How to take a lawyer’s personality into account when choosing an Ontario criminal defence lawyer

While a lawyer’s personality may not seem to be an important thing to consider when choosing an Ontario criminal defence lawyer for your case, it is important to take a few things about their personality into account.  Of course, a lawyer’s personality is not the first or the most important thing for you to consider, but it will likely help you to make the right decision about who you want representing you.  There are a few personality traits you may want to think about when deciding on a criminal defence lawyer.

One personality trait you may want to look at is aggression.  While you want your lawyer to be very committed to your case and able to aggressively defend the charges against you, you don’t want a lawyer who is overly confrontational or who turns their aggression towards you.  Think about the level of aggression you want in your lawyer and the kind of personality that would suit you and your case.  Aggression can be good or bad so make sure that you choose a lawyer who suits the level of aggression that you are comfortable with.

Secondly, you may want to take into account a lawyer’s intuitiveness and their ability to understand their clients and relate to them.  You also want to try to assess a lawyer’s ability to understand the other players involved in the legal system, such as Crown attorneys, police officers and judges.  An intuitive lawyer will be good at relating to all of these individuals and understanding how the legal system works.

One very important personality trait in a criminal defence lawyer is confidence.  You want your lawyer to be able to confidently defend the charges against you.  You don’t want a lawyer who cannot react well on-the-spot or one who is not confident about their knowledge of the law and of your case.

One last personality trait that you want to take into consideration is practicality.  While it may be nice to hear your lawyer tell you how easy it will be to win your case or that you don’t even need to think about what will happen if things don’t go as planned, it is not a good sign if your lawyer tells you these things.  You need a lawyer who will work very hard to successfully defend you, but you also want them to be practical and realistic about your case.  It is best if you have a lawyer who can quickly judge a situation and decide upon the appropriate course of action to take.

There are many things to take into consideration when choosing the right Ontario criminal defence lawyer for your case and personality is one of them.  Make sure that you are choosing the lawyer who suits you and your particular case.  If you want more information about choosing a criminal defence lawyer, contact the lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  They would be happy to discuss your case with you.

Fraud and theft charges withdrawn: Stephanie’s Case

CHARGES:

Theft not exceeding $5000/Shoplifting contrary to Section 344(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Fraud not exceeding $5000 contrary to Section 380(1) (b) of Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND:

Stephanie was observed by security guards at Walmart trying to return 3 woman’s jackets that she had not purchased. The officers at the store had suspected Stephanie of fraudulent returns for several months. After having the return refused, Stephanie began shopping in the store. When leaving the store, she used a self-checkout machine. After she had left the building, the Walmart employee apprehended Stephanie and found that the items on her receipt did not match the items she was leaving with. The police were called and Stephanie was arrested, charged and released on an appearance notice.

STRATEGY AND RESULTS:

After my negotiations with the Crown, it was agreed that all charges against Stephanie would be withdrawn. The charges were withdrawn in Ottawa court.

Three charges dismissed in impaired driving incident: Shannon’s Case

CHARGES:

Impaired operation of a motor vehicle contrary to Section 253 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood contrary to Section 253 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada:

Possession of 30 grams or less of cannabis (marijuana) contrary to Section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

BACKGROUND: Police reported to the scene of an accident in North Grenville and found Shannon sitting near to a minivan that had collided with a hydro pole. One of the officers on the scene smelled alcohol in the van and conducted a breath test on Shannon, which led to a reading of ‘F’ or fail.  Shannon was arrested and brought to the police detachment where she failed another breath test.

Before being released from the station, police officers found a small amount of marijuana in Shannon’s purse. A charge of possession of marijuana was added to her file.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: Shannon was a very young woman at the time of her charge and so we made it a priority to have her avoid a criminal record. In addition, we did not want her to have her license suspended.

STRATEGY: I believed that the police officers questioning Shannon violated her rights under Sections 7, 8, 9, 10(a), 10(b), 11(d), and 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I argued that there were several problems with the arrest and processing of Shannon:

  • There was a lack of proof regarding the times of the arrests and tests, and it was unclear whether they were conducted within the proper time frame.
  • There was not sufficient evidence to prove that that Shannon was actually the driver in control of the van.
  • Similarly, there was nothing that proved that the marijuana found in Shannon’s bag actually belonged to her, or that she actually knew it was there.

RESULTS: All the charges in this case were dismissed.

Click here to Read the Judge’s Decision

What to Look For in an Ontario Criminal Lawyer: Relevant Experience

One of the most important factors you want to consider when looking to hire an Ontario criminal defence lawyer is their experience. You want to work with a lawyer who has several years of experience dealing with a variety of criminal cases, including those similar to yours.  A lawyer who has at least ten years of experience has learned a lot about handling criminal cases, going to trial, dealing with prosecutors, juries and judges.  Their experience will help them to represent you in the best way possible. For more information on making the best decision when you hire a lawyer, download our book here.

There are several areas in which you want your criminal defence lawyer to have experience.  Firstly, you should look for a lawyer who specializes in criminal law.  Many lawyers practice a number of different kinds of law but it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer who deals exclusively with criminal cases.  A generalist lawyer (one who practices a variety of kinds of law) may not know as much about handling criminal cases like yours and they likely do not have as much experience dealing with the criminal justice system as a lawyer who deals only with criminal law.  Since Ontario criminal law is always changing and evolving you want a lawyer who is always current and knows the law well.  Also, legislation such as the Criminal Code of Canada are very complex documents.  A generalist lawyer will probably not be as familiar with the details of such laws but a criminal lawyer who devotes all of their time to criminal law, would.

You also want your Ontario criminal defence lawyer to have relevant trial experience.  While not all criminal charges end up in court, you want your lawyer to have experience defending charges in court if your case goes to trial.  You should feel confident that if your case goes to trial, your defence lawyer has enough experience to be able to defend you in the courtroom.  A lawyer who has years of experience handling a variety of criminal cases will understand how a trial proceeds and the best way to argue your case in a given situation.  It is also important to know that your lawyer not only has experience in a courtroom but that they have successfully won cases that have gone to trial.

It is also a good idea to hire a lawyer who is familiar with your region.  If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Ottawa, it is a good idea to work with a lawyer who is familiar with the Ottawa region.  While “connections” with other lawyers or judges do not play a role in criminal cases (thankfully our legal system does not work that way!), it will benefit you if your lawyer is familiar with the region where you will be fighting your charges.

When meeting with your potential criminal defence lawyer think about asking them the following questions in order to assess the level and relevance of their experience:

1. How much of your practice involves criminal law?

2. Do you feel comfortable handling a case like mine?

3. Have you tried many cases in my particular region?

Hiring a good defence lawyer is important.  If you have any questions about how to look for the right criminal defence lawyer for your case, feel free to speak with the defence attorneys at Auger Hollingsworth.

What to Look For in an Ontario Criminal Lawyer: a Good Track Record

When looking for a good Ontario criminal lawyer it is important to take into consideration the individual’s track record.  While years of experience certainly count for something, it is more important to have consistent positive results.  The business of criminal defence lawyers is really a results-oriented business and you want the lawyer representing you to have consistent results.  Although no criminal lawyer can win every case, you should work with a lawyer who has a good track record of achieving successful outcomes. Download Choosing the Right Lawyer here.

There are a few areas in which you want your criminal lawyer to have a good track record.  The first is regarding case results and testimonials.  When choosing a criminal lawyer, take a look at their past case results and if you have access to them, read some of their client testimonials.  It can help to hear about the experience that other individuals facing criminal charges had with a particular lawyer.

Another way that you can assess a lawyer’s track record is to fine out if they have received any awards or distinctions.  Such honours demonstrate that a lawyer has received particular recognition from their peers, professional organization governing bodies or local association.  A good defence lawyer will likely include this kind of information on their website.  After all, the internet is usually the first place individuals go to find information.  Good lawyer will want to show prospective clients that they have received awards or distinctions, just as they will likely also include case results and client testimonials on their website.

A final way that you can assess a lawyer’s track record is by finding out if they have been previously disciplined by the Law Society.  All Ontario lawyers are licensed, governed, and regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada.  This society deals with any complaints that may arise against a lawyer and it serves to protect the public in this way.  The Law Society pursues disciplinary action against lawyers if need be.  It may be awkward to bring up this issue when meeting with a potential lawyer, but it is important for you to know if they have had any complaints filed against them.  Having past complaints does not necessarily indicate that the person is not a good lawyer, but if they have been disciplined in the past, you may want to hear more about the details of the situation.  It is up to you if and how you factor the situation into your decision-making process.

A lawyer’s track record is an excellent way to decide if a particular criminal defence lawyer is right for you.  Learn about their past case results, read client testimonials and look into any awards or honours they have received.  All of this information can help you choose the right Ontario defence lawyer to represent you.

What to Look For in an Ontario Criminal Lawyer: The Importance of Honesty

If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario, one of the most important things you can do to help your case is to hire a good criminal defence lawyer to represent you.  It can be difficult to know where to start to find a good lawyer and it can also be overwhelming.  Many accused people don’t know what to look for or what questions to ask.  This article will try to help you know how to choose a good criminal defence lawyer by explaining the important of honesty.  Later articles will look at some more important factors to consider when choosing an Ontario criminal lawyer. You can also download our free book on this subject here.

The most important characteristic of a good criminal defence lawyer is honesty.  It is crucial that you find a lawyer that you can trust and that you feel comfortable speaking with.  There are two particular areas where you want to feel that your lawyer is being honest.  The first is that your lawyer is honest about the potential outcomes of your case.  Criminal defence lawyers cannot predict the outcome of any given case but they can show you how they think the case may proceed and develop the best strategy possible.

While it may sound great to hear a lawyer guarantee that they will win your case, you should be very sceptical of such promises.  If a lawyer tells you how easy it will be to win your case you should probably not trust them.  Good criminal defence lawyers will explain to you the potential outcomes of your case.  If your lawyer is optimistic or confident about your case, that is a good thing because you want them to work toward the best outcome for you.  A good lawyer will explain to you their strategies for successfully defending you but they will also lay out what might happen if things don’t go the way you plan.  Make sure that your lawyer gives you an honest assessment of your case and the potential outcomes.

The second area where you want to make sure your lawyer is being honest is regarding legal fees.  The last thing you want to find out at the end of your case is that you have a surprise bill to pay for the legal services you received.  You can assess the honest level of a particular lawyer by looking at the way they charge their clients.  It is best to work with a lawyer who uses a retainer system.  This system is the most honest arrangement between a lawyer and their client and they allow you to also plan ahead.  A good criminal defence lawyer should be upfront about their legal fees and should be able to give you an estimate of what their services will cost.

Lastly some important questions to ask your lawyer include:

1. What is the worst/best case scenario?

2. What challenges do you see in my case?

3. When do I have to pay legal fees?

4. What are my options and what are the risks and benefits of each option?

If you are facing criminal charges, contact the criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth and you can be confident that you will receive honest legal representation.

Need Help Finding the Right Lawyer?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Prominent Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Richard Auger has recently written and released a new consumer guide book entitled “Choosing the Right Lawyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Best Criminal Lawyer to Fight Your Criminal Charges”. The book is available for free download here.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario, this book is a must-read. It outlines some of the key traits to look for in a lawyer, helps explain how to deal with legal costs, and shows you what types of lawyer advertising you should watch out for.

Robbery and firearm charges result in no prison time: Jason’s case

CHARGES:

Robbery with a firearm contrary to Section 344 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Pointing a firearm contrary to Section 87 of the Criminal Code of Canada

Uttering a threat to cause bodily harm contrary to Section 264.1(1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: Jason entered a neighbour’s house insisting that the neighbours call 9-1-1 as he said he had just located two poachers driving all-terrain vehicles, and that he was going to hold them at gunpoint until police arrived. Before leaving the house, Jason showed his neighbours  the .22 caliber rifle he was holding.

When police arrived, they spoke with Jason, who at that time was still carrying his rifle. He said that he had to let the vehicles go, but that police should be able to find them driving on a nearby road. Later in the evening, police received another 9-1-1 call from one of the ATV drivers. The drivers said that they had been held at gunpoint and robbed. He was later arrested for robbery with a firearm, pointing a firearm, and uttering physical threats.

Read the Summary of the Police Allegations

GOALS:

The charges Jason faced were very serious and if Jason were convicted, he would be facing a minimum four year penitentiary sentence. It was my belief that Jason was a non-violent person who was caught in a strange set of circumstances. I knew it would be difficult to have Jason avoid being convicted of an offence, but I wanted to ensure that he did not spend any time in prison.

STRATEGY: I wanted to highlight the fact that Jasonwas not dangerous, and that he never had any intention to use a firearm. He even went out of his way to show his neighbour that his rifle was not loaded. I also worked diligently to gather several character witness statements in this case that would help to have Jason’s sentence be as minimal as possible.

RESULTS: After lengthy and involved discussions with the Crown attorney, this case was resolved without any jail sentence whatsoever. This really was the best possible outcome we could have hoped for in this case.

7 Counts of Criminal Charges Dropped After Signing of Peace Bond: Daniel’s Case

CHARGES:

Uttering Death Threats contrary to section 264.1 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Mischief (2 counts) contrary to section 430 (1) (c) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Assault (4 counts) contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: Daniel was involved in a very serious incident with his wife that resulted in him facing seven criminal charges. According to his wife and another witness, Daniel phoned his wife and threatened to kill her after she discovered he was cheating on her and informed the husband of the other woman involved. When Daniel returned to the house, he kicked in the door, and broke a fish tank and telephone. He pushed his pregnant wife after she tried to physically prevent him from going upstairs in the house. Once upstairs, Daniel broke his wife’s laptop by smashing it on the floor. Afterwards, he would not let his wife leave their son’s room and he bit her on the hand.

Two additional charges were laid after Daniel’s wife was asked by police about past incidents.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: In this case, it was important for me to get the best possible result for Daniel while at the same time helping him to take responsibility for his actions.  My first goal was to assist Daniel with bail conditions, as he had one young child and his wife was pregnant.  I hoped to get Daniel the help he needed while at the same time not having him serve time in prison.

STRATEGY: I submitted several requests to have Daniel’s bail conditions varied, and worked to enroll Daniel in a Partner Assault Response (PAR) program. Through this program, I hoped Daniel would receive the education and counseling he needed and that we could have this matter resolved with the signing of a peace bond.

RESULTS: We achieved the best possible result in this case. I was able to have Daniel’s bail conditions varied to allow him to visit with his child and to be present for the birth of his second child. Daniel attended all of his PAR program meetings and successfully completed the program. He signed a peace bond with conditions and was able to avoid both prison and a criminal record.

Diversion Program the Solution in Assault Case: Kyle’s Case

CHARGES:

Assault contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: In a residence building on a post-secondary school campus, a young woman reported that an intoxicated young male unexpectedly knocked on her door and forced himself into her room. She said that she tried to stop him from entering before being pushed by the male and punched in the face. My client, Kyle, was arrested and charged for assault as it was believed he was the man who entered the residence room.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: As Kyle was a student and a very young man, I did not want him to be burdened with a criminal record. Kyle understood that he had made a mistake, and so I sought out different options that would allow him to avoid both a criminal record and spending time in a facility.

STRATEGY: I wanted to have Kyle enter into a diversion program rather than be convicted of a criminal offence. I worked with the Crown and the diversion office at the Ottawa Court House to try and make this happen.

RESULTS: Kyle was instructed to complete 35 hours of community service and to submit a letter of reflection. Kyle successfully completed his direct accountability program. He volunteered for more than the required hours at a Church that gives out meals to the homeless. Kyle enjoyed his time volunteering and learned a lot from the experience. After completion of the program, his charges were withdrawn. He has no criminal record and the fingerprints and booking images taken by the Police have been destroyed.

Read the testimonial