Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offence, you are compelled to comply and will be navigating the criminal justice system from that point on.
There are two basic types of offences: The most minor offences are summary conviction offences. Generally, these offences, unless otherwise stated, are punishable by a fine of no more than $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail.
All non-summary offences are indictable offences. These are more serious type of offences:
Accordingly, if you have been charged with an offence, your interaction with the system includes court appearances, identification procedures and, in some cases, you may be kept custody until your matter is addressed by the court.
Bail Hearing: As an accused person, you are usually released at the time of arrest on a promise to appear. When the police decide to hold an accused, the police must produce the accused before a Justice of the Peace within 24 hours. At that point, the bail hearing will be held. If you are not released on a promised to appear, there are other means to obtain a release through a bail hearing.
The First Appearance: You will have the opportunity to plead not guilty and proceed to trial. Or you can plead guilty and be sentenced.
The Crown: In Canada once an information has been laid and sworn, the Crown has discretion to withdraw a criminal charge or continue with the prosecution. A Crown Prosecutor may withdraw a charge for various reasons, many of which can be endorsed and supported by defence counsel in negotiations.
Once the Crown decides to prosecute and there is no withdrawal of the charge or no negotiation, you may be on the path to a trial.
For this reason and many others, you should consider a lawyer to represent you through this extremely difficult time.
Navigating the criminal justice system, understanding your rights and obligations, negotiating the most fair and appropriate sentence, will be made easier by having a strong advocate to represent you.
Bail is also known as pre-judicial interim release. As the name pre-judicial interim release suggests, if you person is granted bail, then you will be free until your trial. Otherwise, you will be kept incarcerated until trial.
Notably, the Charter of Rights of Freedoms provides important protections from state conduct. In regards to bail, section 11(e) of the Charter provides the constitutional right not to be denied bail without just cause. Individuals will have a bail hearing, where a judge will determine whether the is “just cause” to deny the person bail. Accordingly, it is imperative for individuals to have a lawyer to represent them in the bail hearing to ensure that they are able to make the best submissions on your behalf.
Bail is a vital aspect to consider because taking away liberty is the ultimate punishment. Yet people who are still presumed innocent, because their guilt has not been proven in a trial, are still deprived of their liberty based on some risk assessment done in a bail hearing. More recently, tough on crime legislation complicates things, and studies suggest that people are more likely to plead guilty if denied bail. Therefore, it is important to ensure that a lawyer is able to assist you in a bail hearing, so that you can be released until your trial and you are not tempted by a guilty plea due to a lack of legal knowledge.
The answer to that question depends on the evidence found in the disclosure provided by the state, which is the factual foundation for the case. The Crown prosecutor assigned to your case will decide if your charges will be dropped or withdrawn.
The decision of the Crown prosecutor is based on the following two things: Is there a reasonable chance of conviction? And is it in the public interest to pursue prosecution of the charges? For the Crown to continue with the charges and not withdraw them, they need to answer both of those questions in the affirmative. Otherwise, the charges will be and must be withdrawn, though this is rare.
Although the above questions must continually be asked by the Crown prosecutor, depending on the circumstances, there are other factors that the Crown prosecutor may consider. For example, signing a peace order or successfully completing a diversion program may result in the charges being withdrawn.
Notably, defence counsel represents solely your interests and can speak directly to the Crown prosecutor. Accordingly, defence counsel can try to convince the Crown prosecutor that one of those questions, or perhaps both of them, cannot be answered in the affirmative. In other words, defence counsel will try to convince the Crown prosecutor that the charges should be withdrawn.
What Happens if the Charges are Withdrawn?
If the charges are withdrawn, then the accused no longer needs to worry about the criminal prosecution, as there is no longer an open case against them. The state has effectively decided that the charges could not be made out or that it is not in the public interest to continue with them. There will be no court proceedings or a criminal record, and the same set of purported facts cannot lead to other charges. Thus, while this does not happen often, this is the ideal scenario for any accused person.
The decision to move to a new country or to bring a loved one to Canada is a very personal and important decision.
Are you interested in staying in Canada or bringing a loved one?
Canada has a highly developed social support system, with a diverse population and a strong economy. This makes Canada an attractive country for people from around the world. The good news is that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees, and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada.
You may immigrate to Canada through various processing streams. A few of these are:
Express Entry: a new system that allows skills workers to migrate. It is a quicker, completely electronic process that involves government and employers depending on the applicant’s eligibility.
Family Sponsorship: You may sponsor relatives, if certain criteria is met, to come to Canada if you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or a person registered in Canada as an Aboriginal. You also must be able to support your relative financially when they arrive. Specifically, you must be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relative, such as: food, shelter, and clothing. Lastly, you must make sure your relative does not need social assistance.
Caregiver: As of June 18, 2019, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot program. Through these programs, you will get an open work permit to come to Canada and work temporarily and if you obtain enough work experience, you may be eligible for permanent residence.
Refugee Status: Individuals can make an asylum claim in Canada at a port of entry, at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) inland office, or an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) inland office. The refugee process is very robust. Therefore, it is a process that needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
In order for a foreign national to remain in Canada and eventually apply for permanent residence, the person must maintain their authorization to live, work or study. Otherwise, the foreign national will be removed from Canada or may be required to appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Navigating through the temporary residence process can be extraordinarily difficult. The permanent residence process can also be very complex. Adriana is committed to help make the path easier for you and your loved ones.