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Criminal Law Questions

The date provided on your undertaking or promise to appear release form is a mandatory date that you must attend. You will need to go to the address provided and meet with the police in order to administer your fingerprints in the CPIC system according to the Identification of Criminals Act R.S.C. 1985, c. I-1. At Scardicchio Law Office Professional Corporation, we request that your fingerprints and photographs are removed or purged from the police system upon the successful completion of your case at no additional charge, when your case is resolved successfully.
On your first court date, if you are not in custody and you are unrepresented, you can expect to stand before a Justice of the Peace and advise the court whether you intend to hire a lawyer or seek legal aid assistance with your case. You may or may not receive a disclosure package from the Crown on this date. You will also be required to set a return date in order to advise the court as to how you will be proceedings with your case. It is advisable to secure legal representation prior to your first court date. A lawyer will be able to secure your rights from the beginning. For example, there are important statements about your case that may need to be addressed before the court and reflected on the record, which only an experienced criminal lawyer can do to protect your rights from the start. Having a lawyer from the beginning of your case will give you the leading edge to ensure the best possible outcome.
An undertaking includes the terms of your release for the duration of your pending charges. Commonly, the obligation to reside within the Province of Ontario must be followed. Our Criminal Lawyers routinely negotiate your terms of release with the Crown and have the terms varied to accomodate your individual needs.
A pardon, now called a "Record Suspension", is an application to the Government of Canada to remove your criminal record, and create an ability to remove stigma and make a fresh start for travel, employment, and immigration. A person applying for a pardon must have completed their sentence, including Parole/Probation, and have paid any fines or financial penalties ordered. They must have served a required waiting period, which is now 5 years for Summary offences / 10 years for Indictable offences. The new legislation changed this wait period from the previous wait period of 3 years for Summary and 5 years Indictable. Individuals must also have demonstrated that they are law-abiding citizens. A Notice of changes to the Pardons program under Bill C-10, Amendments to the Criminal Records Act (CRA), came into effect on March 13th, 2012. Individuals convicted of sexual offences against minors (with certain exceptions) and those who have been convicted of more than 3 indictable offences, each with a sentence of 2 or more years, are now ineligible for a record suspension.
If you have been detained by the police, you have certain rights granted by The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the Canadian Constitution. There are certain things that the police must inform you of if you are detained. The police must tell you the reason why you have been arrested, that you have an immediate right to speak to a lawyer, that you are entitled to free legal advice through Legal Aid Ontario, and tell you that you are allowed to speak to a lawyer in private and as soon as practicable if you ask to do so. If you are under 18 years of age, you also have the right to contact your parents or a guardian. You may request to have them with you when you talk to the police. This right is in addition to your right to speak to a lawyer.
We recommend that you contact Legal Aid Ontario directly. Legal Aid is for low-income families. In order to qualify for legal aid, you must pass the test for financial eligibility, and Legal Aid Ontario may cover your particular charge. Contact Legal Aid Ontario directly to find out what the financial eligibility test is all about. You may call them toll-free at 1 800 668 8258 or 416 979 1446.
A criminal conviction may affect your ability to become a Canadian citizen. No matter how long you have lived in Canada, if you are charged with a serious crime, you may face serious immigration consequences relating to your permanent residence status. The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act received Royal Assent on June 19, 2013, which may affect your case. Our Criminal Lawyers have handled many criminal cases where individuals have been charged and face immigration consequences. We work through the criminal justice system to ensure that a criminal conviction will not meet the "serious" status which would ultimately affect your immigration status.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act contains many provisions that build on the use of extrajudicial measures for less serious offences. In order to ensure that your charge follows the appropriate route within the court system, you need a competent criminal lawyer to represent you. Only a lawyer who knows the youth court system very well will be able to ensure that you do not face harsh penalties as a result of your charge.
Even small amounts of drugs will be prosecuted by the Crown and may lead to a permanent criminal record. Hiring a criminal lawyer is your best defense to avoid having a permanent criminal record.
If you cannot afford a criminal lawyer, our law firm makes specific arrangements with you so that you can make easy payments towards your block-fee bills on a monthly basis. We encourage you to discuss with our lawyers how this fee arrangement may benefit you.
If you have been charged with a domestic assault, it is important to contact a Lawyer immediately to discuss your case. Once the charges are laid by the Police, it is up to the Crown Attorney to proceed with your charges. It is seldom the case that a Crown Attorney will throw your case out unless there are extraordinary circumstances. A Domestic Violence Crown will fully prosecute your case and you will need a qualified Criminal Lawyer to ensure that your rights are fully protected throughout your proceedings.
There are some cases where a medical condition is a concern to the court. If you have applied for a Medical Marijuana Licence and have already consulted with your medical provider, contact our Criminal Lawyers to discuss this with you further.
A no-contact Order by the court means that you may no contact a person either directly or indirectly. Communication through Facebook or other internet platforms are also not allowed. Contact our Criminal Lawyers to ask about your no-contact Order and see how we can help you.
The answer is, it depends. Your case may resolve quickly depending on many factors. It is important to disclose as much information as possible to your Criminal Lawyer in order for a proper time assessment to be made on your particular matter.
If you decide to plead guilty, the Criminal Code of Canada provides that you may receive a discharge as a sentence for certain criminal charges. A court may grant a Conditional Discharge or an Absolute Discharge only for offences with no minimum penalty, and a maximum penalty of less than fourteen years. An Absolute Discharge and a Conditional Discharge means that although you are found guilty, no conviction is registered against you. However, a record of an Absolute Discharge or Conditional Discharge is kept by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and by the police agency that laid the charge and is only removed ('purged') from your police record after 1 and 3 years, respectively.
The Right to Remain Silent is your Charter right and it is protected under section 7 and 11(c) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You may not be compelled as a witness against yourself in a criminal proceeding, and only voluntary statements that are made to police are admissible into evidence. Police must inform an accused about their right to legal counsel. Any statements made to police prior to being informed of your right to legal counsel are to be considered involuntarily compelled and are inadmissible as evidence. After being informed of the right to counsel, an accused person may choose to voluntarily answer questions and those statements would be admissible. We always recommend that you speak to a criminal lawyer before you make any statements to the police. The best advice we can give to you if you have been charged and are in police custody being questioned is to not speak and ask for legal counsel or duty counsel.
Disclosure is material information that the Crown Attorney must disclose to you, which it has in its possession or control and that is not clearly irrelevant. The right to disclosure is founded in the case R v Stinchcombe [1991] 3 SCR 326 at paragraphs 339 and 343. The Crown has an obligation to obtain from an investigative agency any relevant information that it is aware of and must "take reasonable step to inquire about ... relevant information." The Crown's obligation is also that they must preserve all relevant evidence. This is a joint obligation on the Crown and police. Usually, on the first court date, you will receive a package of disclosure. It is important to hire criminal counsel prior to your first court appearance because there are specific rights that must be stated on the record if disclosure is missing or incomplete.
We defend all criminal charges, including: Homicide and Murder, Fraud, Robbery, Domestic, Sexual and Assault, Impaired Driving, Drunk Driving, Young Offender Cases, Weapons, Gun and other Firearm Offences, Assault with a weapon, Uttering Death Threats, Theft, Break and Enter, Criminal Harassment, Drug Offences, Criminal Negligence, Grow Operations, Possession of Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin, Trafficking, Weapons Offences, Forgery, Uttering Forged Documents, False Pretenses, Obtain Credit by Fraud/False Pretense, Threaten Death or Bodily Harm, Aggravated Assault, Dangerous Driving, Causing Bodily Harm or Death, Break and Enter with Intent, Solicitation, Obstructing Justice, Mischief, Murder, Manslaughter
Our services include writing to the appropriate police agency and requesting that your fingerprints and photograph are removed from the police system. If your charge has been withdrawn or discharged, we offer this service in our retainer fee at no additional charges.
Our criminal lawyers offer a free, no-obligation consultation over the telephone so that we may evaluate your case and provide you with a retainer quote. Please call us to schedule a telephone consultation, and once you have made your decision about hiring a criminal lawyer, you may schedule a meeting with us to sign a retainer agreement. Our office offers block-fee billing, which gives our clients stress-free knowledge that their legal fees will not be sky high with additional expenses that some lawyers charge, such as faxes, printing, phone calls, and mileage.
Bill C-36, the Anti-terrorism Act (S.C. 2001, c.41) was given Royal Assent on December 18, 2001. This Act provides an expansion of government powers such as preemptive detention, surveillance and security powers and as a result of controversy stemming from incompatibility with our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, some powers were eliminated. The Act sets out new offences in the Criminal Code of Canada, specifically sections 83.1 to 83.23 of the Code, which outline that the following are a crime: (1) Knowingly participating in or contributing to any activity of a terrorist group; (2) Knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity; (3) Knowingly instruct anyone to carry out a terrorist activity or a terrorist activity in connection with a terrorist group; and (4) Knowingly harbour or conceal a person who has carried out or is likely to carry out a terrorist activity. If you have been charged with a terrorism act, contact our experienced Criminal Lawyers immediately so that we can review the charges diligently and ensure your rights are protected.
Depending on the type of offence, there are specific immigration consequences that an individual who is not a Canadian citizen needs to be aware of. For example, if you are a Permanent Resident, with a single 'Summary' (non-hybrid) offence and you receive a conviction in which your sentence is less than 6 months in jail, then you will still be admissible. The same is true for a Foreign National, a Protected Person (i.e. Convention Refugee), and Refugee Claimant. If you have two Summary (non-hybrid) offences that did not arise out of the same occurrence, and your conviction disposition is imprisonment for less than six months, then a Permanent Resident will still be admissible. However, a Foreign National will be inadmissible without appeal. Only a Convention Refugee, Protected Persons, or Claimant Refugee, will be admissible with appeal or refugee claim maintained. The issue arises where a Permanent Resident is convicted of a hybrid or indictable offence and a person receives a conviction with a disposition of imprisonment equal to or more than six months. Then, at Permanent Resident will be inadmissible without appeal. Our Criminal Lawyers understand the consequences of a criminal conviction on a persons status in Canada. We also have connections with well-known Immigration Lawyers who can advise you about the consequences. We always recommend speaking directly to an immigration lawyer for specific questions about your status in Canada. However, our criminal lawyers work very hard to ensure that your status will not be affected by specific outcomes of your charge. Contact our office today to discuss your criminal charge. Ask us about the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act also.
The success of our clients is based on several different factors and can only be determined on a case by case basis. Our Criminal Lawyers endeavour to protect each and every one of our clients' rights and our primary concern is to attempt to have your case withdrawn wherever possible.
Our Criminal Lawyers will never recommend that you plead guilty to any offence unless you admit to the facts and choose to do so. If a resolution of your charge is not likely, then you may consider setting a trial date to fully defend your charges.
A Peace Bond is a court order that requires you to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of time. Essentially, during this time it is important to not be charged with another criminal offence. A Peace Bond is not a plea of guilt. It is essentially a withdrawal of your charges on your undertaking to enter into the order. Typically, a Peace Bond will last 12-months. Other orders may be recommended, such as to carry no weapons or to not have contact with a person or place.
If you have been asked to be a Surety for someone, it is important to know what this means. A Surety is a person who promises the court that they will supervise an accused person while they are out on bail. The Surety is usually responsible for ensuring that the accused attends all his or her court dates and adheres to the bail conditions of release. A Surety should be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old and generally not have a criminal record. If you are the alleged victim of the present offence, then you cannot be the Surety.
A Probation Order is a court order on sentencing to do, or not do, certain things for a period of time. Reporting to a Probation Officer usually weekly or monthly is involved. A Probation Officer does have the power to charge you with a further offence if you break any probation orders or do not report to them.
Yes. If you have been sentence to serve time in jail, and the sentence imposed on you is 90-days or less, you may be able to convince the Judge that serving your jail term on weekends is beneficial to you. You may need to prove that you have a full-time job or a family to support and this may persuade the Judge to consider what is called an "Intermittent Sentence" for you.
"House Arrest" or a Conditional Sentence is an imprisonment sentence, except the offender serves his time outside jail and usually under strict conditions. There are restrictions on when a judge may impose this type of sentence. For example, the sentence of imprisonment must be less than 2 years; there is not a minimum sentence of jail-time for your offence; it is not a serious personal injury offence, terrorism offence, or a criminal organization offence; etc.
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  • Personal Injury Law Questions

    When you have been injured and need a lawyer, you want to be sure that you are making the right choice. Make sure the lawyer you choose is a personal injury lawyer. You should look at their reputation and experience in the area. Talk to them, and decide whether they are compassionate to your situation and show a caring approach which is focused not only on obtaining maximum compensation, but is also focused on helping you achieve maximum medical recovery. If you would like an experienced personal injury lawyer to assess your rights to make a claim, contact us for your free no-obligation, confidential case evaluation. You can contact us directly by filling out the form on this site or call us today at our 24-hour injury hotline (647) 607-7LAW | (647) 607-7529.
    Most cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you are paid by the insurance company for your injuries, then we get paid. No legal fees will be charged until your case resolves, if your case is signed on a contingency fee basis. Other cases that are not signed on a contingency basis will vary in costs.
    Yes. In Ontario, there are strict time limits which must be followed and a claim must be commenced within a certain time frame. In order to preserve your rights, it is crucial for you to have one of our lawyers meet with you as soon as possible in order to critically assess your case. We are compassionate to your needs and if you are unable to travel to one of our office locations due to your injuries, we will personally meet with you in the hospital or at your home. It is important for a lawyer to review your claim as early as possible.
    Since the majority of cases are resolved through mediation and settlement conferences, the vast majority of our clients never have to attend court. All of the legal aspects of your claim will be handled by our experienced lawyers, and you will only have to attend court if you choose to proceed to a trial.
    Although it is never advisable to take on a claim without experienced legal counsel given the complexities of the Insurance Act and motor vehicle accident law in general, it is recommended that you speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately to ensure that no strict timelines are missed and in order to preserve your rights to a claim.

    Wills and Estates Law Questions

    If you do not have a Will in Ontario, you cannot select the executor who will administer your estate, and the person to fill this role will be appointed by the court. In addition you cannot select the beneficiaries of your estate, as Provincial legislation dictates who will inherit instead. For example, if you have a Common Law Spouse, or same sex partner, he or she will not be considered your spouse for the purpose of dividing your assets upon final death. In addition, if you do not have a Will, and your children are under the age of 18, the children's shares are paid into the court and held there until the children attain the legal age of majority. Thus, the children will only take their shares at 18, whether or not they are mature enough to receive it. Without a properly drafted Will, there is no flexibility to set up trusts for your child, or considerations as to special needs or capacity.
    The purpose of a Will is to provide for the orderly distribution of your assets upon your final death. Therefore, it is important that you identify all of your assets as well as your liabilities when considering your Will. By considering the above, this enables you to determine with some certainty, the net value of your estate which will in turn be distributed amongst your beneficiaries.
    A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf. A Continuing Power of Attorney is used to name someone to make financial decisions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is used to name someone to make personal health care decisions on your behalf.

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