Thursday, December 13, 2018

Finding a Toronto Lawyer to Fight for Your Rights


December 17, 2010  

Toronto is a big, modern city in the big, modern, growing Province of Ontario. As with any modern city in the industrialized/computerized Western world, there are many laws, rules and regulations to live by. There are also many criminal defence attorneys to retain if you get into trouble. Still, finding a lawyer to fight for your rights, rather than just play “Let’s Make a Deal” with Crown prosecutors, will take a little time and effort. Here are some of the things you need to know.

You will certainly want to get a creative, experienced and hardworking lawyer on your side. As you start reading attorneys’ ads, getting referrals from friends and business colleagues, checking lawyer registries and doing some online research, look for attorneys that have a history of aggressively representing their clients and who appear to demonstrate, in words and actions, an honest commitment to success. You can measure success in many ways (how many cases won, how many settled out of court to client advantage, awards and honors, good press, etc.) so decide on what’s most important to your decision and take good notes.

Broad capabilities

When you are arrested on a criminal offence (drugs, theft, weapons, fraud, etc.) you naturally want a lawyer with a lot of experience in trying criminal cases, who knows enough to raise every possible defence and is able to present all viable arguments on your behalf. The only goal your lawyer should have is a successful conclusion to your case, so you need one that inspires confidence and is able to reduce the pressures that accompany criminal prosecutions. You need to establish in your mind, from referrals and a personal meeting, that your attorney has these essential qualities.

However, you also will want your advocate to bring an abundance of other resources and skills to your case. Because criminal trials can be overwhelming experiences for normally law-abiding citizens, your attorney may need to assist you with the various psychological, emotional, social and financial ramifications of a criminal charge and trial. You may be able to develop this information from your research (Internet, phone, library, referrals, etc.), but make no decision until you meet with your top several prospects. A personal connection is vitally important.

Various attributes

Your best bet may be a Toronto lawyer who has practised criminal law exclusively in Ontario. A lawyer that has tried criminal cases at all court levels in Ontario will have not only his expertise in criminal defence work to rely on, but a large network of contacts from all areas of the legal landscape. If you have an aggressive trial advocate that also knows judges, prosecutors, police personnel, expert witnesses, court clerks and others in the justice system, you are probably looking at a lawyer with a reputation for winning, in and out of court. If your case cannot be resolved to your satisfaction through pre-trial negotiations, you then want the experience, intelligence and skill of a proven litigator on your side.

You may seek other attributes in your attorney, of course. If your case involves a lot of intricacies and/or is inordinately complex, your lawyer should be a true master of detail who can dig up every viable legal defence on your behalf, and have the wherewithal to do the mounds of reading and mountains of research needed to prevail. If there are questions in your case about searches, seizures, your rights as a defendant and the presumption of innocence, you will also want your lawyer to be dedicated to safeguarding the rights of the individual (in this case, you). If you cannot find out any other way, ask prospective lawyers about their viewpoints on these matters when you schedule a (usually no-fee) consultation.

Bottom line

If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario and need legal advice that you can count on, review this article and start doing your research. (You may need the information later, or even sooner, so you might want to bookmark or copy this article, too.) Do not forget that you can get reports on attorney misconduct from the Ontario or Canadian Bar Associations, both of which are easily located on the Web. You can also search newspaper and magazine archives, or visit one of the many Web sites that rate and review professional services, including all types of attorneys. Do your homework, get some referrals, go speak with three or four different lawyers and then make your choice and dig in. If you want lawyers to fight for you, you will need to show them that you are ready to fight, too.

Kostman Pyzer is a criminal defence law firm serving clients in the Greater Toronto area and elsewhere in the province of Ontario since 1983. Not every toronto lawyer is created equal. We are creative, experienced and hardworking. We pride ourselves on our aggressive representation of clients and our relentless commitment to success. Visit us online today.

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