If you find yourself under police investigation or charged with a criminal offence you should retain a criminal defence lawyer. “Retain” is just a fancy way to say “hire” in lawyer terms. Why lawyers take a retainer is the subject for another post. Even if you are certain that you committed the act for which you are charged with, a lawyer can still assist you in ways you could not imagine. There are a few very important examples. The first example involves a person who believes s/he committed the act s/he’s charged with. One might think who needs a lawyer since I’m guilty anyway. Since the Crown has the burden of proof an accused may not realize that even if s/he committed the act (did the thing), the defendant has no obligation whatsoever to assist the Crown to prove its case. In fact, the defendant may have even confessed to committing the act. Once a defence lawyer reviews the disclosure, it may be that the confession was obtained illegally and contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result, the confession could be deemed inadmissible and excluded as part of the overall evidence at trial. A layperson likely may not have caught this. Another simple example involves an accused who wishes to plead guilty. It may be that the police have charged the accused with 5 different charges and only one or two of the charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in which case the accused should only plead guilty to two of the charges. If s/he plead guilty alone, the Crown would have likely taken pleas to more charges. Another example is if after careful consideration the accused wishes to plead guilty, a defence lawyer could ensure that the sentence (punishment) s/he is receiving is fair and in line with legal precedence (other cases that came before and what sentences similar offenders received). Wouldn’t it be unfair if someone got a conditional discharge (not a record) and you went to jail and ended up with a criminal record for doing the same thing? There is nothing wrong with hiring a defence lawyer and it is highly recommended in all cases. In our free and democratic society, it is a right that one has to be represented by a defence lawyer. It would be a travesty of justice if that right was denied, no matter how guilty a person may be. Procedural fairness and procedural justice are not just theoretical concepts – they are real and affect the justice system and our way of life. I accepts Legal Aid Ontario certificates for clients charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario. I will also work out modest payment plans if you cannot afford to retain my services. Please contact me today for a free confidential consultation today.