Chown Cairns Legal Advice Blog

Criminal Law Practice

Recent Posts

Should I plead guilty?

Mar 23, 2017

If you have just been charged with a criminal offense in Ontario, it is important that you take the time to understand your legal options before entering a plea in court. The first step is to determine what plea to enter in court is to read and understand your disclosure, a criminal lawyer can provide further guidance at this stage.

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Topics: Criminal Law

Can I avoid a criminal record?

Feb 21, 2017

In Ontario, a criminal record can follow you for life. It may affect your ability to be employed and to travel outside of the country. When a person is convicted of a criminal charge, a criminal record is generated. There are a number of ways in which a lawyer can help an individual avoid a criminal charge, these are discussed below.

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Topics: Criminal Law

How A Criminal Record Will Affect You in Ontario

Jan 26, 2017

Committing a crime in Ontario can have a long-lasting impact that goes beyond the penalties assessed in the court of law. In fact, even being charged with a crime and not being convicted, can have a significant, negative impact on your life.

Your criminal record will be maintained in the RCMP’s database for all or nearly all your life (the record will stop being held when you turn 80, or for some serious offences, 100.)

Having a criminal record will affect you significantly in two key areas:

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Topics: Criminal Law

How bail works in Ontario

Dec 15, 2016

If you have been accused, charged or arrested for a criminal offense in Ontario, bail is the process that can allow you to be released from police custody while you wait for your trial. The police will decide whether or not to bring someone to bail court, they may otherwise decide to release an individual from custody.

The decision to bring someone to bail court is often determined by a number factors, including the seriousness of the crime or a previous criminal record. Below is a breakdown of how bail works in Ontario.

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Topics: Criminal Law

What happens at a sentencing hearing in Ontario?

Nov 17, 2016

 If you are found guilty at a trial in Ontario, you must attend a sentencing hearing. Sentencing is when a judge orders the penalty of a guilty verdict. Sentencing can be done at the end of a trial it may also occur at a later date.

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Topics: Criminal Law

These are your rights if you are arrested or detained in Ontario

Oct 18, 2016

If you are arrested or detained by police in Ontario, you have rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When you are arrested you legally must be told the reason for your arrest, be read your rights, told that you have the right to speak to and instruct counsel without delay and you should be told about Legal Aid and your entitlement to free legal advice.

As soon as you have been arrested or detained you should speak with a lawyer, they will instruct you how to navigate your criminal charges. 

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Topics: Criminal Law

Do I Need A Lawyer To Handle My DUI Case?

Sep 27, 2016

Yes. Even if this is your first DUI charge, hiring a lawyer will benefit you greatly. If you’ve been charged with DUI previously, the penalties are even more serious and you will certainly need a lawyer to help you.

Some who are charged with their first DUI offence without any other factors (like reckless driving) believe they should plead guilty immediately. The penalties may not seem severe and it saves the person charged from a drawn-out trial that may cause them embarrassment.

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Topics: Criminal Law

You’ve Been Charged With a Criminal Offense. Now What?

Aug 18, 2016

The criminal justice system in Ontario can be complex and confusing, especially for those charged with a criminal offense for the first time. Whether you’re looking to be prepared in case you’re charged or have been charged, this post will help guide you through the initial stages.

For most offenses, especially serious offenses, the police will both arrest and charge you. If you are arrested, the police will read you your rights, and take you to the police station to be fingerprinted and photographed.

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Topics: Criminal Law

This is when you need to hire a criminal lawyer

Jul 19, 2016

If you have been charged with a crime, no matter the severity, it is time to hire a criminal lawyer. The consequences of a conviction are for life as you will carry the record with you. 

Despite what you may see in TV shows, criminal cases are often long and complicated processes with pre-trials and trials. A criminal lawyer will help guide you through these stages by providing their expertise, resources and attention to detail. It is important to retain a criminal lawyer as soon as you are arrested or charged so that your lawyer can begin working for you immediately. After an arrest, it is not a given that you will be charged and even after charges are laid, the Crown prosecutor still has the ability to rescind or alter the charges. If you have a criminal lawyer representing you, it will give you the best chance to avoid charges or to have them rescinded before reaching trial.

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Topics: Criminal Law

How to prepare to meet with your St. Catharines criminal lawyer

Jun 16, 2016

Facing criminal charges is a difficult and often embarrassing situation. On top of the stress of your impending case, the process of finding, meeting, and learning how to work with a criminal defence lawyer can be difficult. Meeting with a lawyer prior to your case will provide you with peace of mind and will ensure that your rights are protected and that you have access to a fair trial.

A criminal defence lawyer can be the difference between innocence and guilt or staying in or out of jail. You will have many questions prior to meeting with your criminal lawyer, but without preparation, you’ll fail to receive the answers you want. Before your initial consultation with your criminal lawyers, have the following prepared.

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Topics: Criminal Law