R. v. K.A.
R. v. K.A.
(Calgary Provincial Court of Justice - Criminal Harassment and Breach of Recognizance). KA was charged by way of a two separate criminal Informations with criminal harassing a former partner and breaching bail conditions. On the advice of counsel, KA entered a guilty plea to some charges, with the remaining counts to be withdrawn. The plea agreement was that the Prosecution would seek a suspended sentence with probation while the accused would apply for a "conditional discharge".
Though KA pled guilty, the Court was also presented with fact's that KA's former pattern had occasionally re-initiated contact and may have been partly responsible for causing the breach of bail.
Where the Prosecution seeks a suspended sentence with probation and the accused seeks a conditional discharge, the only real difference in sentence is that the former case (suspended sentence) is the imposition of a permanent criminal record. A conditional discharge is a sentencing option for judges that can be used in certain cases penalize and rehabilitate an accused without saddling the offender with a lifetime criminal record. Terms of probation can be crafted exactly the same for a suspended sentence as they can for a conditional discharge.
Discharges are not routinely handed out by Courts. Without going into all of the considerations for the granting of a discharge, the primary considerations are whether the discharge is in the accused's interest (almost always) and whether it is not country to the public interest. The Judge agreed with the Defence that a conditional discharge was appropriate in KA's case.
An experienced Calgary criminal lawyer who understands criminal harassment appreciates that properly defending a client requires a rationale defence strategy. In this case, since the Prosecution had capped its sentencing request at suspended sentence with probation, the path to obtaining a conditional discharge was made a bit easier. Successfully defending a client requires the defence lawyer to consider all available options. David Chow is a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary who will full evaluate your case with legal costs in mind.