An arrest and the filing of criminal charges are significant events. I have practiced as a criminal defense attorney long enough to understand how high the stakes are. If convicted, you will have a criminal record. You may be fined, placed on probation, or possibly jailed.
It is vital to remember that you are presumed innocent, and that the prosecution must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You are entitled to disclosure of the evidence in support of the charges.
It is in your interest to meet with a criminal lawyer promptly, to analyse the evidence in order to determine what defense strategy to adopt. The best option may well be to take the case to trial with a view to obtaining an acquittal.
Further, some of the prosecution’s key evidence could prove inadmissible or could be excluded pursuant to a motion launched under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
If you choose to plead guilty, it is important to ensure that the best possible sentence has been negotiated and submitted to the court including, where applicable, an absolute discharge. In the event that your lawyer and prosecutor cannot come to an agreement, it is essential your lawyer advance every argument in your favour to ensure the best possible outcome.
You are entitled to be represented.
Do not consider pleading guilty until you have seen the evidence the
prosecution has against you.
You are entitled to a defense.