I have been retained as defence counsel on a number of robbery cases recently, and these files involve discussions with my clients about the jail risk they are facing. In most cases, my clients are surprised to learn that they are at risk of a lengthy jail sentence. Robbery, like a number of other offences … Continue reading Starting Point Sentences
Many people – for whatever reason – do not attend their Court dates during criminal proceedings. In these instances, the Judge usually issues a warrant for the absent person’s arrest. In certain circumstances, an Accused must personally attend Court, and in others, the Accused can have someone, such as a lawyer or family member, appear … Continue reading Attending Court for a Criminal Charge
Access to justice is a live issue for many people, particularly in light of the recent economic recession. How can people who need criminal defence legal services access a lawyer if they can’t afford private legal fees? One option is to hire a private lawyer on a limited scope basis. This means the lawyer will … Continue reading Access to Justice and Affordability
I recently saw a meme on Facebook that said “how to talk to the police – don’t”. While the meme was meant to be humorous, it provided a piece of legal advice all criminal defence lawyers give to their clients. I receive many calls from individuals who have been arrested and are being held in … Continue reading Silence is Golden
Litigation is a fancy way of saying taking legal action in Court. The Canadian court system is adversarial, meaning the two parties, or litigants, present their cases in front of an impartial person (a Judge), who attempts to determine the truth of the matter and pass judgment accordingly. In criminal litigation, the prosecutor and defence … Continue reading Litigation: What Do You Have to Prove?
A newspaper reporter in my hometown always sat in Court on Criminal Docket Days, and he would report the names of people charged with offences in the weekly local newspaper. Over time, I imagine he figured out exactly what was going on during docket days, though to the layperson, it can be quite boring and … Continue reading Decoding Docket Days
Whether you’re a fan of Boston Legal or Law and Order, you’ve no doubt seen an episode where a Crown Prosecutor wins his or her case by producing a surprise piece of evidence or witness during a trial. The Defence Lawyer usually has no idea this evidence or witness exists and is helpless to respond, … Continue reading Criminal Courtroom Shock and Awe: The Importance of Crown Disclosure