Our Practice

Shore Davis Johnston - Ottawa Criminal Lawyers

Our Ottawa criminal lawyers work diligently to ensure that our clients obtain favourable results at the bail stage, through guilty pleas and sentencing, in judge-alone or judge-and-jury trials, and on appeal. We also work tirelessly for individuals and businesses to defend against regulatory prosecutions under municipal, provincial, and federal statutes.

 

Bail

Following an arrest, if an accused person is not released by the peace officer or by the sergeant in charge at the police station, that person must be brought before a Justice of the Peace without unreasonable delay and within twenty-four hours.

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Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all of us in Canada from unreasonable interference by the government, including the police.  The Charter is part of our constitution and it is the supreme law of our land. Any law passed by the government and any action taken by government officials must be done in accordance with the Charter.

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Trials

Subsection 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees a person’s right “to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.”

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Appeals

Our courts are human institutions and even careful judges and juries can make mistakes. An appeal is when one side, either the defence or the prosecution, seeks to have the result of a trial overturned by a higher court.

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Domestic Offences

Those charged with domestic assault or offences of domestic violence need effective representation to ensure that they are not burdened with a permanent criminal record or other negative consequences that could follow from these types of allegations.

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Driving Offences

Given the severe consequences for these types of charges, it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible and obtain an opinion before deciding to plead guilty.

“Dangerous driving” is a complex offence. It requires the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an individual drove their vehicle in a manner dangerous given all the circumstances.

A person who is accused of “driving while disqualified” often faces the risk of a jail sentence, even for a first offence.

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Drug Offences

Drug offences include simple possession, possession for the purpose of trafficking, trafficking, production, and importing or exporting of any substances listed in the Schedules of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

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Homicide Offences

The Criminal Code prohibits “culpable homicide” and other acts or omissions that result in the death of another human being. Homicide offences are some of the most serious offences and carry some of the most serious consequences.

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Sexual Offences

The stigma that attaches to a sexual assault accusation can be enough to destroy a person’s life.  Given this, it is essential that those charged with sexual assaults have a vigorous defence

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Theft / Fraud Offences

Theft and fraud offences range from minor allegations of shoplifting to serious allegations like breaches of trust or armed home invasions. Our lawyers are available to advise and represent people being investigated or charged with any theft or fraud offence.

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Weapons / Firearms Offences

Our lawyers are available to consult with anyone that is interested in obtaining weapons or firearms legally in order to minimize the risk that the police will interfere with their lives. Our lawyers are also available to advise and represent people being investigated or charged with weapons or firearms offences.

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Aboriginal Defendants

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that a defendant’s Aboriginal heritage must be taken into account at all stages in the criminal justice process.

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Youth Defendants

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (“YCJA”) governs young persons between the ages of twelve and seventeen years old who have been charged with criminal offences. The YCJA offers additional protections to young persons as compared to adult accused persons.

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Mental Health Law

Clients dealing with mental health issues often require additional time or creative strategies, whether working through specialized Mental Health Courts or the traditional system. Without proper representation, clients can become lost in the process or simply plead guilty. Our team understands the full impact of mental health issues in criminal law.

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Regulatory Offences

Some offences are “regulatory” in the sense that they are intended to ensure proper compliance with regulatory regimes. A finding of guilt for a regulatory offence can result in a regulatory record, a fine, and even jail. Some regulatory offences are called “quasi-criminal offences” because they are prosecuted like criminal offences.

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