As a lawyer practicing both criminal and immigration law, I often receive requests from colleagues for professional advice on issues they are facing when the two branches of law intersect. Recently, I was consulted by a client on behalf of a fellow criminal defence lawyer to provide an opinion letter for a judicial pretrial on the effect of a discharge for a domestic assault an accused was facing.  The client was accused of assaulting his wife.  He, and his wife, were also facing potential deportation. Fortunately, we were able to resolve their predicament.

The Law of Bail in Canada Revisited June 2, 2017 Being arrested by the police is a traumatic event. Once in the criminal justice system, the process of being released from custody can be perplexing and stressful. This week, The Supreme Court of Canada rebuked the culture around the process of granting bail. Procedurally, the…

What to do When Stopped by the Police Being stopped by the police, whether at home, in your car, or on the street can be a source of anxiety. The following guidelines will help you protect your rights and improve your chances of driving or walking away safely. You don’t have to be a legal…

Most of us believe that we have a good memory. That our memory is like a film recording that we can play back to provide an accurate recollection of events. However, research shows that the truth is much different. Recent studies reinforce the fact that our memories are fallible and unreliable, even though an emotional connection with an event enhances memory formation.

a Nova Scotia judge who said that “clearly a drunk can consent” as he acquitted a Halifax taxi driver of sexually assaulting an intoxicated passenger found partly naked and unconscious in the back of his cab.

Today the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in R. v. McKenzie, 2017 ONCA 128, ruling that immigration consequences do not warrant a significant departure from the appropriate range of sentences.

In a criminal trial, normally only a duly qualified “expert” is permitted to provide opinion evidence to the court. However, lay people, or non-experts are able to provide an opinion on matters that are part of everyday behavioural observation and don’t require special expertise.

Observations are limited to what the witness saw, heard, smelled, tasted or touched. An “expert”, however, may provide an opinion as to what a set of observations may mean. They are allowed to interpret the observations and provide the court with an analysis and professional opinion.

In many trials, the evidence comes down to the credibility and reliability of the testimony of the people who were at the scene of the alleged crime. Credibility refers to the truthfulness of a statement given by a witness. Reliability refers to the accuracy (or veracity) of that statement.

How you testify is equally as important as what you say. Being a jerk can mean losing your case merely due to inappropriate behaviour.

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