Will Canada Extradite Me to Another Country?

 

Extradition is a complicated area of the law, particularly because it deals not only with Canadian law, but with the laws of other countries.

By definition, extradition is the process by which one country mandates that an individual charged with a criminal offence in another country be sent to that country to face their criminal charges.  The particular circumstances of your case and the evidence against you will determine if you will be extradited.

If you are facing potential extradition, the first thing to do is to review the case against you to see if there is enough evidence against you in the other country.  If there is not sufficient evidence or if there are problems with how the evidence was collected there may not be sufficient grounds for you to be sent to the other country.

Another means of trying to avoid extradition, is to bring a court hearing to try to have the extradition application dismissed.  It is possible that a judge would grant the application and you would not be extradited.  You may also be able to make arguments to the Minister of Justice, as another attempt to avoid extradition.

As you can see, there are a number of different ways that one can try to argue against extradition.  While the law in this area is complicated, this does not mean that an order of extradition cannot be fought.

During the process of arguing an extradition, it is crucial to have a good criminal defence lawyer working with you.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have experience in dealing with extradition cases and would be happy to discuss your case with you.  They will apply their knowledge of the law and their experience with cases like yours, in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Government Aiming to Introduce Random Breathalyzer Tests for Impaired Driving

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Impaired Driving and “Over 80” charges are a serious threat and a very big concern for Ontario drivers. But up until now, you have only had to worry about receiving these charges if you have been pulled over for driving erratically, or showing signs of drunkenness behind the wheel at a roadside screening station.

Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is planning to change that with new legislation at the provincial and federal levels, which will give police officers the right to conduct breathalyzer tests at random – no erratic driving or drunken behavior necessary.

Canadian news sources are reporting that Minister Nicholson has already met with provincial lawmakers in Alberta and British Columbia. He will, however, need the support of every province before he can attempt to introduce the federal laws allowing random roadside breath tests.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada made the news earlier this month by making calls for new Canadian laws that would allow random roadside testing.

As far as criminal defence lawyers are concerned, there is one worrying aspect of these potential new laws: they may be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms , which forbids unreasonable search.

I have successfully proven, in many cases, that arrests and charges for Impaired Driving were not appropriate – and I have had many of these charges dismissed. Laws which legalize tests at random would only serve to increase the number of unreasonable driving arrests in Ontario.

Have you been charged with Impaired Driving, “Over 80,” or any other criminal driving offence in Ontario? It’s important to speak with a top criminal defence lawyer who can inform you on your rights and help you win your case. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Ontario Remand Court Appearances: A New Criminal Defence Article

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – “Remand Court” is a term you may have come across reading news items such as the CBC’s recent piece, “Ottawa terror suspect has charges added.” It might also be a term you’ve come across because you’re scheduled to appear in one.

If you fall into the second category, you’re probably going through some stress and confusion. You might be wondering: what exactly is a Remand Court and is it any different from a regular courtroom? You might also be questioning whether or not you need a criminal defence lawyer at this stage of the process.

There’s not a lot of accessible information about Ontario Remand Courts online, so I put together an in-depth article: Appearing in Canadian Remand Court. It explains some of the reasons why remand court is different from other courts in Ontario and Canada. It also gives some practical advice on how you can prepare.

There are a couple of key points that inspired the article, and are important for you to note:

  1. Remand Court is very different from criminal trials and pre-trial hearings; you should be aware of these differences and prepare accordingly.
  2. Hiring a lawyer can help relieve some of the stress and make your Remand Court Appearance go by smoothly and efficiently.

 

If you’re preparing to make an appearance in remand court, hiring an experienced criminal defence lawyer can make the process smoother and less stressful – especially if your charges are serious. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Can I settle my unreported, unpaid taxes to avoid being charged with income tax evasion?

OTTAWA TAX EVASION LAWYER- Can tax evasion be resolved without criminal charges and prosecution, if the taxpayer simply files and pays the taxes owed?

The short answer is this: the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can and likely will prosecute you after you’ve committed tax evasion – even if you approached them with the intention of settling up.

In a recent online news release, the CRA briefly explained its policy regarding prosecution:

“Individuals who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They will not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) against them.”

It’s true that you can attempt to make that voluntary correction through the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosures Program. But if the CRA has already learned of possible tax evasion– a good example being the HSBC banking information leak we blogged about last week – it may be a different matter.

If you’ve been evading taxes and the CRA has noticed this activity, you do not have the option of paying back the missed taxes. The agency usually does not hesitate to prosecute these knowing evaders, even if they try to come clean. It’s best to seek legal advice quickly.

If you are being questioned or investigated by the CRA about possible tax evasion, your first step should be speaking with a lawyer experienced in financial crime. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone (613) 233-4529.

Canada Revenue Agency Audits and Tax Evasion

OTTAWA TAX EVASION LAWYER – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is the organization in charge of examining your tax return, which includes income, expenses, investments, and other financial matters.

When a taxpayer doesn’t pay the full legally-required amount of income tax, as determined by their return, there’s a chance they will be audited or even investigated by the CRA – and perhaps accused of income tax evasion as a result.

The CRA employs assessors and investigators who review Canadians’ tax documentation. They are specially trained to spot overstated or understated entries. When they find a false entry, it can result in higher taxes, interest, and penalties.

An audit takes things one step further. The agency will call for an audit or investigation if they suspect that tax evasion – a criminal offence in Canada – has occurred. After the CRA finishes an investigation, the taxpayer in question may be charged.

The CRA decides who to audit based on a number of information sources:

  • Formulas and algorithms, developed to detect irregular or suspicious tax information.
  • The CRA has a “tip line,” where individuals can send in a tip alerting the agency to an instance of tax evasion, or related offences.
  • Occasionally, information on individuals’ financial circumstances will be sent to the CRA by whistleblowers, foreign authorities, or other sources.

Occasionally, disclosures from that third group can cause much concern for the CRA and potentially lead to many audits. That’s what we saw in the recent news story involving HSBC in Switzerland, and it is likely that many of the 1,785 Canadians whose names were transferred over may be audited or investigated by the CRA in connection with possible tax evasion activity.

In situations where the taxpayers’ money is held in foreign banks – especially with Swiss banks which are famous for their secrecy – that taxpayer may think that their financial information is safe from assessors and auditors.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple – accountants are not protected by any professional privilege, and therefore must disclose client information if they are ordered to by the CRA or by the court.

If the CRA is auditing you, or you have concerns that an assessment may result in an audit, the first thing you should do is seek expert advice. A lawyer experienced in defending income tax evasion can help you proceed. What you should not do is attempt to deal with the accusations yourself, without appropriate legal advice and the aid of a professional.

If you have already been charged with tax evasion, it’s crucial that you hire a lawyer who is experienced with large-scale tax cases, and has a proven track record defending against accusations of white-collar crime. For more information, contact the criminal defence and tax evasion lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone 613-233-4529 or by email [email protected]

Canadians May be Accused in Switzerland Tax-Evasion Sweep

OTTAWA WHITE COLLAR CRIME LAWYER – Tax evasion is a serious offence in Canada, and it frequently involves storing money in private off-shore bank accounts.

Over the last few days, the details of many off-shore accounts – namely those with one particular bank in Switzerland – were handed to tax authorities, leaving the account-holders subject to investigation for evading taxes.

A computer security specialist was fired from a HSBC private bank in Switzerland after pleading for more transparency. He provided the French government with the names of roughly 80,000 individuals holding off-shore accounts with the Swiss bank.

Out of the lengthy list of names, a significant 1,785 are Canadians. A spokesperson for Canada’s Minister of National Revenue indicated that French authorities have provided the government with a list of individuals, from that pile, who may be using the accounts for tax evasion purposes.

Tax evasion can take on a number of forms including filing false returns, destroying accounting books, or failing in any other way to comply with the Income Tax Act.

If you are contacted or questionedabout possible involvement with tax evasion or other financial crimes, you should speak with an experienced white-collar crime lawyer about your options, your rights, and how to proceed. For more information on financial crime, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

How does a Public Inquiry work in Canada?

OTTAWA PUBLIC INQUIRY LAWYER – Public inquiries make Canadian headlines fairly often, and this fall season is no exception.

We’ve been seeing a great deal of writing and discussion surrounding the upcoming Robert Pickton federal inquiry. Set to occur this fall, the public inquiry will investigate the circumstances around a series of murders in British Columbia. Just yesterday, it was announced that a former Attorney General of Canada will be in charge of the Pickton inquiry.

And not too long ago, organizations across the country were calling for a public inquiry into the events surrounding the G20 economic summit in Toronto this summer.

These inquiries are serious proceedings, and that they’re important for getting the story straight when it comes to matters of public interest. An individual who participates in a public inquiry can be put under a public microscope. Therefore, such an individual’s reputation is at stake as well.

But you might still be thinking: how does one work? Having represented key figures in a number of high-profile public inquiries, including the Oliphant and Gomery inquiries, Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Richard Auger is an expert on the subject. We’ve prepared a useful article to help explain the process, entitled Public Inquiries in Canada: A Lawyer’s Perspective.

In this article you’ll find information about what separates an inquiry from a criminal investigation, and why lawyers are often present at inquiry proceedings.

As the Pickton Inquiry prepares to move ahead – not to mention the countless others that are called periodically in Canada – I hope this information helps you gain a better understanding of what’s happening.

If you arrived at this because you’re preparing to testify or participate in a public inquiry yourself, your best bet might be to speak to a defence lawyer with courtroom representation experience. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence and inquiry lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 233-4529 or email [email protected].

Public Inquiries in Canada: A Lawyer’s Perspective

OTTAWA PUBLIC INQUIRY LAWYER – Public inquiries are a helpful democratic tool to investigate issues of national interest, when other investigations may not be enough.

Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Richard Auger specializes in public inquiries, and he’s been involved in several that made national headlines over the past decade.

The 2004 Gomery Inquiry, which investigated federal government sponsorship programs, saw Richard Auger representing Chuck Guité, a civil servant and key witness.

In 2009 the Oliphant Commission, another federal public inquiry,was called to look into business dealings between Karlheinz Schreiber and former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney. Richard acted as Mr. Schreiber’s lawyer, representing the businessman’s interests throughout the process.

And as Canadians prepare for a new public inquiry investigating Robert Pickton, and the alleged murders of multiple British Columbia residents, an understanding of the process behind these inquiries is important and valuable – how does an inquiry work, and where do lawyers come in?

A public inquiry, as defined by Jay Makarenko in this helpful online overview, is “an official review, ordered by government, of important public events or issues” at either the federal, provincial, or territorial level.

How is a public inquiry different from the legal proceedings of a criminal case?

  • Facts and input don’t just come from either side of the dispute. They can typically be submitted by anyone, even members of the general public.
  • A public inquiry’s final report cannot force the government to take any action – it’s not legally binding. Rather, it serves as a recommendation for changes to prevent the problem from occuring again.
  • Sometimes, public inquiries don’t investigate unethical behaviour at all – they are simply set up to find facts and information on a broad area of public policy.

So if there’s no legally binding outcome, why bring a lawyer onboard for a public inquiry? The answer is simple: lawyers help witnesses and other key participants by organizing and preparing the appropriate information, and then representing them during hearings, cross-examinations, and other public inquiry proceedings.

If you’re preparing to participate in a public inquiry, it’s smart to speak with an experienced lawyer who can represent you throughout the course of the investigation. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 233-4529 or by email [email protected]

Canada Extradition Lawyer: Diab case offers insight into Canadian extradition law

Ottawa Extradition Lawyer: As his legal team prepares for a November 8 extradition hearing, one University of Ottawa professor accused of terrorism links is fighting the validity of international evidence against him.

In a Canadian extradition case, an individual living in Canada is charged with crimes alleged to be committed in a different nation. In order to begin persecution, the other nation in question must prove to Canadian justice officials that the crime is punishable in Canada by criminal law.

In the case of Professor Hassan Diab, whose story has made international news headlines, that nation was France and the alleged crime was involvement with a 1980 synagogue bombing in Paris – a terrorist offence under Canadian criminal law.

Diab’s extradition hearing has been already been delayed repeatedly, due to introductions of new handwriting evidence – some of which has since been discredited and withdrawn.

At a Canadian extradition hearing, the judge decides whether to discharge the defendant, or allow the case to proceed further before the federal Justice Minister. If the Minister chooses to surrender the defendant, the defendant is transferred over to the nation which ordered the extradition in the first place.

At the November hearing, Diab’s lawyer plans to insist that Diab stay in the country, citing a lack of convincing evidence from French authorities.

Extradition charges, in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada, are extremely serious and usually complex. If you are contacted about your possible involvement with an extradition case or international crimes, you should immediately get in touch with an experienced extradition and criminal defence lawyer. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 233-4529 or by email [email protected]

Ottawa Criminal Lawyer: Are you Under Arrest?

In Canada, a police officer has the power to arrest a person if the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a criminal offence.   The arresting police officer may or may not place handcuffs on the person under arrest.

Suspicious circumstances alone are not reasonable grounds to arrest a person. The officer must have enough facts or evidence available that a reasonable person would  believe that the suspect has committed or is about to commit an offence.

A reasonable person placed in the position of the officer must be able to conclude that there were indeed reasonable and probable grounds for the arrest.  However, at the same time, the police do not need to show a strong case that would result in a conviction in order to effect an arrest.

Take Note:

A person placed under arrest by the police should not challenge the grounds for the arrest. A person who challenges or resists arrest may face further criminal offences.  Whether or not the arrest was lawful should be discussed with an experienced criminal defence lawyer after the fact when mounting a defence.  You are very unlikely to talk the police out of arresting you.  However, there is a high probability that you will make matters worse.

Not all persons charged with criminal offences are physically arrested by the police. For example, the police may simply serve the accused person with an Appearance Notice.  This does not require an arrest or a trip to the police station.

Section 501 of the Criminal Code provides that an Appearance Notice must state: the name of the accused, the criminal charge and the time, date and place where the accused must attend court.

In addition, the Appearance Notice can require the accused to attend a location on a certain date for fingerprinting. The accused must attend on such a date for fingerprinting and failure to do so can result in additional criminal charges.

If the accused does not attend the court appearance, the court can issue a warrant for arrest and the police may then arrest the person and bring them to court in custody.

If you have been arrested, or if you have received an Appearance Notice, you should immediately take steps to retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer.  The propriety of your arrest is one of the areas the lawyer will explore in advancing your defence to the criminal charges against you.