What Should I do If I am Arrested by the Police?

As an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer, I am often asked what someone should do if he or she is arrested by the police in connection with a crime.

If you are ever arrested by the police for a crime like fraud, tax evasion, assault, impaired driving or even homicide, the worst thing you can do is to talk to the police about “what happened”.  Protesting your innocence to the police will not get you anywhere and may make things much more difficult for your criminal defence lawyer.

Instead of trying to talk your way out of the criminal charges, politely but firmly indicate that you would like to speak with a criminal defence lawyer.  You really should not say more than that.  Even small comments can be used by the Crown against you in a trial.

Make the most of your telephone call with a criminal defence lawyer.  Keep in mind that you do not only get one call as they say on television.  If you do not reach your counsel of choice, in many cases you can leave a message for a return call or select another lawyer of your choice to try to call.

During the call, the lawyer will probably not want you to talk about the nitty gritty of your case.  Instead, the criminal defence lawyer will want to explain to you how to cope with the arrest process and what to expect.  The strategy for defending against the charges will be developed after the arrest process is completed and you are either released on bail or moved to the detention centre.

While your arrest is processed, you may be placed in a holding cell.  In Ottawa, most areas of the cell blocks are video taped. In some circumstances there may be audio as well.  Your behaviour during that process will be recorded.  Accordingly, you should be calm, cool and collected.

An arrest for a criminal charge is scary and undesirable.  However, with thoughtful advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer like Richard Auger, the disruption to your life can be minimized.

Multiple-Offence Murderers Need Tougher Jail Sentences, Justice Minister Says

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – If you are found guilty of murder in Ontario, the consequences you face are going to be severe regardless of any past murder convictions.

Under the current Canadian justice system, murderers who have been convicted of multiple murders serve the parole ineligibility periods for each murder at one time. This means they are eligible for parole after anywhere between 10 and 25 years – regardless of whether they committed one murder or multiple.

In an October 5 press release, Canada’s Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced his intent to change this system through new government legislation. If this new legislation is passed, multiple-murder convicts will be unable to serve parole ineligibility periods concurrently – they’ll have to serve one after the other.

Under such legislation, multiple-murder convicts could have to go much longer than 25 years with no parole privileges whatsoever.

Canada’s government periodically introduces bills to make penalties more severe against convicted criminals. Sometimes these bills are made into laws, making things even more difficult for those found guilty of criminal offences. For that reason, it’s crucial to know your rights after being charged – and speak with a lawyer who can help you fight to avoid a conviction.

If you’ve been charged with murder, manslaughter, or assault in Ontario, you are facing serious consequences. These types of cases aren’t ones you should handle on your own – it’s important to speak with a criminal defence lawyer on how to proceed. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Murder Acquittal a Rare Event for Ottawa Court

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – A murder acquittal can be difficult to obtain in any Canadian courtroom, and it’s particularly tough here in Ottawa.

That’s why I noted with interest the story of Mahmoud Kayem, who was acquitted of murder by a jury in an Ottawa courtroom on September 26.

Crown prosecutors had alleged that the 25-year-old Kayem assisted his friend Nawaf Al-Enzi in planning and carrying out the murder of another member of their gang. But in a surprising split verdict, the jury found Al-Enzi guilty and freed Kayem of the charges against him.

Both men had been in prison for about two years. Following the verdict, Kayem was released from custody. Enzi, however, was sentenced to life imprisonment and will not be eligible for parole until 25 years from now.

Here in Ottawa, murder acquittals are rare. In October of 2005, I was successful in having one of my clients acquitted of murder charges. At that time, it had been seven years since anybody had been acquitted of murder charges in Ottawa.

If you have been charged with murder, manslaughter, or a related criminal offence in Ontario, it’s critical that you get expert legal advice from a lawyer with experience in these cases. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone (613) 233-4529.