In 2018, for the 4th consecutive year in a row, police-reported crime in Canada has increased. Specifically, Fraud has risen by 13%, Sexual Assault is up 15%, and Shoplifting Under $5,000 is up 14%. In total, over 2 million Criminal Code incidents were reported in 2018.
If you or your loved ones need a criminal law firm quickly in Canada, the process may be overwhelming at first. However, finding a Canadian law firm that best suits your needs is now easier than ever, with increasingly available information on the internet. Many lawyers also offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to give them a call.
Types of Criminal Law Cases
- Assault and Threatening Charges– includes Assault, Assault Causing Bodily Harm, Assault with a Weapon, Domestic Assault, and Uttering a Threat.
- Driving Charges – include Dangerous Driving, Driving While Prohibited, Hit and Run, Immediate Roadside Prohibitions, Impaired Driving, and Motor Vehicle Violation Tickets.
- Drug Charges – include Trafficking and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession, Drug Production, and Cannabis Act Offences.
- Theft and Fraud Charges – include Insurance Fraud, Shoplifting/Theft Under $5,000, Theft or Fraud over $5,000, Commercial Crime, and Employee Theft.
- Tax Charges – include Tax Evasion, Filing a False or Misleading Statement, or Failure to File.
- Murder and Other Serious Offences– includes Murder, Manslaughter, and Attempted Murder.
- Sexual Offences – include Sexual Assault and Sexual Interference.
- Weapons Offences – include Possession of Prohibited or Restricted Firearms and Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose.
- Bail Hearings and Bail Reviews– include Pardons (Record Suspensions) and
Where to Find Criminal Law Firms
The sheer amount of Canadian law firms available may be overwhelming at first, but various websites can greatly simplify the process.
A handy search for Canadian criminal lawyers, by name, city, region, language, firm, or postal code, is available on the website for Canada’s Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA). As Canada’s largest criminal law association, they are the “leading voice for criminal justice and civil liberties in Canada.” They are conveniently located in downtown Toronto, at 189 Queen Street East, Suite 1.
Another useful website is HG.org, which was founded in 1995 to make law-related assistance and information easily accessible to the public. It is now one of the largest non-subscription legal information websites in the world. It includes a directory of law firms in 195 countries and 5,000 cities. Clients can easily search by geographic area, country, city, state, province, and type of practice. Canadian criminal law firms are among those easily searchable by city and province.
A third option is the Find Law Canada website, which lists criminal law firms by cities, regions, and provinces.
In addition, local bar association websites are often helpful in finding criminal law firms. For example, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) represents 36,000 Canadian lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers and law students. 13 provincial and territorial branches are available, each with their own website.
For economically disadvantaged clients who need subsidized help, Legal Aid is an option. Each province and territory has their own specific website as well. Currently, the Canadian government contributes $128 million per year toward legal aid, and is currently adding an additional $88 million for criminal legal aid.
Finally, word of mouth referrals are often the best way to find a lawyer. Ask your friends, relatives, and co-workers for recommendations.
How to Choose the Perfect Criminal Law Firm
Choosing the perfect criminal law firm may appear overwhelming at first, but asking certain questions during your interview process will simplify the decision significantly.
- What is the lawyer’s experience in the matter?
- How are their fees structured?
- How long have they been practicing criminal law?
- Can they provide client references?
After the meeting, the most important issue should be one’s comfort level. Are you comfortable with this particular lawyer? Do you believe that they will provide the best possible service? Do they inspire confidence? If the answer is no, it is best to continue interviewing candidates.
Choosing Between Small and Large Criminal Law Firms
A final choice that must be made when choosing a criminal law firm is whether to choose a small firm, or a large corporation.
- Small Firms – Small criminal law firms, often called boutique firms, tend to carry smaller caseloads. This allows them to offer more personalized services.
- Large Firms – Larger firms, on the other hand, have a great deal more people working on your case, which can mean a great deal more expertise.
Problems with Criminal Law Firms
In the unlikely event that one has a problem with a criminal law firm, and the problem cannot be resolved, it is possible to make a complaint to the Law Society.
Criminal law firms are available in every major city throughout Canada and finding the perfect one is now easier than ever, with the numerous websites on the internet, which have simplified the process significantly.