Basic Trial Procedure A criminal trial begins with the formal arraignment (reading of the charges) to the accused(s). A plea of “not guilty” is required in most cases. Once the arraignment has begun, the Crown Attorney (prosecutor) commences producing evidence to demonstrate that the accused was the perpetrator of the offences for which they have…

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.

With the Supreme Court decision in Tran v. Canada, non-citizens (permanent or temporary residents of Canada) will no longer be subject to inadmissibility proceedings and possible deportation as a result of being sentenced for to a conditional sentence of imprisonment.

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.

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

Joint Submissions on sentence are the hallmark of an effective criminal justice system.