Criminal accusations surrounding threats and harassment are becoming more and more common, as people turn to the police in response to personal interactions that have gotten out of hand. But simply because someone complains to the police, and the police lay charges, doesn’t mean that a crime has occurred. The Crown still needs to prove that the conduct crosses the line past ordinary interactions between people who don’t get along, and actually becomes criminal.
I defend charges relating to threats and harassment with a particular eye on the complainant. Where is the accusation coming from, and how credible is the source? Very often, the entire case comes down to a “he-said she-said” situation. Now as I advise my clients, it’s very important to realize that personal testimony is real evidence and it’s possible to get convicted based only on one witness’ say so. But it’s also important to look at contradictions in that witness’ story and to challenge their version of events. If that witness isn’t strong and consistent, and if they aren’t willing and able to show up for trial and tell their story on the stand, then it will be very hard for a court to convict in a case such as this.
Cases such as these are often bewildering to clients, who simply want someone to listen to their side of the story. It’s a very hard thing to accept that this time – when they finally get to tell their side of things – may not come until the trial at the very end of the process. It may be tempting to give up long before. That’s why you need to understand what’s going on at all times, and see the goal, and work with a lawyer who can keep that goal on track.