Québec City Sexual Assault Lawyer

Allegations of sexual assault are complex and complicated because, many times, there are no witnesses or physical evidence to corroborate an accusation. It’s two people telling contradictory versions of what happened. The consequences of these allegations can be devastating: the end of a marriage, the loss of custody of your children, termination from your job, and, if convicted, a criminal record with the requirement to register as a sex offender.

In certain locations within Québec, there are specialized courts to hear cases involving allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence. The purpose of these courts is to help make the judicial process less onerous for the complaining witnesses and more sensitized to the lasting impact of sexual assault and domestic violence. Although these special courts are currently a pilot program, it is anticipated that they will be established throughout the province by November 2026.

No one should face these accusations without a skilled sexual assault defence lawyer by your side. Too much is at stake to pretend you can navigate the criminal justice system without a fearless and compassionate lawyer. You will find that fearless and compassionate combination in Patrick Jacques, a Québec City Sexual Assault Lawyer. He’s got over twenty years of experience defending clients within the Québec criminal courts. The police know him, as do the prosecutors and judges. His reputation, experience, and knowledge of the law and criminal procedure are all impeccable and ready to serve your legal needs.

In This Article

What Is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is unwanted touching of a sexual nature. Any intentional act that involves unconsented touching can be considered sexual assault, such as an unwanted hug, kiss, grope, or unconsented sexual acts. Whether an unwanted touching is indeed sexual in nature is determined by the act itself and the circumstances: what body part was touched, what was the nature of the contact, what words were spoken or gestures made, as well as the location.

A sexual assault might be alleged in a variety of circumstances:

  • A date
  • At a social event at work
  • At a party
  • During a medical examination
  • Involving children at school

There are three criminal statutes that govern sexual assault, each with varying degrees of severity.

  • Section 271: sexual assault: this would include unconsented kissing, hugging, or groping
  • Section 272: sexual assault with a weapon, or threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm: the use of the weapon can be actual or threatened. The accused can be the person who actually does the assault or anyone who is along with the actual offender.
  • Section 273: Aggravated sexual assault: while committing the sexual assault, the victim is wounded, maimed, disfigured, or experiences life-threatening

The Crown must prove all elements of sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The actual touching
  • The touching was of a sexual nature, and
  • The touching was done without consent.

What Are the Possible Consequences of a Sexual Assault Charge?

The penalties for a conviction for sexual assault are dependent upon the type of unwanted touching, the age of the complaining witness, whether there was a relationship of trust between the complaining witness and the defendant, and whether force or weapons were used. Sexual assault is a hybrid offence, which allows the Crown to decide whether to proceed by summary conviction or indictment. Obviously, if a prosecution cannot be resolved with a dismissal, you want your sexual assault criminal defence lawyer to convince the prosecutor to proceed with the lesser charge of a summary conviction.

Sentences upon conviction are determined by the surrounding circumstances:

  • Summary conviction: up to 18 months in jail, or if the complaining witness was under 16 years of age, a minimum sentence of six months and/or a fine of $5,000, and a maximum of two years less a day in prison.
  • Indictment: up to 10 years in prison, or if the complaining witness was under 16 years of age, a minimum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum of 14 years in prison.

Conviction means mandatory registration with the National Sex Offender Registry. That designation can affect where you live, what jobs you can have, and what you drive, and requires that any change in residence or job be reported to the police.

The Importance of Choosing a Skilled Québec City Sexual Assault Lawyer

The Crown has enormous resources to conduct a sexual assault investigation as well as the authority to subpoena witnesses, compel the production of physical evidence, and interrogate potential witnesses. When the force of the Crown targets you and catches you in the wake of a sexual assault investigation, you need a skilled criminal defence lawyer.

You want a criminal defence lawyer with a reputation with the Crown, police, and judges that help to ensure that the government will operate in a totally upfront and fair manner in accordance with the Constitution and Charter of Rights & Freedoms. The combination of knowledge of the law and criminal procedure, capable negotiation skills, experience with individual police officers, their methods, and precincts, and absolute comfort in a courtroom in front of a judge and jury is available to you with Québec sexual assault defence lawyer Patrick Jacques.

A defence lawyer examines the police methodologies and actions, along with the evidence that has been gathered. An effective defence is constructed by examining the evidence and by questioning the credibility of witness testimony to construct a counter-narrative to contradict the Crown’s version of what might have happened. The job of a criminal defence lawyer is to introduce reasonable doubt.

A credible and effective defence can be built in several ways, all of which are dependent upon the facts of each individual case:

  • Gathering documents, photos, texts, witness testimony, and scientific analysis, including DNA, forensics, and ballistics, that will contradict the allegation of criminal activity and support your version of what might have happened
  • Assembling evidence that will undermine the credibility of prosecution witnesses—the victim and other witnesses, including the police
  • Exploring whether there were circumstances that raise doubt as to witness reliability. Were they intoxicated or on drugs? Was there enough lighting to see what they claimed to have seen? Was their testimony plausible within the physical confines of the site of the incident?
  • Assessing police methods to make sure that investigations, interrogations, and evidence gathering were all done within the constraints of Canadian and provincial law, including the Constitution and Charter of Rights & Freedoms
  • Ensuring that all evidence, inculpatory and exculpatory, is provided to defence counsel in a timely fashion

Why Choose Patrick Jacques as Your Québec City Sexual Assault Lawyer

With over twenty years of experience in the criminal courts, Patrick Jacques brings his knowledge of Canada and Québec’s criminal codes and the rules of criminal procedure to work on behalf of his clients. But that’s not all. In addition to knowledge of the applicable law, Patrick Jacques knows how to negotiate with the police, the Crown, and the court, question witnesses and the authority of the government, and listen. His reputation for fearless and ethical defence of his clients is well-established within the criminal courts of Québec. You will get personalized service, ethical representation, and a commitment to compassionate professionalism.

If you are the subject of a police investigation or have been arrested for sexual assault, call or email today to arrange for a free consultation with Québec City Criminal Defence Lawyer Patrick Jacques.

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