Calvin Barry Professional Corporation

What to Do If You Have Been Charged With a Criminal Offence

A charge for a criminal offence in Canada will come with serious consequences even without a conviction. The last thing you want to do is to make things worse when you have been charged with a criminal offence. Below is a list of the things that you must observe to avoid further negative consequences.

Avoid Breaching Your Conditions

After you have been released from a police station, you will have a copy of your charging paperwork. You will see a part in there that is like a promise of things that you must do and must not do. You have to make sure that you follow the stipulations especially if it involves bail. Breaching your conditions can mean a 30-day jail sentence plus difficulty getting bail again. Note too that your release terms should still be observed even after your first appearance in court.

Look for A Lawyer As Soon As Possible

The last thing you want to do is to hire a criminal lawyer at the last minute. You want to be sure that you are making sound decisions out of logic and not out of desperation. More so, the earlier you hire a criminal defence lawyer, the more you can avoid possible mistakes in your defence.

Choose Your Lawyer Carefully

Avoid choosing a lawyer randomly. Your criminal defence lawyer could be the difference between years behind bars or a lifetime in prison if things go from worse to worst. Make a list of the qualities you want in a lawyer such as experience defending cases like yours, accessible location and hours, reputation for success, friendly payment scheme, and more. It also helps to speak to your lawyer candidates before deciding on one. You want to be sure that your defence lawyer will have good a rapport with you as your legal representative going forward.

Be Sure to Ask Your Lawyer Regarding Bail Variation

Each arrest and charge come with a specific set of circumstances that brought in the situation in the first place. You want to make sure that bail terms are not too restrictive for you. For example, a charge of domestic violence may prohibit you from going back to your home or having any contact with the complainant, but what if all your documents are in the home? How will your financial responsibilities be carried out if you do not have access to your things? Things like this can be negotiated with the Crown Attorney by your lawyer.

Show Up For Your Fingerprinting Date and Stick to All Deadlines

Missing your fingerprinting date could lead to a criminal charge. It is best to note and adhere to all your deadlines and limits to avoid issues down the road.

Document Everything About Your Case

It pays to have a record of every detail that you can remember that led to your charge. You need to provide full disclosure to your lawyer so that your lawyer can formulate a defence that covers possible loopholes. Do not post anything on social media because any information that you share about the case can be used against you.

Getting a charge during the pandemic does not exempt you from protocols and rules. Avoid physical meetings as much as possible. Know that the law still applies to everyone even during an emergency or crisis. If you’re looking for a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto, contact Calvin Barry. Calvin Barry’s offices are open and can accommodate you online.