The Role of Defence Counsel in a Criminal Proceeding  By Hans John Kalina What is the role of defence counsel in a criminal proceeding?  While this may seem like a question with an obvious answer, closer examination, reveals that it is not. There are two opposing views on the subject.  One view is that defence…

Crossing Borders – Proceed with Caution Issues at the border with our southern neighbour are very much in the news. It is not surprising that some people see traveling to or from the USA as frought with trepidation and concern. What can you expect at the port of entry, whether by land, air or sea?…

When is a Search Warrant Valid? In R. v. Gabaret, 2017 ONCA 139 , released yesterday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reiterated the preconditions for a valid search warrant. By way of background, in order for the police to obtain a search warrant, the officer must swear an affidavit titled as an “information to…

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.

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

The decision to testify or not at trial can be a daunting but crucial decision to the outcome of your trial.

Pleading guilty to a criminal offence can have enormous and severe consequences. Consult a lawyer before you contemplate pleading guilty.

Defending a Charge of Drinking and Driving Most people are familiar with the commonly used phrase of driving under the influence or DUI. The offence is also often referred to as driving while impaired or DWI.  Drinking and driving law is referenced in sections 253-259 of the Criminal Code which contain the procedures and offences…

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