy Bishop
Freddy Bishop
02:46 09 Oct 19
My son was arrested for possession of Schedule 1 drug back in January. I was completely mortified. David did an amazing job minimizing penalties, he was there for our family throughout the whole process. I strongly recommend Costa Law to anyone who needs help to deal with criminal charges.
Nicolas Lane
Nicolas Lane
07:50 12 Oct 19
David is so on point! He worked on my criminal defence case, great guy and great outcome. Would give him 10 stars if I could.
Gillian Smith
Gillian Smith
08:50 29 Oct 19
David worked on my sister in law sponsorship application. She is from Bulgaria and the immigration process from that country to Canada is pretty complex. My brother told us David was always reachable, answered every question they had and most importantly, my sister in law is now in Canada with us!
Karen Gallo
Karen Gallo
08:42 08 Nov 19
David is very professional and thorough. He helped me to deal with my speeding over 50 charge. Great job!
Bahareh Shai
Bahareh Shai
19:13 21 Jan 20
Best Lawyer ever! dropped my charges a few years ago, still keep in touch with him! really appreciate his work and effort! life changing ! He's the best lawyer in the field!
Lucy Zimmerman
Lucy Zimmerman
19:29 19 Feb 20
I was refered to David by a good friend of mine, when I needed help the most. It was a difficult time for me and working with him on my side really helped me to get through it. I recommend David and his law firm to anyone who needs help with criminal law.
Terri Burningham
Terri Burningham
03:37 17 Feb 20
I had a DUI charge and was very anxious about it as you can imagine. Looking for a bail lawyer I scheduled meetings at several law firms. Costa was my third meeting and the moment we set down with him I knew he should represent me. He is compassionate and honest guy who genuinely wants best for his clients. I can't thank him enough for all the help with my case.
Sean Keller
Sean Keller
15:12 25 Feb 20
Sexual Assault Lawyer Toronto

Sexual Assault FAQ

What options do you have when you have been charged with a sexual assault offence?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sexual assault offence, the first step is to contact a criminal defence lawyer. Your lawyer will request the Crown Attorney to provide a complete investigative file, often known as disclosure, which helps to highlight the circumstances of the case. This file will include all documentation of the offense, including the police reports, witness statements and complainant’s statements, as well as photographs and video statements.

This disclosure will be reviewed by the lawyer to determine the risk of going to trial versus accepting a negotiated plea deal. The lawyers will look at several factors, such as the odds of winning the case at trial based on the police reports, and the complainant’s version of the events. All these matters will be discussed with the client during various meetings, and you will be advised on what the best options are.

What’s Next After a Trial Date is set?

The trial process for sexual assault charges is usually long. If a date is set today, expect the trial to take place about 6 to 8 months later. This gives the lawyers ample time to prepare your case. The legal team will review legal and factual issues that could impact on the outcome of the case before trial. Our lawyers often source for third party records, such as the victim’s counseling or psychiatric records, which can help with the case.

When the trial date arrives, the Crown calls the case and witnesses. The defence team cross-examines all witnesses and points out evidence which helps to prove that the accused is not guilty. The accused or other defence witnesses may also testify after the Crown completes calling its case. The Crown and defence then make closing arguments.

Depending on the severity of the allegation, a judge alone or a jury can decide the case. The court process is long and even though many of our clients want a quick resolution, it’s important to understand that proper preparation is key. Prep work can involve hundreds of hours, especially for bigger sexual assault cases. Having an experienced criminal defence lawyer by your side is important to get the best possible results for your case.

How Do You Prepare for the Initial Court Appearance?

The first court appearance is usually for the lawyers to review the file and figure out the direction that they are going to take the case. The client may not have to appear in all remand court dates. Towards the end of the date, court process, the defence counsel will need to select a date(s) for a negotiated guilty plea, pre-trial date, or preliminary hearing, and a trial date(s).

A judicial pre-trial is a meeting with the judge to discuss all the aspects of the case. In this meeting, the defence lawyer, the Crown, and an independent judge are present. They may discuss what the Crown may be offering the client if they plead guilty as well as set the court time estimates and trial issues. If the Crown makes a reasonable offer, the accused may choose to take the offer and avoid going to trial.

What Happens After the Remand Appearances and a Judicial Pre-Trial

If the Crown has made a good offer, your lawyer may weigh the risk(s) of going to trial and advise on you accepting the offer. If not, the lawyer may recommend proceeding to trial, or to a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is not a trial. It is meant to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Witnesses will testify to the Crown in court, and the defence team will examine the witnesses. The defence team can use this to their advantage as it gives them an opportunity to learn about the case and find inconsistencies or improbabilities that may help if the case proceeds to trial. The defence can use the information they obtain during the preliminary hearing to pin down the evidence and to develop a winning strategy.

What is Considered ‘Consent’ to Sexual Activity?

A complainant may testify that there was no consent to engage in sexual activity. If this is the case, the court will analyse the complainant’s state of mind at the time of consent. The complainant’s consent may have ended at the point where s/he became unconscious or unable to provide their consent. A common situation occurs if the complainant was completely drunk or under the influence of drugs, and is thereby out of consciousness, or unaware of their surroundings.

Is it still a Sexual Assault if the Adult Complainant Consented?

If an adult victim consented, then it is not a sexual assault. However, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the adult did not consent to the sexual activity in question. The complainant will be cross-examined by the defence counsel in an attempt to create reasonable doubt that there was some form of consent, or that it did not happen at all, among other references.

Will I go to Jail if I Plead Guilty or if I am Found Guilty of a Sexual Assault Charge?

Sexual assault charges vary from minor incidences to serious offences, such as sexual intercourse with a child or adult. Jail terms are likely for all kinds of sexual offences, but one may negotiate sentencing on very minor sexual assault charges. The length of the jail term, if applicable, will depend on the nature and severity of the offence, as well as other factors like (whether the accused has a previous criminal record). An accused person of previous good character may avoid or face a shorter length of jail term.

The courts have developed some ranges of sentences for sexual assault charges. For instance, someone facing a date rape charge that involves no injuries can face 2-3 years of imprisonment. Serious offences can attract 6 to 10 years or more in jail. Some cases result in a house arrest where the sexual offence in question is not a serious personal injury offence and does not carry a minimum term of imprisonment. For those who are sentenced for less than 2 years in jail, the court usually demands a probation period of 3 years, which ensures they are under supervision after being released from prison. There are many other conditions which can be imposed (SOIRA) including a sexual abuse registry for a determined length of time.

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