Violent offences are offences in which one individual uses or threatens to use violent force
upon another individual. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective,
such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery.
Violent crimes include crimes committed with and without weapons.
In Canada, the Criminal Code defines homicide as any act
that directly or indirectly causes the death of a human being.
Homicide can take many forms including:
First Degree Murder: the intentional killing of another person with premeditation
or the killing of an identified peace officer. First degree murder has a penalty of mandatory life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Second Degree Murder: the intentional killing of another person without premeditation
(e.g. killing in the heat of the moment”). Second degree murder has a penalty of mandatory life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole for 10-25 years, determined by the judge at the end of sentencing.
Manslaughter: the killing of another person due to recklessness or criminal negligence,
without the intention to kill. The maximum penalty for manslaughter is life imprisonment, with a minimum of 4 years
imprisonment if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.
Infanticide: intentionally causing the death of an infant. The maximum penalty for infanticide is
5 years imprisonment.
In Canada defences such as insanity, mental disorder, self-defence and provocation, may be regarded as
mitigating circumstances. Defences can lead to two options, (1) an acquittal from a charge of homicide or
(2) a sentence reduction, meaning that an individual may be found guilty of manslaughter on the basis of
diminished responsibility, rather than murder, if it can be proved that the accused was suffering from a
condition that affected their judgment at the time.
The lawyers at Brodsky & Company are very well versed in homicide cases. G. Greg Brodsky has litigated over
600 homicide cases throughout his career, a record in the English-speaking world, while the other firm lawyers
have worked on homicide cases at every level of the Canadian court system. Past Successes Include:
R. v. Sophonow (1984), 11 DLR (4th) 24 (Man. C.A.) – The Manitoba Court of Appeal quashed
the conviction of Thomas Sophonow for murder. Brodsky successfully showed that the eyewitnesses were unreliable,
and that the police procedures used in the investigation were inadequate. An appeal application to the Supreme
Court by the Crown was denied.
R. v. Lavallee,  1 SCR 852 – A woman who killed her abusive boyfriend was acquitted
of murder. This case marked the introduction of the “battered woman syndrome” defence in Canada.
R. v. Chaulk,  3 S.C.R. 1303 – One of the defining cases on insanity, a first-degree
murder conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court when they stated that “a person may well be aware that an act is
contrary to law but, by reason of ‘natural imbecility’ or disease of the mind, is at the same time incapable of knowing
that the act is morally wrong in the circumstances according to the moral standards of society”.
If you have been charged with homicide, it is essential to contact a lawyer before making a statement.
Our offices can be reached 24-hours a day by phoning (204) 771-4278, or by asking the police to contact Brodsky & Company.
Assault occurs when an individual applies intentional force to another without their consent.
Assault also encompasses threats, by act or gesture, to apply force to another, or openly wearing or carrying a weapon.
Examples of assault include, hitting, punching, pushing, choking, biting, slapping, uttering threats, etc. Exceptions
are provided to cover normal social behaviour, such as patting someone on the back and engaging in contact sports.
Aggravated assault is differentiated from assault by the offender’s intent (i.e. to murder, rape, etc.), the
extent of injury to the victim, or the use of a weapon. Individuals charged with assault are liable to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding five years; when a weapon is used, this term increases to ten years.
There are many defences available to assault including consent, self-defence, prevention of crime, and defence of property.
Our firm has considerable experience in dealing with assault charges and has had numerous successes in putting forward
the above defences to both judges and juries. If you are facing an assault charge and would like legal representation,
please contact our offices at (204) 940-4433 or our 24-hour on call lawyer at (204) 771-4278.
Sexual assault is any undesired physical contact of a sexual nature perpetrated against another person.
While often associated with rape or intercourse, sexual assault is much broader encompassing any unwanted
act of a sexual nature, including kissing and touching. The maximum penalty for sexual assault is imprisonment
for a term not exceeding ten years.
Aggravated sexual assault is any undesired physical contact of a sexual nature that wounds, maims, disfigures or
engagers the life of the complainant. The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is life imprisonment,
while the minimum is four years imprisonment if a firearm was used during the commission of the offence.
In Canada, sexual offences are very complex, as they rely on not only the objective facts but also on the
subjective mindset of the victim. Therefore, in order to successfully litigate a sexual assault charge,
you need experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. Throughout the history of the firm, the lawyers at
Brodsky & Company have successfully litigated numerous sexual assault cases, leading to both acquittals
and sentence reduction. If you have been charged with a sexual offence and require legal assistance, our
offices can be reached at (204) 940-4433 or 24-hours a day at (204) 771-4278.