You hooked up with someone you met on Tinder. Now the person says they did not consent or, worse, you find out the person lied about their age. Maybe one of your acquaintances is claiming you touched them sexually without permission. If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you could end up being charged with and convicted of a sexual assault.
In Canada, sexual assault is an indictable offence that could land you in prison for up to 10 years. If the person you are accused of sexually assaulting is under 16 years of age, you may face imprisonment for up to 14 years. Convictions for sexual assault and other sexual offences have additional consequences too. When convicted of such a crime you will be required to register on national and provincial sex offender and DNA databases. If you have been accused of a sexual assault, you should hire a sexual assault lawyer. Here’s what you look for to ensure you hire the right one:
The sexual assault lawyer should be qualified
When the stakes are so high, you should look for sexual assault lawyer with a number of years of experience successfully representing defendants in cases like yours. It may also be a good idea to consider a sexual assault lawyer who has been on the other side of the courtroom. Criminal defence lawyers who have worked as prosecutors know exactly how the Crown approaches cases. He can use that knowledge to carefully plan your defence.
The sexual assault lawyer should be accessible
Before you agree to work with a sexual assault lawyer, ensure the lawyer you are considering is accessible. Any lawyer you choose should provide you with a number of ways to reach him. When you leave messages for your lawyer, he should call you back quickly. It would also be a good idea to find a sexual assault lawyer who allows for access after business hours in case of an emergency.
Sexual assault lawyers should provide clear communication
When you meet with a sexual assault lawyer, he should help you to understand your case. So, instead of speaking with you using legal jargons that you are not familiar with, the lawyer should take the time out to clearly explain how the process works, the likely outcome of your case and the options that are available to you.
The lawyer’s fees should be reasonable
A reputable sexual assault lawyer will charge you reasonable fees in keeping with industry standards. He should provide you with a clear outline which shows all the fees and charges and exactly what services you will get in return for those fees and charges. The lawyer should tell you how and when you will be required to make these payments as well.
Do you need a sexual assault lawyer in Toronto?
From the moment you’ve been accused of a sexual assault, you should call a sexual assault lawyer. If you are in search of a sexual assault lawyer in Toronto, give us a call at Sam Goldstein Law. Sam Goldstein has practised criminal for his entire career which has spanned over 15 years. In the early years of his career, Sam worked as a Crown prosecutor at all levels of the courts in Ontario. While doing so, he represented the government in prosecuting a wide range of cases including sexual assaults. This gave him valuable experience that he now uses as the foundation for his defence of the same type of cases. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and let us get started working on your defence.
OSHAWA — A prosecutor has called for a prison sentence of at least a decade for a woman convicted of importing fentanyl, citing the “explosion” of overdoses and deaths attributed to the powerful opioid.
“There’s a fentanyl epidemic that’s exploding across the country,” federal prosecutor Josh Frost said during a sentencing hearing Tuesday for Jacinda Hudson. “And it’s killing folks.”
Frost recommended a sentence of 10 to 12 years for Hudson, who was convicted in August of importing fentanyl and possession of the drug for the purpose of trafficking. The court was told that Hudson, 35, of Pickering, received 323 grams of the drug via mail and was subsequently arrested by the RCMP in 2016.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing in Oshawa, Frost said a significant penitentiary term is necessary to show society’s condemnation for the trafficking of a drug that has been blamed for a mounting number of deaths in Durham Region and across Canada.
“It’s a national emergency,” he told Superior Court Justice Robert Charney. “There needs to be a message sent to the community that the courts will not tolerate importing this poison.”
Defence lawyer Sam Goldstein suggested a sentence in the range of six to eight years, citing the duty of the court to strike a balance between punishment and rehabilitation for Hudson, a mother of three who maintains her innocence.
“We can never lose sight of the possibility of rehabilitation, no matter how horrendous the crime or its consequences,” he said following the hearing. “Ms. Hudson certainly understands the case law indicates significant prison time. She is merely asking the court to bear in mind that one day, she has to return to society.”
Charney is to deliver his sentence Jan. 14.
This article was originally published at Durham Region on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | By Jeff Mitchell.
As I have detailed on these pages, our first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, honed his famous oratorical skills in the courtroom when he began his career as a criminal lawyer (John A. Macdonald at the [other] bar, Jan. 11). He was well on his way to becoming a real-life Atticus Finch until he took over the commercial practice of a leading Kingston lawyer upon the man’s sudden death. After that, Macdonald used his lawyering skills only to triumph in the court of public opinion. Criminal law was Sir John A.’s profession, but politics was his vocation.
Not so for our 13th prime minister. John G. Diefenbaker saw criminal law as both his profession and his vocation. And one cannot understand the man’s political career without understanding what made him tick as a lawyer. From The Bill of Rights to his decision to commute Steven Truscott’s death sentence to life, his actions as prime minister from 1957-1963 were rooted in his early career as a criminal lawyer.
In the summer of 1919, a young Diefenbaker, still wet behind the ears from law school, decided to set up his legal practice in the small prairie town of Wakaw, Sask. It was a decision not without thought. Dief confessed to his biographer that he had perused the town’s court dockets and concluded its inhabitants were quite litigious.
He was proved correct. Within two months of setting up his legal practice, a farmer, John Chernyski, retained the novice lawyer to defend him against a charge of criminal negligence for shooting a young boy who trespassed across his property.
Upon his arrest, Chernyski told the police he had been awakened early in the morning by the barking of his farm dogs. He had then grabbed his shotgun and fired at what he thought was a fox his animals had cornered. It was, in fact, a child.
Diefenbaker successfully argued that his client could not see the boy in the early morning light because his vision had not yet adjusted from leaving his well-lit house.
Word quickly spread of the young advocate’s creative defence and commanding courtroom presence. Soon Diefenbaker was inundated with criminal trials. Whether it was defending a murder charge with a convoluted story of self-defence (R. vs. Bourdon), or getting a murder confession tossed out on the basis of the feeble-mindedness of his client (R. vs. Olson), Diefenbaker mesmerized his juries with the use of his dramatic voice, his penetrating azure eyes and a raised right arm with accusatory finger pointing at some distant enemy. He would use the same dramatic techniques all his life to mesmerize the Canadian people into voting for the Progressive Conservative Party.
No criminal lawyer has a perfect record. Diefenbaker had his fair shares of losses. Perhaps the hardest for him was his miscalculation in R. vs. Wysochan. It was a sordid murder case involving a husband (Dief’s client Alex Wysochan) brandishing a revolver and threatening to shoot his wife’s lover in her presence. The cowardly lover jumped out of a window, reporting later that he had heard four shots. The wife ended up dead. Diefenbaker rejected an easy defence of intoxication that would have reduced his client’s charge to manslaughter; instead, he argued it was the lover who had killed the wife. On June 20, 1930, Alex Wysochan was hanged in the Prince Albert prison, protesting his innocence from the gallows.
Diefenbaker recalled in a CBC interview that it was his direct experiences as a criminal lawyer that brought him to oppose the death penalty. Many know that Steven Truscott was wrongly convicted of the murder of Lynne Harper. But few know it was Diefenbaker who granted him a reprieve.
Three years after the Chernyski case, Diefenbaker earned himself the reputation as a defender of minority rights. He successfully assisted Saskatchewan’s small French-speaking community fight legislation requiring English as the sole language of instruction.
It was a dangerous case to take in Saskatchewan’s anti-French and anti-Catholic political climate — but take it he did precisely because he was offended by the law’s discriminatory nature. It was this same sense of outrage against discrimination that fuelled Diefenbaker’s passionate defence of his treasured Bill of Rights.
Criminal law taught Deifenbaker when to seize the moment and press his advantage. On one occasion he defended a telegraph operator charged with manslaughter for failing to warn a conductor of an oncoming troop train carrying Canadian soldiers to the Korean War. At one point, the prosecutor — a retired Canadian colonel by the name of Pepler — clumsily responded to a Diefenbaker objection by barking that the case was not “about the death of a few privates going to Korea.” The jury was visibly shocked at his perceived callousness. What he meant to say was that the telegraph operator was technically charged with the single death of a CNR employee and not with the deaths of the 17 soldiers who perished in the tragedy. Nevertheless, Diefenbaker turned the jury against Pepler by never missing a chance to remind the jury of his military antecedents. Diefenbaker won the case.
Diefenbaker was just as sharp seven years later when a newly minted Liberal leader by the name of Mike Pearson stood in the house and demanded that Diefenbaker’s government resign for its mishandling of the economy — meaning the reins of power be handed back to the Liberals without an election. Diefenbaker knew immediately he had his election issue. He pounded the Liberals for their arrogance for 10 days before dissolving parliament and, much like in 2011, the Conservatives returned with a commanding majority.
Unfortunately, Diefenbaker’s cunning failed him in 1966. As a young lawyer back in Wakaw in 1923, he knew how to spot and how to deal with the enemy. When in 1923 a big-city law firm from Prince Albert sent over an articling student to set up a law office in Wakaw — a student who started romancing Dief’s corporate clients — Diefenbaker immediately reported them to the Law Society for allowing their student to practise unsupervised. But he never saw Dalton Camp’s betrayal at the 1966 convention coming. His own party president asked for a leadership review behind the great man’s back. He lost and was replaced by Robert Stanfield.
If only Diefenbaker had been as guileful a politician as he was a lawyer.
This article was originally published at National Post on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 7:30 AM | By Sam Goldstein.
(November 23, 2018, 2:36 PM EST) — Do we need to make Canadian laws easier for people to commit suicide when they are terminally ill?
Audrey Parker, who took her own life in late October, thought so. The 57-year-old Haligonian and former image consultant had advocated that the two-year old assisted-suicide law be amended to allow the terminally ill to pre-approve assistance ending their lives.
Ms. Parker is quoted as stressing that the law had to be changed because anyone approved for medically assisted death must be conscious and mentally sound at the moment they grant their final consent for lethal injection.
She pointed out that she would have been denied her wish to end her life with medical assistance if she had been incapacitated by her advanced illness of the pain medication she was taking.
“Dying is a messy business,” she said.
Should parliamentarians accede to her request dying will become all that messier. The Counsel of Canadian Academics is submitting three reports to a parliamentary subcommittee studying the matter this December in favour of the issue.
Requiring a terminally ill person be conscious and of sound mind when consent is given was included in the legislation to protect the vulnerable. Allowing for the terminally ill to pre-approve their euthanasia opens the doors for the archetypical greedy children encouraging mom or dad to hand over their inheritance earlier rather than later. It precludes the dying from taking advantage of medical advances. A few years ago, AIDS was a death sentence; now people can live out their natural lives. It would not be moral to follow a person’s lethal instructions made yesterday when a cure is available today.
This is not the only assault on euthanasia fighting for easier access. Despite the public’s sympathy over the senseless and sad suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade this year, assisted suicide advocates to want the existing law to include chronic depression.
Listening to the public discussion on euthanasia requires a good session of mental flossing afterward.
There is no “Right to Die” as advocates often are fond of saying. Suicide was never a crime in Canada. Asking another person to help you exposed that person to culpable homicide. The Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter v. Canada 2016 SCC 4 decision eliminated that exposure by carving out an exception to allow adults with grievous and irremediable conditions to have physician-assisted suicides.
Ms. Parker would have been at liberty: To ask for help in committing suicide; to choose the time and place to end her life; and, to choose her means.
She passed peacefully in her own home by her own hand. And if she was concerned that her disease physically debilitated her from taking her own life and physically prevented her from any form of communicating her instructions, she could have arranged her affairs to include a “Do Not Resuscitate Order” or any other preventative directive that would have prolonged her life.
George Grant, one of Canada’s and the world’s deepest thinkers, located the origin of this debate as a problem of modernity. Technology gives us the ability to shape our world, but it cannot tell us whether it is good to do so. By limiting ourselves to asking whether we can, those on the side of progress align themselves with the side that answers yes.
In so doing, he wrote, technology becomes tyrannical, coming cozily and on cat’s feet “with the denial of the rights of the aged, the denial of the rights of the mentally retarded, the insane, and the economically less-privileged, it will come with the denial of rights to all those who cannot defend themselves.”
This article was originally published at Lawyer’s Daily on Friday, November 23, 2018 @ 2:36 PM | By Sam Goldstein.