Constitutional and Criminal Law
The judicial system is complex and confusing, the police and regulatory agencies do not operate with your interests in mind. The most important thing you can do is to consult an experienced criminal defence lawyer. At the very least you will be prepared with a better understanding of the process and your jeopardy. Whatever you do, remember not to talk to the police. Here’s why
Police make decisions on minimal evidence, there are often other witnesses and other information that has not been investigated. The Crown prosecutor sees only the police version of the story before approving charges. In some cases, we may be able to persuade the police or prosecutor not to proceed with charges.
We will advise you of the strength of the case against you, identify defences, build your case based on the complete story, appear in court for you and negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best outcome for your case.
Our lawyers practice in all areas of criminal law, including provincial offences and appeals.
||driving prohibitions, impaired driving, dangerous driving
||possession, trafficking, production or importation of a controlled substance
||theft, shoplifting, fraud, possession of stolen property, proceeds of crime, breach of trust
||murder, conspiracy to commit murder, manslaughter, criminal negligence, assaults, utter threat, robbery
||storage and licensing, possession of firearms, prohibited weapons, knives, bear spray
||sexual assault, sexual interference or exploitation, child pornography
If the prosecution’s case is weak or if the circumstances were not serious, you may be offered a peace bond. This is a preventative court order with conditions and sometimes supervision. While often tempting to accept this agreement, peace bonds may have important negative consequences for your work and community involvement. Be sure to make an informed decision before agreeing to a peace bond.
Youth charged with criminal offences are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The law recognizes that youth lack maturity and are to be treated differently from adults. The focus should be on their rehabilitation and reintegration, with detention as a last resort. In reality, charges often snowball for troubled youth. The courts and prosecutors may lose sight of YCJA principles. We will help you understand the procedures and protections available to help your son or daughter defend their charges and return to their potential.
Importance of Bail Hearings
Detention or terms of your release often set the tone for the unfolding of your case. An improperly prepared bail hearing may result in your detention or release on unrealistic conditions. If you are detained, it often takes weeks before an appeal in a higher court can be heard, if at all. If you are unable to follow the release conditions, you will likely be arrested for breaching your court order. Failure to comply with court orders makes it more difficult to seek release and often results in jail time. In many cases, the sentencing for breaches is worse than the underlying offence.
An experienced criminal lawyer will help make sure your bail conditions are workable so that you succeed. Detention or improper release conditions should not be the deciding factor in choosing a guilty plea over trial.