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Why Choose Erec Rolfe Defence

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you need an experienced criminal lawyer. The justice system can be daunting and scary. The prosecution’s case against you may appear strong, especially at the beginning. However, a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer can often dismantle the prosecution’s case. For example, key pieces of evidence might be ruled inadmissible, and effective cross-examination might expose that a witness is lying or unreliable.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer?

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you need an experienced criminal lawyer. The justice system can be daunting and scary. The prosecution’s case against you may appear strong, especially at the beginning. However, a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer can often dismantle the prosecution’s case. For example, key pieces of evidence might be ruled inadmissible, and effective cross-examination might expose that a witness is lying or unreliable.

Representing yourself is strongly discouraged.

You should have representation at every stage of the process, from the beginning to the end of your case, including your arrest, your bail hearing, negotiations with the prosecutor and your trial. A skilled lawyer will fight for you at every stage of the proceedings. It is important to understand what can, cannot and should not be done at each stage of the process. For that, you need an experienced defence lawyer.

Should I Speak to the Police?

No.

If you have been charged with a crime, you will naturally want to tell your side of the story. We get it. When you are accused of something, you want to set the record straight.

Don’t do it.

Let us say that again: Do. Not. Speak. To. Police.

You will have your chance to tell your side later.  First, you will tell your lawyer.  Your lawyer, knowing the evidence against you, will then advise you whether you should testify at your trial, and explain the pros and cons of doing so.

You should not speak to the police because: (1) Telling your side will not result in the charges being dropped. You will not convince the police that you are innocent. There is nothing to gain. (2) The police are not on your side. They are not trying to help you, even if it seems that way. (3) You do not know what the police know. They are allowed to lie to you. You might make statements against your interest to explain things they said to you that are not even true.

The police have many tactics to get you to speak, and they can be very good at it. It is very important to get advice about the tactics you can expect, before the police question you . A lawyer simply telling you to not give a statement is insufficient. You need comprehensive advice.  For more information on speaking to the police, see our blog post.

The police breached my rights - what now?

If the police breached your rights, you will want to seek a “remedy” in court. The most frequent remedy is the exclusion of evidence. For example, if the police illegally searched your home and found drugs, you will seek to exclude the drugs from evidence. With no drugs in evidence, there can be no conviction for possessing them.

It is important to know that not every breach of your Charter rights will result in the exclusion of evidence. Once you establish that the police breached your rights, the judge then has to consider whether he or she will exclude the evidence or admit it into evidence, despite the breach. In this assessment (under s. 24(2) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms), the court will weigh three factors: the seriousness of police conduct, the impact of that breach on you, and society’s interest in seeing cases decided based on all of the evidence.

We have extensive experience with Charter litigation, including cases with search warrants.

I admitted I was guilty to the police - is there anything I can do?

If you have made a confession to the police (or any other statements that are harmful to your defence), there may be a solution.  You may be able to get the statement excluded from evidence. There are two ways to do this. First, the police may have breached your Charter rights in order to obtain the statement. If they did, this can result in your statement not going into evidence. 

Second, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any statement to police is voluntary. If the statement was the result of a threat or promise, it may be ruled involuntary. For example, if the police said they would go easy on you if you talk to them, or that it will help you get bail, these would be inducements. If the police told you that if you don’t speak to them, they will charge a friend or family member, that would be a threat. 

We have successfully argued for the exclusion of many harmful statements made by our clients. However, this is a good time to remind you that this result is not guaranteed and therefore, just as we mentioned above, you should never speak to the police.

Darren F, 2020

Mr. Rolfe impressed me from the first moment he represented my son. He was extremely knowledgeable, thorough, and professional. The matter went all the way to a trial and it was scary, stressful time. Our family was so nervous. We always felt well protected, and represented by Mr. Rolfe (Erec). We did not feel that way with the first lawyer. His skills in the courtroom were something else. He’s a pro. Highly recommended.

 

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