10 Dos and Don’ts for Your Criminal Case
Individuals facing criminal charges in Calgary often do not know where to turn next. The Criminal Code of Canada establishes the elements of proof for criminal charges, and the Crown prosecutor has the burden of proving you guilty of a criminal charge.
If the prosecutor proves you guilty and you are convicted, you could be facing a number of significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and probation. The penalties imposed upon conviction depend largely upon the nature of the underlying criminal offence and your prior record of convictions if any. Given the significant penalties imposed upon conviction, self-representation is not usually a good idea in a criminal case. Doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could place you in even more trouble then you were in before. Consequently, you want a team of aggressive advocates representing you at all times throughout your criminal case. The Calgary criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence are very familiar with the challenges that criminal defendants regularly face while they are pending trial. Our experienced legal team offers aggressive and thorough legal representation to clients, with the goal of obtaining the best possible result. Give us a call today at (403) 474-4143 or contact us online.
Things You SHOULD Do in Your Criminal Case
If you are currently facing a criminal charge in Calgary, there are certain things that you should always do, and there are certain steps you should always take, including:
- Retain skilled legal representation early on in your case - Not all criminal defence lawyers have the same amount of experience or the same credentials. Selecting a lawyer to represent you in your criminal case is a process. When you are deciding on a lawyer, you want to ask the lawyer about his or her experience defending individuals charged with your particular crime, as well as the lawyer’s experience trying cases and working with prosecutors.
- Be aware of your social media postings - During the time when your trial date is pending, you should watch what you post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media websites. Better yet, it is a good idea not to post anything on social media while you are pending trial. Anything negative that you post on social media could ultimately be used against you at trial. Moreover, police officers and investigators can use social media to track your whereabouts before and after you are charged with a crime, and any evidence obtained therefrom could be used against you. For example, a social media post could be used to confirm that you were present at a crime scene.
- Determine what defences are available - In some instances, one or more legal defences may be applicable to your charge. Your lawyer may be able to argue those defences in court. Remember that in a criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden of proof and is required to demonstrate all of the elements of the crime with which you have been charged. If your lawyer asserts a defence on your behalf, and the prosecutor cannot meet his or her legal burden as a result, then your criminal charge (and your case) might be subject to dismissal.
- Explore all of your legal options - As a criminal defendant in a case, you will likely have several legal options available to you. However, given the facts and circumstances, not all criminal charges are legally defensible. When that happens, you should explore alternatives, such as trying to negotiate a plea deal with the Crown prosecutor or obtaining supervised or unsupervised probation. Probation allows time for self-rehabilitation and could involve payment of fines and court-ordered community service, as opposed to serving jail time.
- Ask about the charge and potential penalties imposed upon conviction - It is very important that you are aware of all of your charges, as well as the potential penalties that a judge might impose upon conviction. You also want to know whether the charge is a summary conviction offence or an indictable offence. A lawyer could assist you with preparing a defence to your charges and representing you in court at various proceedings.
Things You Should NOT DO in Your Criminal Case
In addition to taking certain actions during the arrest and charging process, there are certain actions that you should refrain from undertaking, including:
- Acting disrespectfully toward the arresting officer - During the arrest stage and all other stages of the criminal proceedings, you should not act disrespectfully toward the police or attempt to touch or harm them in any way. Doing so will only worsen an already bad situation. Moreover, you could sustain an additional criminal charge for assaulting a police officer.
- Gratuitously offering additional information - If investigators or police officers are asking you questions, never volunteer information unnecessarily. If possible, you want to have an experienced lawyer present with you while any questioning is taking place.
- Failing to appear for a criminal court date - When you have a criminal hearing or trial scheduled, it is extremely important that you show up to court—and that you show up on time. If the court calls your name on the docket and you are not in court, for whatever reason, a judge could issue a warrant, and you can face arrest at your next police encounter.
- Delaying in seeking representation - If you face charges of a crime and received a court date, you should not delay in seeking legal representation in your case. Your lawyer needs time to review the circumstances of your case, speak with any eyewitnesses to the incident, and set to work on preparing a strong defence for you.
- Becoming belligerent in the courtroom - When you are present in court for a criminal hearing or trial, you should always be respectful to courtroom personnel, including the judge. Being disrespectful to a judge virtually guarantees that he or she will not react in a pleasant manner, and the judge could even hold you in contempt.
Hire a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer to Represent You in Your Case
If you are facing Calgary criminal charges, the skilled lawyers at Bourdon Defence can help you prepare your case for trial and discuss all of your legal options with you. To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Calgary criminal defence lawyer, please call us today at (403) 474-4143 or contact us online.