Should you appeal your conviction or sentence?

It is no surprise that when someone is found guilty of a criminal offence they are rarely happy. A successful appeal of a conviction or sentence has to be grounded on an error of law. Did the trial judge apply the law incorrectly? Did the judge give the jury the wrong law? That the complainant was lying or the officer had it in for you, may not be enough to overturn the decision. If you wish to appeal the sentence, the question is whether the sentence that was given to you was very high, that it did not take into account mitigating facts, that is facts that were positive about you, such as you pled guilty, that you turned your life around after you were charged or that you made restitution, or your sentence was higher than your co-accused.

These are some of the issues that may support an appeal. However, an appeal court may not overturn the conviction and/or sentence despite these legal issues.

Please contact criminal appeal counsel such as Prince Law Office to get advice about your specific case.

Recent Successes


S. C.    Second Degree Homicide – Released on Bail  July 2023

S. R    Assault cause Bodily Harm – withdrawn July 2023

T. L.   Mischief Under, Utter Threats -Peace Bond May 2023

C. C.  Domestic Assault – withdrawn March 2023

S. G.  Sexual Assault withdrawn March 2023

A. A.  Sexual Assault – acquitted after OCJ trial March 2023

S. R. Assault, Breach of Recognizance -Peace Bond October 2022

P. W. Assault with Weapon, Unlawfully in Dwelling House, Utter Threats – acquitted after OCJ Trial September 2022

K. K.  Assault, Choking – withdrawn May 2022

J. B. Robbery, -withdrawn March 2022

M. G. Possession Over – withdrawn March 2022

J. M. (YO) charges of Robbery x 3, Theft Under, Fail to comply release orders charges withdrawn, plea to Theft Under ( July 2021)

K. L. Possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a firearm all charges withdrawn. (June 2021)

W. B. Sexual Assault x 2 acquitted on both charges (June 2021)

C. C.  Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (meth, cocaine), fail to comply with release order charges withdrawn (April 2021)

M. J. Accessory after the fact charge withdrawn (February 2021)

C.R. Sexual Assault x3, Sexual Interference x2, Invitation to Sexual Touching -acquitted (May 2020).

L.W. Sexual Assault stayed (February 2020).

S. S. Cannabis Act, charges withdrawn (December 2019).

M. P. Sexual Assault – acquittal after trial (September 2019).

T. L. Assault with Weapon, Possession of Weapon Dangerous -acquitted after trial (July 2019).

A. K. Assault with weapon x2 -charges withdrawn (April 2019).

B. G. Break, Enter and Commit, Possession of Property -charges withdrawn (April 2019).

Z.G. Possession of prohibited weapon, possession of loaded prohibited weapon, search warrant declared invalid (June 2018).

K. T. Sexual Assault, pled guilty to simple assault. (April 2018)

M. M. Robbery, Assault causing bodily harm-charges withdrawn (January 2018)

J.M. Theft Under, Possession of Controlled Substances (charges withdrawn) (July 2017)

Z.G. Possession of Controlled Substance (crystal meth) (acquittal) North Bay (February 2017)

A.G. Possession of controlled substance, utter threats (charges withdrawn) (February 2017)

Delay-The Jordan case

A recent case from Alberta has changed the way the criminal courts will look at delay. The Supreme court recognized that criminal charges affects the person charged, the victims and witnesses and society wanting a quick resolution of matters. Due to longer and more complex trials, self-represented persons, reduction of legal aid certificates and not enough courts and judges, trials are delayed months and years, with the accused person spending months and years on restrictive bail conditions.

Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 seeks to change all that.

Search warrants

There are four issues when assessing a search warrant under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or Criminal Code:
1. was the information supporting the Information to Obtain, credible, corroborated and compelling?
2. was evidence gathered in accordance to the Charter?
3. was the search warranted executed in accordance with the Charter??
4. where there any other Charter breaches?

How the search is conducted is important, did they go to the right place, at the right time?

After the search, defence counsel can challenge the manner of the search, whether the search should have been authorized and seek to exclude what was found in the seach, be it firearms, drugs, or other things.

If you have experienced a search warrant, contact our office as soon as possible.

When can the police search my car?

1. If you are stopped for drunk driving and you have alcohol visible

2. If you are stopped and there is drugs visible

3. If you are arrested for a Highway Traffic Act, Criminal Code, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charge(s) and the police seize your car.

4. If you consent to the search

Firearms and the Charter

In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) search warrants are being used more and more in investigations of gun possession. Often the search warrants are obtained when police officers are given information from confidential informants (usually citizens). A Justice of the Peace, usually hears the information and decides to grant or deny a search warrant for a particular place. Often, the police attend and find guns and drugs. Even if the search warrant should not have been provided the court may still admit the firearms and illegal drugs found from an illegal search.

Each case depends on its facts, the law, how police conducted their investigation and of course the decision maker. It is important to review all the evidence with your lawyer and provide any information (whether you think it is important or not), to defend your case.

Presumption of Innocence

There is always discussions about the role of the criminal justice system and how the courts go about finding a defendant responsible for their alleged crimes.

Until a defendant enters an informed guilty plea – stating I understand that I have done what the Crown has said I have done, I do not wish to challenge the evidence and I understand that I will be punished, everyone charged is presumed innocent.

Is this to let scoundrels get off on a technicality – No. This is the system for everyone charged in Canada. Why is it so you ask?

Imagine that you live in a small town. No one likes you because you are different. One day the well is filled with old tires and no one can get any drinking water. You and your family were sleeping when it happened, but who do you think would get blamed first? That is right, you would and no one would believe you no matter what you said and how often you denied it.

Is that fair? So instead of making you prove why you are innocent – proving a negative. Someone in the community has to prove a positive – who did it. This can be done using pictures, statements from others who did or did not see what happened, finger prints, foot prints, what ever is needed.

At the end of the day, if there is evidence, showing almost 100% a stranger did it, you will be found not guilty.

Is that not a better system?

Racial Profiling

There has been a lot of commentary in the media about racial profiling and carding by police. Which means that the police are focusing on a particular group or race, stopping and investigating these group members more than other groups. Recently, the police have been using these stops to gather information about members of the group, their friends and associates- that is carding them (filling out information). The police have stated that they need these investigative stops and information to know who is doing what for future cases.

Members of the group that the police focus on, are concerned and want profiling and carding to stop. Although, the Toronto Police Service have stopped the practice, municipalities such as Peel still card.

What does that mean for a community member. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that the you have a right to not be subject to unreasonable stops and searches, and you have a right to be told of why you are being stopped. However, the police have a right to investigate criminal matters that they are called about and to stop and investigate anyone, to find out if they are the culprit, or know something about the matter. Which means the police have a right to stop and investigate a particular matter.

If the police, are not investigating a particular recent offense, you have the right to not answer any questions, (such as providing your name or address) or to not consent to the search of your person (pockets, bags, knapsacks) and walk away.

You can ask the officer for their badge number and name, ask for their business card. If not provided to you, take a note of the squad car license plate, the time, date and area you are in.
With this information, you can make a complaint to the police division.