Legal Key is a legal referral corporation connecting those charged criminally or encountering civil disputes in need of immediate legal assistance across Canada with experienced, pre-screened, quality legal representation.
As a leading law firm specializing in criminal defence, LegalKey provides comprehensive legal advice and passionate advocacy for individuals facing criminal and quasi-criminal charges across Canada, and mainly in Toronto. Most of our clients are referred to us by former clients or other trusted professionals because of our integrity, flexibility and the results we promised to deliver.
We represent clients at every stage of proceeding including sentencing hearings and appeals, on regulatory and provincial offences, and at academic and occupational tribunals.
Our criminal lawyers understand what is at stake when a person is facing criminal charges. The consequences of criminal legal proceedings are life changing. When we take on a case, no stone is left unturned.
Criminal charges happen everywhere. That is why at LegalKey, our criminal lawyers and paralegal are located across Canada. We seek to ensure our clients receive the best legal representation the law offers, regardless of where in Canada they are facing their criminal legal matter.
We offer initial consultations at no cost so those looking for lawyers can make an informed decision. After all, the criminal lawyers you hire to represent you on your case may be the most important choice you ever make. We are confident that after speaking to one of our criminal defence lawyers you will feel confident about our work ethics.
Being charged with a crime means that you have been charged with a specific offence under federal law such as the Canadian Criminal Code. Facing criminal charges can be traumatic, whether you are at fault or innocent. In any criminal charge, the prosecutors usually come down particularly harsh against the alleged defendants. If you are innocent and falsely accused of a crime, it doesn’t excuse you from the possibility of receiving no penalty or sentence.
The stakes are high as the conviction carries serious consequences for the accused upon conviction. A person who is found guilty of a criminal offence can receive either a criminal conviction or a discharge. A person will have a criminal conviction if they are sentenced to:
− A term of imprisonment (continuous or intermittent),
− A fine or forfeiture,
− A conditional sentence (where the sentence is to be served in the community), or
− A suspended sentence with probation (rehabilitative supervision in the community through probation).
Criminal law is complex. Navigating through the legal system on your own can be extremely complicated and risky. Choosing the legal representative that solely practices criminal law is imperative. A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge. The defense attorneys that expertise in criminal law deal with judges, Crowns and law enforcers on daily basis. They are familiar with their strategies, tactics and how they conduct trials. Having an attorney on your side eliminates chances of you getting intimidated by encountering law enforcements or prevent making decisions that carry severe consequences. The three main categories of criminal offences are summary conviction offences, indictable offences, and hybrid offences. Each category has different penalties and different modes or kinds of trials.
Risks of being found guilty
If you plead guilty, depending on your previous record and/or the facts of the file, you may go to jail
Many people are unaware that if they are applying for Canadian citizenship and they have a Canadian criminal record, their application will be rejected. If this occurs, they may risk deportation.
Individuals with criminal records will often encounter difficulty obtaining stable employment. This is because many employers require a criminal record check, and will not hire those with a conviction.
Your opportunity to enhance your education can be restricted if you are convicted of a criminal offence.
Judges can take into account the existence of a criminal record as a record of character. A criminal record is a negative statement of character. This may influence their decision when granting child custody and visitation rights.
A criminal conviction will impose a higher risk of denial entry to United States, and other countries.
Types of Offences
Summary conviction offences are considered less serious than indictable offences because they are punishable by shorter prison sentences and smaller fines. The police are allowed to make an arrest without a warrant.Usually, a person charged with a summary conviction offence is not arrested, but given a notice to appear in court on a certain date at a certain time.
The maximum penalty for a summary conviction offence is a sentence of 6 months of imprisonment, a fine of $5000 or both.If you are charged with a summary conviction offence, you will not have a preliminary hearing, and your trial will be held in the Ontario Court of Justice before a judge only. Some of the common summary offences include:
- Theft valued under $5,000
- Possession of marijuana under 30 grams
- Possession of a weapon in public
- Taking a motor vehicle or vessel or found therein without consent
- Disorderly conduct
- Public exposure
- Causing disturbance, indecent exhibition, loitering
Indictable offences are more serious crimes than summary conviction offences. There is more than one procedure for indictable offences. The procedure that applies depends on the seriousness of the offence. Some indictable offences must be tried by a provincial court judge. No jury trial is available for these offence. Some of the common indictable offences include:
- Drug trafficking
- Sexual assault
Hybrid offences are those offences where the Crown may choose to proceed by either indictment or summary conviction. Assessing whether or not to proceed by indictment or summary conviction, a Crown would consider factors that may include: the seriousness of the allegations (for example, “sexual assault” can include either touching or full intercourse), the accused’s prior criminal record, the notoriety of the case in the community, the availability of court resources, whether the offence is sworn outside the limitation period for a summary conviction, the complexity of the case, and any other relevant considerations.
The include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual assault
- Fraud under $5000
- Theft under $5000
- Assault with a weapon
- Assault causing bodily harm
Protect Your Self
Representatives at LegalKey are experts in criminal law who devoted their entire career to protecting your freedom.