Frequently asked questions
Q: Should I talk to the police?
A: If the police are investigating you, it is in your best interest to hire a defence lawyer instead of answering all the questions or making a statement right away. Sometimes, the police may ask you to go into a police station. You may not be aware of the police’s investigation.
You have the right to a lawyer, and the police are obligated to remind you of your right. A lawyer can intercede on your behalf, and it is possible that charges will not be filed against you. Also, a lawyer can answer your criminal law questions and communicate with the police, which could prevent you from giving a statement that the Crown may ultimately use as evidence against you at trial.
Q: What should I do if I have been arrested?
A: After being arrested, you should try to stay calm as much as possible. It is helpful for your case if you insist on calling a lawyer before answering any questions that go into the substance of the offence. The police are likely to induce you to make a statement that might be contrary to your interests. Be sure to ask to call a family member or a lawyer before making any statement.
Q: What should I do if the police are knocking on my door?
A: You do not need to open the door unless the police have a warrant or there are exigent circumstances. You do not even have to answer the door. If the police say they have obtained a warrant, then you should ask them to enable you to see the warrant, such as asking the police to hold it up to the door or to slip it under the door.
The police may break down the door if there are exigent circumstances that would make it impractical to get a warrant, such as the danger of fleeing, hiding someone or some other emergency. If the police leave you their contact card, be sure to call a lawyer. A lawyer can speak to the police to find out what your case is going on and what the police want.
Q: Why do I need a lawyer?
A: It is important for you to have a skilled and experienced defence lawyer if you have committed a crime or have been arrested. Any crime conviction may result in prison or jail time, probation, fines, and other penalties. It is in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer protect a right, communicate with the Crown counsel, and guarantee the procedural fairness will not be undermined, and resolve the matter with a proper disposition.
In addition, by hiring a lawyer who knows how the system works, you do not need to face the stressful situation on your own and you can protect yourself from the outset.
Q: How quickly can my case be resolved?
A: The time frame of resolving a criminal matter differs case by case. For some complicated cases, it may take a year or more before having a trial. Some may only take a few months or even shorter. The availability of Crown counsel and the court schedule also affect the timeframe of resolving a case, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As defence lawyers, we commit to our clients and always work towards having your case resolved as quickly as possibl
Q: How much is this really going to cost?
A: The total cost depends on the nature of the case and the amount of time that counsel spent, especially preparing for a trial and attending court.
We cannot estimate how much it would cost before we have had a chance to review disclosure from the Crown as to the police investigation. Depending on the complexity of each case, it is hard to say how short or long a period of time is necessary to prepare your defence, to set a trial date and to conduct your trial.
Q: What happens on the first court date listed in my Appearance?
A: On your first appearance in court, you will receive the Crown’s disclosure documents which summarizes the police investigation. The court will ask you whether you intend to hire a lawyer. Before the court makes any decisions on your case, you will be given the opportunity to review the disclosure from the Crown. Normally, you could adjourn the next appearance for a few weeks, during which period you would fully review the disclosure. If you need a longer time to hire a lawyer, you can ask the court for more time on your next appearance.