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From the straightforward to the most complicated and serious, your case gets our full attention. We keep up to the minute on the latest developments in criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence. You get the benefit of our experience, our record of success, and our dedication.
Here is what a couple of our recent clients have said of Stuart O'Connell as their defence lawyer:
“Encyclopedic knowledge of the law.”
"I love you, Stuart, but I never want to see you again.”
Of course, not every case ends with the charges being withdrawn or the accused being found not guilty on every charge. Here is where you need experienced counsel to ensure you are treated fairly and reasonably.
"I can't thank you enough, Stuart, for all you did for me. God Bless you!"
THE O'CONNELL LAW GROUP'S record of success speaks for itself, even in the most serious and complex cases.
It is in drug cases, perhaps more than any other area, that the laws of search and seizure come into play. Searches and seizures by police or government officials must be conducted in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If they are not, the evidence obtained may be excluded. Understanding how our Constitution applies to search and seizures is vital. We are leaders in this area of law.
There are various ways to avoid criminal convictions for drug offences. In some instances, such as minor drug offences, the Crown may withdraw the charges if the accused participates in a diversion program. A lawyer can help advocate for diversion on your behalf. For more serious drug offences, if the defence can establish that the police entrapped the accused, the charges against the accused will be put aside (stayed is the legal term). And of course an accused cannot be convicted if he or she lacked the requisite mental element for the offence, such as knowledge that the item was in his or her possession or control. We can help you navigate through these charges.
Assault is the intentional application of force without consent. The police are often called to respond quickly to information that an assault has occurred. Sometimes they charge the wrong individual. People involved in an altercation will often blame each other. And in some cases, individuals are charged for using force in self-defence. Whatever the circumstances, nobody wants messy, difficult assault charges left hanging. Our experience enables us to sort out and deal with even serious assault charges with reasonable speed.
Few accusations carry more stigma than those that relate to sex offences.
Obviously, if you are charged with a sex crime you want to make sure that your defence puts all the relevant facts and the law before the court. That’s what we do.
We are experienced at defending individuals charged with all types of sex offences. Many of these types of cases go to trial, where a detailed knowledge of the rules of evidence, trial procedure, and trial advocacy is key. Our record of success speaks for itself, even in the most serious and complex cases.
Inmates have a right to a hearing before a parole board at specific times during their confinement. They become eligible for day parole after serving one sixth of their sentence and full parole after serving one third. At the parole hearing, the inmate may be accompanied by an assistant, including a lawyer.
The decision whether to parole an inmate is made by the National Parole Board for federal inmates (those serving a sentence of two years or more) and the Ontario Parole and Earned Remission Board for provincial inmates (those serving a sentence of less than two years).
No one wants to spend unnecessary time in prison. Nearly eight out of 10 decisions by the Ontario Board result in parole being denied. Strong representation before the Parole Board greatly increases your chance of success. We work to ensure that you or your loved one has the best chance to gain his or her liberty. We work with case-management officers, parole supervisors, community resource people, and psychologists (where appropriate) to ensure that the strongest plan for your release is presented to the Parole Board. As well, we attend your parole hearing and help explain clearly why you should be paroled, and suggest reasonable conditions for your release.
If you have been arrested and the Crown opposes your release before trial, the law requires that you be brought before a Justice as soon as possible (but within 24 hours) for a bail hearing. The bail hearing will usually occur in the Ontario Court of Justice. For certain types of very serious offences, such as murder, the bail hearing will be held at the Superior Court of Justice. These types of bail hearings are more complex, and can last a number of days.
Depending on the circumstances, sometimes the onus is on the Crown to establish that your detention is necessary. In other instances, the accused must establish that his or her detention is not required. We do meticulous preparation to help structure the most appropriate plan of supervision for the accused during her/his release.
Unless the Crown agrees not to contest the release of the accused a full bail hearing will occur. In such cases, facts need to be gathered, checked, assessed, appropriate sureties contacted and interviewed and documents assembled, all in a short time. We work fast and effectively to ensure that on the day of your bail hearing the best evidence and the most compelling arguments supporting your release are presented.
We view our role as helping the Court understand why releasing you or your loved one from custody is not only the lawful decision but also the decision in which justice is best done.
Drinking and Driving Offences
Drinking and driving is a serious social problem. This is a problem that the criminal law seeks to address.
The law strives to be fair. This means that even if you are arrested for a drinking and driving offence, it’s up to the Crown to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the offence has been committed. It’s not enough for them to rely on the fact that you provided a breath sample indicating a blood-alcohol level beyond the permissible range.
The timing of the demand for a breath sample, whether the breath device was properly functioning, and whether the Constitutional right to counsel was respected are just some of the issues which may lead to your successful defence.
You should retain counsel at your earliest opportunity. Those who wish to enter a plea of guilty should note that the timing of the guilty plea can affect the sentence.
Purging Your Information from Police Databanks
Even if you have been acquitted of criminal charges or the criminal charges against you have been withdrawn by the Crown, there is more to do.
You will likely want to have non-conviction information about yourself (record of arrest, fingerprints, photographs, etc.) purged from police data banks. This type of information can be potentially damaging to your ability to travel and it can harm your employment prospects.
Our legal experts know how information is shared among police forces, as well as the process by which information can be purged from police databanks, and what information and files particular police organizations might possess about you.
US Waiver of Inadmissibility
If you have been convicted of a criminal conviction you may be ineligible to enter the United States. If that is the case you will need to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility in order to travel there. We deal with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and know the law regarding waivers of inadmissibility. Our applications for a waiver of inadmissibility are second to none: detailed, persuasive, and highlighting those facts which give you the best chance at admission into the United States.
In order to commit fraud, one must
The more common way of expressing these terms is by recognizing that the accused must commit a dishonest act—established by proof of deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means—that deprives a victim of one of the items listed in the section. It is these two elements—dishonesty and deprivation—that are at the heart of the offence of fraud.
We have successfully defended fraud charges arising out of a wide variety of circumstances, and involving small sums of money to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There are various forms of homicide, including manslaughter and murder.
Murder is the most serious form of culpable homicide and one of the most serious offences a person can commit. The minimum sentence for the offence of murder is life imprisonment. Murder and manslaughter trials are typically complex, and require careful attention to the evidence and skilled cross-examination of experienced homicide detectives.
Prior to trial there are typically a number of pretrial applications and hearings.
When the stakes are this high, you want a legal team you can rely on—a team with experience in complex criminal litigation. That is us.
Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux points to security footage from Garden restaurant where suspects in a homicide investigation are shown entering together.