09 Jun What Types of Cases Does a Criminal Lawyer Handle?
Criminal defence lawyers have a significant responsibility to honour the instructions of their clients and provide the best legal advice. As officers of the court, lawyers must, at all times, remain ethical and honest and must represent their clients to the highest standards. A criminal lawyer may be directly contracted by the defendant or may be assigned by the court.
What do criminal defence lawyers do?
The duties of criminal defence lawyers go far beyond arguing in court on their client’s behalf. The job can be very extensive as the lawyers seek to ensure the best outcome for their clients. These roles include investigating the allegations against the defendant; ensuring that there are sound legal principles for the charges; confirming that the correct legal procedures are adopted; and, developing strategies for a credible defence at trial.
Defence lawyers also file legal applications on behalf of their clients at varying stages of the criminal legal process. The lawyers handle a range of cases such as domestic violence, fraud, and homicide. Here are some types of cases that Calgary criminal defence lawyers will handle.
Domestic violence cases
Domestic violence cases are often very sensitive. The defendant and the complainant may have had close relationships. This increases the potential for a highly emotional case. An experienced criminal defence lawyer is trained to deal with these circumstances while, at the same time, provide the best representation for the client.
Sexual offence cases
Sexual offences range from harassment to rape. The perpetrator may be a relative, a friend, a colleague or a complete stranger. Sexual offence cases also bring a high level of sensitivity and complexity. In Canada, there is no statute of limitations for bringing a charge against an accused in sexual crimes. It is always critical to have a qualified, diligent and experienced lawyer to represent you in these matters.
White collar crimes
White collar crimes are non-violent financial crimes. Perpetrators range from individuals to companies and even public entities that frequently seek to illegally obtain financial gains. The charges may relate to embezzlement, securities fraud, money laundering, cybercrime, identity theft, or the operation of a Ponzi scheme. White collar crimes tend to be legally complex matters and require competent lawyers to help with the defence of an accused.
Several criminal offences fall under using or dealing in illegal or controlled substances. Under Canadian law, it is illegal to possess, supply and/or produce prohibited drugs. It is also illegal to import or export drugs or to allow your premises to be used for drug production. A convict for any of these offences may be incarcerated for periods ranging from two to fourteen years.
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence is a crime that involves driving, operating, or being in control of a motor vehicle while being impaired by alcohol or other substances. It is considered a serious offence because it places the offending driver at risk of harm and exposes other road users to potential danger.
In Canada, the unauthorized possession and/or use of a firearm and/or ammunition constitute a serious offence. The result can be a harsh prison term. Given the seriousness of gun crimes, it is highly recommended that an accused retains a qualified criminal lawyer to assist in the defence.
Assaults and threats
Acts of assault and threats are punishable under Canadian law. Assault is usually physical but there are some non-physical acts such as waving your fist at someone that can be considered a crime. Online threats, referred to as cyber threats, can also land someone in trouble.
Homicides are actions that result in the death of an individual. It spans three general categories: murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Murders can be further broken down into first- and second-degree classifications. Despite the categorizations, homicides are grievous in nature and attract stiff penalties.
Should there be a ruling deemed unfavourable to an accused, lawyers are vital to guide and work through the process to legally challenge it. As part of this legal challenge, the lawyer presents to a higher court certain grounds on which the ruling should be overturned. Every appeal has its own intricacies and sometimes may look daunting at the start, but experienced appellate lawyers will be able to help.
Need of an experienced criminal lawyer in Calgary? Contact Jason Wuttunee, a barrister committed to providing intelligent, strategic, and sound litigation solutions for clients.