How do you know when you need a criminal lawyer in Grande Prairie?
The law can be complex and difficult to navigate, especially for those unfamiliar. Meeting with a criminal lawyer will help you to understand the exact nature of your charges and the implications and consequences of criminal litigation. A criminal lawyer will help you to identify the legal issues and develop a trial strategy to properly present your defence.
Do you have questions about your criminal law matter?
A number of defences to an assault charge may be accepted by the Court as the absence of criminal intention. These can include:
- Self-defence or the protection of others;
- Reflex action, such as in response to a perceived and immediate threat;
- Defence of property (e.g., where one believes another is taking or damaging property or trespassing);
- Prevention of a crime (e.g., when police use force to prevent an armed and dangerous person from firing); or
- Corporal punishment (spanking) of a child, though several exceptions exist. Corporal punishment is permitted only in the course of discipline and not in anger or frustration, not of a child under age two or a mentally challenged child, not of a teenager, not using an object or a slap or blow to the head, and not causing injury.
Many sexual assault trials are conducted with a jury. A jury does not rule on the admissibility of evidence, rather they are the finders of fact. They watch and assess witnesses to determine whether or not they are credible. It is the defence lawyer’s duty to cross-examines witnesses in front of the jury to expose frailties and inconsistencies in the evidence.
It is critical in a jury trial to prepare to give evidence if an accused person decides to testify.
The decision on whether to have a trial by jury is agreed upon by you and your lawyer. It is critical right the criminal justice system for serious charges to have a criminal trial heard and judged by your peers.
You can win a drug charge. The onus of the Crown is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of a narcotic. The police may allege that you knew that there were in a residence or a motor vehicle. There are several facts that the Crown must prove to convict you of a possession charge.
Penalties for drug possession or trafficking are subject to the provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code of Canada and the classification and penalties schedules. The drugs are classified in accordance with five schedules. Some offences may be summary conviction only, hybrid (where the Crown can proceed by summary conviction or by indictment). or strictly indictable. For possession of a narcotic, an offender may be diverted wherein they are placed on probation and may be directed to perform community service or take counselling. Once they have completed the program, their charges are withdrawn, and they face no criminal record.
If an accused person is found guilty or pleads guilty, they may receive an absolute discharge, and receive no probation or be placed on probation (conditional discharge). Both charges include a finding of guilt, but the Court does not impose a criminal record.
The Court may also place a person on probation only but impose a criminal record (suspended sentence) or impose a fine or incarceration.
More serious narcotics possession and trafficking offences include mandatory prison sentences and depending on the type of drug could have a 6-month, 12-month or a 24-month minimum. Some offences carry a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment.
The Penalties for fraud vary depending on the circumstances. A minor credit card fraud may attract a fine where a major that could include real estate fraud, financial fraud or theft from an employer may result in a sentence of several years in a federal penitentiary.
The penalties for theft can range from participating in alternative measures and having the charge withdrawn, receiving a discharge after pleading guilty (a finding of guilty, but no criminal record is imposed), a suspended sentence (a criminal record with probation only), a fine (criminal record), a short sharp term of imprisonment, or lengthy terms of imprisonment if the theft is on a large scale.