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The Difference Between Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Sexual assualt and sexual harassment are considered two very serious offences in Ontario and can carry significant penalties if convicted. For some who have consulted with a sexual assault lawyer in Newmarket, they do not know the differences  “sexual assault” and “sexual harassment” and that can be a problem when approaching your defence. 

Semyonov Law is a law firm run by Vladimir Semyonov — a sexual assault defence lawyer in Newmarket. This article will look at how the Canadian Justice System legally defines sexual assault, the three degrees as categorized in Ontario, and if sexual harassment is a form of assault in of itself. 

 

What Defines Sexual Assault Under the Canadian Justice System?

According to the Canadian Justice System, sexual assault is defined as ‘any unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature’. It generally refers to behaviour involving sexual violence such as unwanted kissing or sexual intercourse. Factors such as the use of force, threats, intimidation, and coercion also fall under this term because it connects to making you do something sexual that you do not want to. Sexual Assault is a serious crime committed in cirucmstance that violate the integrity of the victim involved. 

On the other hand, sexual harassment is defined as an engagement in a course of unwelcome conduct based on your sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Examples of such behaviours often involve unwelcome sexual advances, touching, verbal comments, jokes, threats and discriminatory remarks about someone’s gender. Certain types of comments or unwelcome behaviour is often based on the response of the person subjected, even when they do not explicitly object to it. 

 

What Are the 3 Degrees of Sexual Assault in Ontario?

Sexual assault is a very serious and punishable offence in Ontario and penalties are determined by varying degrees of sexual violence enacted towards the victim. There are three levels of sexual assault that you should be aware of when approaching your case:

Level 1: Sexual activity in this area refers to any such action or bodily contact that is forced on another person without their consent. This can include sexual activity that goes against the wishes of a person to unwanted kissing, touching, or oral sex. It’s also important to note that this type of sexual assault leaves minor to no physical injury towards the victim. If convicted for a level 1 sexual assault, it could result in up to 10 years in prison. 

Level 2: Sexual assault in the level 2 category often involves the perpetrator using or threatening to use a weapon that will cause bodily harm to the victim, their friends, or family members. It can also apply to when the person commits the assault with another person or multiple assailants. Conviction for a level 2 sexual assault can result in a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

Level 3: Sexual assault in this category is considered aggravated sexual assault and carries much more wieght than other degrees. The reason is because sexual assault of this nature invovles serious wounds, maims, or disfigurement of the victim. It also takes into account if the unwanted sexual encounter endangered the victim’s life. Aconviction of a level 3 sexual assault can reuslt in sentecne of life in prison.

 

Is Sexual Harassment a Form of Assault?

As mentioned previously, sexual harassment often involves discriminatory comments and behaviour or unwanted touching that never goes so far as sexual intercourse. While it is not considered as serious as a sexual assault charge, sexual harassment is just as consequential because it can take place in a professional workspace or area where such behaviour should not be expected.  

A 2014 poll has shown that around 43% of women in the workplace reported cases of sexual harassment and were more than twice as likely to experience it than men. Because of changes in attitudes and regulations, more women are speaking out against sexual harassment and providing meaningful dialogue to enact serious change. Moreover, sexual harassers are now more subject to both public and private scrutiny if they have sexually harassed someone. 

If you have questions on sexual assault charges and need immediate defence for a case, please do not hesitate to call me at (647)-292-3377 or contact me HERE

Why Hiring an Immigration Attorney is Crucial to Raising Your Chances of a Favourable Outcome

Navigating the Canadian legal system can be a complex endeavor for any inexperienced individual and can be a difference maker between an accepted or rejected immigration application. That is why you should consider relying on a trusted immigration lawyer in Newmarket to represent your case in court and guide you through the application process. 

As an experienced lawyer, Vladimir Semyonov has primarily worked as a criminal defence lawyer in Newmarket and has extensive knowledge of Canadian immigration law. We will go over the role and responsibility of an immigration lawyer, why you should hire them, and the potential consequences of having your visa revoked. 

 

What are the Immigration Lawyer’s Responsibilities? 

An immigration lawyer is someone that handles legal affairs pertaining to immigration matters, especially for new immigrants to a country. Their job is to interpret and provide advice on migration, citizenship and business immigration issues. They can also handle matters involving political asylum and help you to secure travel, student, or work visas. In addition to their knowledge and expertise, an immigration lawyer ensures all legal documentation is present, correct, and handed in punctually. 

Moreover, a reputable lawyer will offer fair, affordable rates because they are generally accepting of your circumstance, providing you with some much-needed support. During your search for a lawyer, you should always ask about their experience with immigration law, research their reference, and speak with previous clients, if possible. 

One important thing to note is that while your immigration application is not guaranteed to be accepted, having an immigration lawyer can greatly increase your chances for success and lower your overall stress of the situation. In any case, you should always call Semyonov Law to explore your options and form a favourable outcome.

 

Why Should I Hire an Immigration Lawyer? 

Although an immigration lawyer is not necessarily required during the application process, their assistance can give you more security through it and can increase your chance of being accepted. Mr. Semyonov has rigorous training, knowledge, and experience in identifying, interpreting, comprehending, and synthesizing Canadian immigration law so that you can understand it. If you’re not as familiar with immigration law, having this support is really beneficial towards your case. 

Immigration lawyers are also subject to constant regulation by various law societies that are in charge of supervising Canadian law protocols. This ensures the legitimacy of their profession as well as a standard of service, extensive knowledge, and professionalism. Having this professional certainty can make it easier for you to verify your lawyer’s status and if they have an active practice in Canada. 

An experienced immigration lawyer will use their extensive knowledge and experience to assist and guide you in addressing, anticipating, and preventing issues before they develop. During the application process, they can review your application with you and point out its strengths and weaknesses. From there, they identify any errors or omissions to improve it, helping you to save valuable time, money, and energy. 

The overall immigration process to Canada can be a time-consuming and energy-draining process. By hiring an experienced, trustworthy immigration lawyer, allows you the chance to focus on other aspects of your new life with your family and plan your next steps for a new life in Canada. 

 

What Are the Repercussions of Having My Immigration Visa Revoked?

Having your visa revoked can be a serious issue for new immigrants and can hinder your chances of staying in a new country. In particular, the decision to immigrate to Canada is one that is never made lightly, requiring great perseverance, bravery, and determination to embrace a country’s challenges and opportunities. This is why hiring an immigration lawyer is especially important. 

The immigration process specifically requires a great amount of paperwork to be submitted, bureaucratic hurdles, and various policy considerations. All of these can be roadblocks to your application’s acceptance, but you do not have to go through it alone. While some immigrants try handling their application alone, the chances of getting into Canada become considerably low. The process becomes much easier when you have a reliable immigration lawyer advocating for you in court. 

 

You Deserve an Easy Immigration Process – Semyonov Law Can Ease the Process

Although there is a financial cost to hiring a lawyer, not having one could put you at a significant disadvantage. By taking the time to research and invest in a Canadian immigration lawyer, it can become a very smart decision made for the benefit of you and your family. Get in touch with Semyonov Law today and gain peace of mind – on time.

To inquire about immigration or criminal legal help, call (647)-292-3377 or email info@semyonovlaw.com. You can also contact us HERE

Is it possible to get charged with a DUI while parked? | Experienced DUI Lawyer in Newmarket and Toronto

Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that you can be arrested, prosecuted and convicted of impaired driving even when they are not physically operating the vehicle. As an experienced DUI lawyer in Newmarket, I can help you strengthen your case and prepare you for all potential scenarios.

Being arrested for impaired driving while sitting in your car in your driveway, a parking lot or on the side of the road is a more common occurrence than you might think. In the Canadian Criminal Justice System, it is prohibited for anyone to control a vehicle while they are impaired either by the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of both substances.

You need an experienced DUI lawyer in Toronto who is skilled in the areas of impaired driving and who understands the intricacies of Canadian Law and how to negotiate with the Crown to minimize the impact of the offence. 

 

Understanding the basics of drinking and not driving under the Canadian Criminal Code

The official charge for drinking while inside a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is under the Operation While Impaired under the Criminal Code that can further be explained as such:

Section 253 (1) An individual committing an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or assets in the operation of an aircraft or railway equipment, or is in the care and control of those modes of transportation, whether is in motion or not,

  1. While the operator’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by the presence of alcohol or drugs; or
  2. The operator’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol within one hundred millilitres of blood.

 

What is ‘Care and Control’ in terms of a DUI charge?

The term ‘care and control’ has been the source of litigation in the last decades within Canada’s criminal courts. The core meaning of the term is shortened from Canada’s Supreme Court that asks the question, “Does a drunken person’s interaction with a motor vehicle, regardless of whether they are driving it or not, pose a risk of danger to people or property?”

Care and control can be proven by showing that an individual was either driving the motor vehicle or has taken an action in which they would put the car in motion. Even if an impaired person that is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both substances, is sitting in the driver’s seat with a fully reclined chair and keys in a pocket, they still have the potential to be charged.

Understanding the basis of ‘care and control’ is much more efficient when using a professional lawyer that can work with you to strengthen your case. Semyonov Law will carefully handle intricacies involving the federal Criminal Code, the provincial Highway Traffic Ace, police procedures and the appropriate evidence that is brought to trial. 

 

What the Crown attorney needs to prove for an individual to get charged

When charged with impaired driving care and control, the proof will lie with the Crown attorney who must demonstrate beyond a reasonable double all of the following circumstances:

  • That the driver had care and control
  • That the motorized vehicle was put into motion
  • That the accused was in the driver’s seat with the intention of putting the vehicle into motion
  • That the driver had accessible possession of the keys

If any of the above statements are found not to be true, the individual charged will have a higher chance of a positive outcome.

 

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Ontario?

A criminal record will maintain your name, offence committed, and fingerprints within the RCMP database. A DUI can stay on your criminal record permanently if you are convicted in court. 

If you have not committed any further offences and meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to apply for a record suspension. A record suspension ensures that your record will not be accessible to employers, landlords, etc. who are looking it up – allowing you to have a fair shot at employment and educational opportunities. You may be eligible for a record suspension no less than five years after the original DUI charge. 

 

Charged with an Impaired Driving Charge? Call today for expert legal advice!

Since impaired driving charges are detailed and technical, it is imperative that you seek a criminal defence lawyer who has represented hundreds of clients in sensitive impaired driving charges. Mr. Semyonov has successfully represented numerous clients by having their charges either reduced or dismissed.

Contact Semyonov Law 24/7 to help you with your DUI case and sort out the legalities of the Canadian criminal justice system. 

Assault Defence Lawyer | Newmarket | Toronto

Charged with Assault in Toronto or Newmarket?

Our law firm is focused on providing expert representation to persons charged with criminal offences and in connection with their immigration law matters. We possess a wealth of experience in the criminal justice system as well as the immigration law system.

Our practice includes adults and youths in connection with their criminal and immigration matters. We also represent clients at sentencing hearings and criminal appeals as well as refugee hearings, family sponsorship and other immigration hearings and appeals.

Free Consultation (647) 292-3377

Charged with a sexual assault offence? Everything you need to know to strengthen your case with a professional assault lawyer in Newmarket

If you have been charged with sexual assault, do not hesitate to call our experienced law firm to strengthen your case and get you properly prepared. As a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto, Mr. Semyonov can appear on behalf of you in court and give you regular updates on your pending case. Sensitive circumstances cannot be left to chance; trust the expertise of a reputable assault lawyer in Newmarket to represent you justly.

Mr. Semyonov has a reputable track record of defending crimes of sexual assault while garnering an esteemed reputation for professional advocacy. He will work with you carefully to identify a comprehensive understanding of your specific case through detail-oriented preparation and experienced knowledge of the Canadian Criminal Code.

 

What happens when someone is charged with sexual assault in Ontario?

Sexual assault is broadly defined in Canadian law and includes unwarranted sexual activity, such as kissing and fondling, and unwanted sexual acts, including verbal and physical instances. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, the form of:

  • Sexual touching
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual interference
  • Voyeurism
  • Rape

The Supreme Court of Canada has included some general factors to consider a reasonable person would perform a sexual act that constituted the assault charge:

  • Which body part was touched;
  • The nature of the contact of the specific part of the body in question;
  • The intent of the accused;
  • If there was any sexual gratification that occurred;
  • Any additional words or gestures that accompanied the touching;
  • The environment in which the situation occurred;
  • Any further circumstances surrounding the conduct.

 

What must the accused prove in a sexual assault case?

Under section 273.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada, the person engaging in sexual conduct must take reasonable steps before performing the sexual act to ensure that the complainant is fully consenting. The accused individual must demonstrate, in most cases, and the matters of their testimony, that they honestly believed that the complainant communicated consent to engage in an act of a sexual nature. 

Over the last three decades, several decisions have been made in the Canadian courts regarding the Criminal Code. The majority of sexual assault charges rely on three set provisions under the Criminal Code which are as follows:

  1. There was a lack of consent to the touch from the victim;
  2. Any touching that constitutes an assault within the definition of section 265 (1)(a);
  3. The touching occurred in sexual instances.

The accused needs to apply some force to the victim for the above provisions to qualify, and the touch may be direct or indirect. For example, you can be charged with sexual assault if you use another person to perform the act of touching. Furthermore, the touch does not have to involve any sexual parts of the body, nor does the touch have to be sexual.

Semyonov Law will strengthen your case and help you provide defence if you have mistakenly believed that there was consent at the time of the incident. 

 

The importance of Mens Rea

Mens Rea refers to the mental element of the alleged crime; the mens rea component of a charge refers to what the accused was thinking concerning the charge. This is viewed from a subjective perspective, meaning that the mens rea is subjective to the accused unless the Canadian Criminal Code indicates an objective standard.

There are two elements that the Crown prosecutor must prove to demonstrate mens rea in sexual assault:

  1. That the accused intentionally acted;
  2. That the accused was aware of the lack of consent from the victim to provoke the sexual act.

If the Crown prosecutor fails to prove these two provisions, the accused may be excused or have a reduced sentence. However, the Crown prosecutor needs only to prove that the accused intended to touch the victim to satisfy mens rea. Even if there is no evidence of physical contact, mens rea can still be fulfilled.

 

If you have been charged with sexual assault, every second counts in strengthening your case! | Qualified criminal defence lawyer in Toronto

We have the legal knowledge to steer you in the right direction during your court proceedings, afford you peace of mind by addressing your concerns quickly and accurately, and improve the chances of your success in court. The law of sexual assault is increasingly complex and intricate, and every small detail matters when building your case. 

Contact us today at 647-292-3377 to discuss your options and you require reliable prudent legal advice.

domestic defence lawyer Toronto

Bail Hearings and Sureties in Ontario, What You Need to Know for Success | Experienced Domestic Defense Lawyer in Toronto and Newmarket

A bail hearing serves critical importance in every stage of a case. 

The failure to make bail can exert large consequences on innocent Canadians to plead guilty to charges they did not commit. A successful bail results in liberty, peace of mind and knowing you have a favourable future. Mr. Semyonov is an experienced domestic defence lawyer in Toronto that has extensive experience in legal areas including bail hearing, DUI cases and sexual assault matters.

Mr. Semyonov is a prudent DUI lawyer in Toronto, and our law firm will leverage your individual case in creating an effective and strategic defence for a favourable outcome. He will additionally appear on behalf of you at every court and tribunal appearance, allowing you to focus on your work and family, and not on your pending case. 

If you or someone you know has been arrested, we provide you with a guide on everything you need to know about Ontario bail hearings. 

 

What is the purpose of a bail hearing?

Upon an individual’s arrest, they may be released pending the first court date, or be kept in custody. If kept in custody, the accused must be brought forward before a justice within 24 hours for a bail hearing, or for some specific criminal charges, a detention order will be placed in a detention order, for which the accused can apply for a bail hearing before a judge.

 

If I have not been granted bail, can I apply for a bail review?

Applying for a bail review requires the filing of materials at the Superior Court including a copy of the transcript of the original bail hearing. The time and expense needed to ensure that all materials and documents are in order will take several weeks and large financial costs, so it is vital that you enlist the help of a trusted criminal defence lawyer to advise you on your best course of action and alleviate the complexities of your bail hearing.

 

What happens when you are held for a bail hearing?

At the time of the bail hearing, the Crown will determine if the accused will be released from custody for the period preceding the trial. The purpose of a bail hearing is for the Crown to ‘show cause’ on why the accused should not be granted release before the assigned court date. Under section 515 of the Canadian Criminal Code, an accused individual will be released pending trial unless the prosecutor proves why detention under three grounds;

  • The primary ground; to ensure the accused’s attendance in court,
  • The secondary ground; for the protection and safety of the public,
  • The tertiary ground; to maintain confidence in the administration of justice.

However, under section 515.6 of the Canadian Criminal Code, the onus is reversed and the accused must provide proof why they should not be detained preceding their trial date. One example might include the onus on the accused where they are charged with failing to comply with a condition of a recognizance or undertaking, while they were on release for an earlier charge that is still pending.

 

What is a surety?

The chances of an individual being granted bail are increased when they have a responsible surety that can ensure the individual is punctual and abides by all the rules and regulations that have been set.

A surety must be a responsible individual that understands the significance of ensuring that the accused acts responsibly, following rules implemented by the court. The act of being a surety should not be taken lightly, and it is only approved by an esteemed judge if they believe you are properly suited for the duty.    

A surety is an individual who is approved by the court to supervise a person who is facing criminal charges. They have two main responsibilities:

  1. To ensure that the accused follows the rules of the bail;
  2. To ensure that the accused attends court when required.

A surety is expected to call the police if the accused refuses to attend court dates, or breaks the rules that have been implemented in court. Additionally, a surety is also required to call the authorities if the accused refuses to attend court from the jurisdiction.

 

If you have been accused of a criminal charge, you need a reliable criminal defence lawyer in Toronto!

If you have been accused of a criminal charge, your bail hearing is an imperative step in the criminal court process. At Semyonov Law, we will appear in court on your behalf to strengthen your case and ensure that all documents are properly presented. We can help you throughout the process, every step of the way.

Contact us today and get experienced legal representation on your side.

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