When to plead guilty?

The recent case Regina v. Muzzo s an example of an accused person pleading guilty before he has had a bail hearing or perhaps seen much of the Crown’s case. The Crown’s case or disclosure is the information the Crown has to prosecute the case. This may include witness statements, photographs, videos, statement by the accused person. Remember any statements you make will always be used against you – that is to make the case of the Crown stronger. Often an accused pleads guilty, to get it over with. They are tired of going to court and waiting for hours.

But pleading guilty may get you short term relief but long term trouble. With a criminal record, you may not be able to volunteer at your kid’s school or coach your daughter’s basketball team. You might have difficulty crossing the border (especially for drugs) or even getting the job you are over-qualified for. Your criminal record, will be forever unless you get a record suspension, which are only for certain charges.If you are told you will receive a fine, or suspended sentence, probation or weekends, remember these are all criminal convictions.

Before thinking of pleading guilty, contact our office at 416-469-3443 and we will review your disclosure with you or you can speak to duty counsel in the court that you are in. It is important that you do not rush into anything just to get it over with.

Cheque Fraud

Lately, I have been getting young women clients who have been given cheques to cash for a couple hundred dollars, although the cheques are usually a lot more. These young women cash these cheques either at their own bank or through cheque cashing places using their own identification. A few days later, the bank discovers that these cheques are fraudulent. The bank calls the police and these young women are charged with Fraud, Utter Forged Documents, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime. The people who have given them the cheques are long gone and their cell phone numbers are disconnected.

So these young women face possible jail time and a criminal record. They are often asked to pay back the money if the cheque has been cashed.

Remember you can not get something for nothing. Do not be a part of this scam ! Do not jeopardize your freedom.