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 are the Potential Penalties for Tax Evasion in Canada?

It’s time to file our income taxes again and the Ontario criminal lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth want to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of filing your tax returns.  Most people don’t enjoy filling out their income tax returns and it can sometimes be easy to procrastinate.  Failing to file your income tax returns is serious and should be taken seriously.  If you don’t file your taxes, or if you conceal income or make false claims deductions, you may be charged with tax evasion.  Canada’s Income Tax Act outlines all of the offences and penalties associated with tax evasion.

The potential penalties for tax evasion include fines, imprisonment, or sometimes, both.  The amount of the fine is usually in proportion to the amount of taxes an individual was trying to evade.  Depending on the particular circumstances and the seriousness of tax evasion, the penalties can be quite severe.  Failing to file your income tax return is usually considered to be a lesser offence with fines ranging from $1000 – $25 000.  You may also face up to twelve months in prison for not filing your taxes.  Again, this varies on a case by case basis so it is best to speak with an experienced Ontario criminal lawyer if you are facing tax evasion charges.

Making a false statement on your income taxes is more serious.  Someone who makes a false or misleading statement or intentionally tries to avoid paying taxes will usually receive a fine in the amount of fifty to two hundred percent of the amount of tax that was supposed to be paid.  An individual may also receive up to two years in prison for making a false statement on their income tax return.

Tax evasion also includes claiming false credits or deductions that an individual is not really entitled to.  This also includes conspiring with another person to claim false deductions.  The penalty for this kind of tax evasion is similar to making a false statement since the individual receives a fine between fifty and two hundred percent of the amount of tax that would be assessed if the individual had not tried to make a false deduction.  A prison sentence of up to two years can also be added as a penalty.

As you can see, tax evasion is taken seriously in Canada so it is important to file your income tax returns properly.  There are a number of services that exist to help individuals file their taxes so feel free to take advantage of this help.  If you are facing tax evasion charges, you should hire legal counsel to represent you.  The Ottawa criminal lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can help your defence against tax evasion charges.

Can I Win My Case And Be Found Not Guilty Even Though I Know I Am Guilty?

Even if you or others believe you are guilty, you may be found not guilty in court and could therefore win your case.  We have had many situations where this has occurred.  While you may think you are guilty, or perhaps others are trying to convince you of your guilt, all of this could be entirely different from what the law says or what the judge says.  Being guilty or thinking that you are guilty of a criminal offence can sometimes be very different than being found guilty in court.

In a criminal court proceeding, the Crown attorney has to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt using compelling evidence.  If there is not sufficient or strong enough evidence, or if the Crown is unable to demonstrate your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you may be found not guilty.  This clearly shows the importance of evidence and legal argument in a criminal case.  While the Crown attorney does all they can to prove guilt, your defence lawyer can work to defend your charges and argue against the evidence or the Crown’s arguments.  This can often result in an individual being found not guilty.

This is also why it is not necessarily a wise decision to plead guilty even if you believe yourself to be guilty.  If we believe that you have a defence, or that the Crown attorney does not have sufficient evidence to successfully prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, we will likely advise you to plead not guilty and to fight the charges.  While your case or even your guilt may appear to be straightforward or obvious to you, the law may state otherwise.  This is why it is so important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer who can thoroughly assess your case and offer sound legal advice.  As you can see, guilt and determination of guilt is not as simple or obvious as you may think.  Consult the lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth to see how you can get the best defence possible.

Do You Hire Experts To Help In My Case?

The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth work with a number of different experts that will suit the needs of your particular case. Experts can be very valuable to a case because they have particular skills and experience. Their work or their testimonies can strengthen a criminal defence and provide additional support for your case. Depending on the nature of your offence, there may be experts who will be able to help with your case.

For example, if you are involved in a dangerous driving case, we may enlist the help of an accident reconstructionist. They will be able to essentially reconstruct the case and provide their professional insight into how the accident happened, who is at fault, etc. We may also hire a private investigator to interview witnesses that the police did not speak with.

We have had cases where the work of a private investigator and the testimony of the individuals they interviewed, has resulted in charges being dropped or winning the case. As you can see, experts can be very useful in creating a strong defence.

Other experts that we may work with include psychologists, physicians, engineers, accountants, or forensic specialists. By going through the details of a particular case, we are able to determine if the use of one or more experts will be helpful. You can rest assured that by working with the criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth you will get the best defence possible, in part because we seek out professional, expert advice to strengthen our cases. While we are very knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, the expertise of other professionals can go a long way to providing credibility to a case. By enlisting the help of experts, we are doing everything we can to create a strong defence and achieve a successful outcome for your case.

Can My Accountant Help Me With My Income Tax Evasion Charges?

While it may seem as though your accountant would be able to help you face tax evasion charges, it is important that you stop talking with your accountant immediately. If you are charged with income tax evasion do not discuss your case with your accountant.

Although you may have had a good relationship with your accountant, it is important that you do not discuss your charges with him or her. This is because your accountant could potentially unwillingly become a witness against you in court. If this happens, you don’t want them to have anything to say against you.

The Canada Revenue Agency or the prosecutors can use your accountant as a witness in court. In fact, your accountant could be compelled to be a witness for the prosecutors, even if he or she doesn’t want to. If called as a witness, your accountant would have to honestly answer all of the prosecutor’s questions and will be required to tell the court everything that you shared with him or her. This could potentially damage your case so it is important that you do not give any information about your charges or your case with your accountant.

If you are charged with income tax evasion, the first thing you should do is enlist the help of an experienced criminal defence lawyer. If your accountant is interested in your case and wants to know details, even if they offer their “help”, it is best if you politely tell them that you are unable to discuss your case with them. It is possible that you will be able to resume contact with your accountant at a later date, but until your lawyer advises you in this way, refrain from discussing your case with your accountant. This is one way that you can do all that you can to ensure your defence is as strong as possible.

How Do I Choose a Criminal Lawyer?

 

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, it is important for you to find the best criminal lawyer possible to represent you.  It can be difficult however, to choose the lawyer that is best suited to you and your case.  Many criminal lawyers will say that they offer “free consultations” or that they will pursue your case “aggressively”, but when you read these things, think to yourself, what does this tell me about the lawyer?

Sometimes, such “buzz words” don’t actually tell you very much about the lawyer and what they can do for you.  It is best to research further to learn more useful information about the particular lawyer.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when trying to choose a criminal lawyer to represent you.  It is best to find a lawyer with an established track record and one that has been involved in a variety of kinds of criminal cases.  A lawyer with relevant experience will be better equipped to represent you.  Also, try to find a lawyer who has experience at both pre-trial motions as well as in the courtroom during the trial stage.

When looking for a criminal lawyer to represent you, it is beneficial to speak with the lawyer or their staff before making a decision.  This will give you the opportunity to ask them some important questions before choosing to hire them.

  • Ask the lawyer if they write articles about cases and the court process.
  • Find out if they have taught classes at a law school.
  • Ask if they belong to any professional law associations.
  • See if they have recently attended courses or seminars updating them in current criminal law.
  • Ask if they provide information to the public for free.

You can also ask to see past cases and verdicts that they won.  All of this information will help you to determine if a particular lawyer is right for you.

It is important to learn about a particular lawyer before deciding to take them on as your legal counsel.  If you are interested in learning more about how to choose a good criminal lawyer, contact Richard Auger at Auger Hollingsworth.

Driving Offences: Serious Crimes, Serious Penalties – Failing to Stop at the Scene of an Accident

The failure to stop at the scene of an accident is a very serious driving offence in the Criminal Code of Canada. Anyone who doesn’t stop his or her motor vehicle to give his or her name and address, and who has the intention of escaping civil and/or criminal liability after an accident, is guilty of the offence.

Sentences for those convicted of failing to stop at the scene of an accident vary depending on the circumstances. A good criminal defence lawyer can help have your charges be pursued summarily rather than by indictment. If convicted, that can have a significant impact on the type and severity of punishment that you will receive.

Those convicted of the summary offence of failing to stop at the scene can face up to six months in jail and a fine of $5000. Conversely, those convicted of the indictable offence, where no one was injured, could spend up to five years behind bars.

If someone was injured in the accident, and you failed to stop and offer assistance, sentences range all the way up to 10 years in jail. If the accident caused death, life imprisonment is a sentencing option.

As you can see, failing to stop at the scene of an accident can be a very serious criminal charge, and it is important to find a top quality criminal defence lawyer than can help you through the situation. A good lawyer can often convince a Judge that someone had cause to leave the scene, or work to lessen the severity of the Court’s sentence.

Driving Offences: Serious Crimes, Serious Penalties

Driving offences are serious crimes that carry serious penalties. In order to inform you about these penalties, we have prepared several blog posts that outline some of the different punishments Canadian law hands out to those who commit driving offences. You could face jail time for every one of these crimes, not to mention fines, and other consequences.

The maximum penalties vary from crime to crime. Every driving offence is either an indictable (more serious) or summary (less serious) offence and some are hybrid, which means they can be either indictable or summary, depending on the circumstances of your case.

All driving offences and their consequences are outlined in the Criminal Code, but hiring a good criminal defence lawyer is the best way to help you successfully navigate the complicated driving-related laws and their penalites. Working with a lawyer who specializes in driving offences will also help you determine what your options are and how to proceed with your charges.

Ottawa Tax Evasion Lawyer

Tax evasion and other violations of Canada’s Income Tax Act are serious criminal offences.  Canada’s Income Tax Act outlines all of the possible offences regarding the submission, payment, and handling of tax.  Some of the more serious offences include making a false statement in a tax return, altering or destroying your account books with the intent of avoiding tax, and purposely avoiding tax payment.  In addition to these offences, less serious infringements and regulatory offences are also outlined in Canada’s Income Tax Act.

Some may think that tax evasion is a crime committed exclusively by wealthy individuals or businesses, but in reality, offences against Canada’s Income Tax Act are more common than you might think.  Whether intentionally or accidentally, many individuals fail to file their tax returns, submit their returns late, or fail to report income on their returns.

It is very important that you complete your tax return forms properly in order to avoid any criminal charges.  In the event that you are charged with violating the Income Tax Act, contact a criminal lawyer who can help you create a defence for your case.

If you are charged with violating the Income Tax Act, you may have recourse to one or more of the possible defences available to those charged with tax evasion.  If you are found guilty of the offence, you will likely be responsible for paying the tax as well as any related penalties and interest.  In some circumstances, individuals can receive a criminal sentence in addition to these financial penalties.  These criminal sentences can include additional fines as well as time in prison.  Your lawyer will be able to advise you and defend your charges appropriately, based on the specific nature of your case.

Can Canada Revenue Agency Employees be Charged with Ontario Fraud?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Alleged fraud in Ontario is often detected by agencies such as the Canada Revenue Agency or the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre, before it is reported to authorities and charges are laid.

It’s fair to ask, then: if I am an employee of the Canada Revenue Agency, or a similar government agency tasked with preventing white collar crime, is there a chance I can avoid charges, or be given special treatment during my prosecution?

In the CBC’s recent story, Canada Revenue Employee Faces Fraud Charges, we saw a great example of the answer – employees at the Canada Revenue Agency and other financial agency receive no special protection against fraud and related charges. If they are charged with fraud, they are prosecuted in the same fashion as any other worker would be.

In this case, the Canada Revenue Agency employee charged with fraud allegedly used his position within the agency to facilitate fraud – by advertising himself as a tax consultant.

This kind of misrepresentation can result in criminal charges and even a conviction – regardless of where you work. The individual charged in this story ended up with numerous serious charges:

  • Two counts of fraud over $5,000.
  • Breach of trust.
  • Secret commissions.
  • Uttering a Forged Document.

If you have been charged with any kind of fraud in Ontario, you need to get the best possible legal help. A top criminal lawyer can inform you of what consequences you may face, and more importantly, fight your charges in order to avoid them. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.