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A client of our firm was charged with simple assault under Section 266 (b) of the Criminal Code and mischief under $5000.00 with respect to a victim in the context of a bar fight.
On two occasions in December 2013, our client visited an establishment to have some drinks with a partner.
Heavily intoxicated by alcohol, our client refused to leave the place in question at closing time. A verbal altercation ensued with the server and our client was expelled from the bar.
A fight involving my client then broke out outside and assault and mischief charges were brought against him, since he had caused significant damage to the victim’s vehicle in retaliation.
Our client was detained and then released under very restrictive conditions, including complying with a curfew and not going to bars.
For nearly 8 months, our client complied with the conditions of his release until June 2014. At that time, he was arrested in the Joliette area for non-compliance with his curfew and consuming alcohol.
He was detained in the district of Joliette and charges of breach of undertaking were brought against him.
He received an absolute discharge since he had no criminal record and had been employed by the Canadian Armed Forces for nearly 9 years.
He was released and appeared again in the district of Québec to enter guilty pleas on his charges of assault and mischief.
The defence requested the preparation of a pre-sentence report to show the Court our client’s positive development since he had become an adult.
During sentencing, we requested a second discharge from the court, since a criminal record would result in our client’s possible expulsion from the Canadian Armed Forces.
The stakes were therefore very high.
We entered the following mitigating factors into evidence:
- Our client’s young age
- Absence of a criminal record
- Therapy successfully completed
- Our client’s post-traumatic shock following a mission in Afghanistan
- Regrets and shame related to dishonour vis-à-vis the Canadian Armed Forces
- Advanced state of alcohol intoxication at the time of the offence, which had impaired his judgment
- Parental support and good social network
- Empathy towards the victim
- Member of the Canadian Forces for 9 years and no breaches of administrative rules
- Report from National Defence explaining his psychological condition
The court accepted our suggestion and granted him a discharge involving a $2000.00 donation to a charitable organization.
Our client avoided a criminal record and could pursue his career.