FAQ - Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman

If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, you probably (and understandably) have a lot of questions. Here, we will try to answer some of the most common ones; this is not and should never be considered a substitute for solid, competent legal representation, but we hope to provide some information to help you better understand what will happen as your criminal case unfolds.

I’ve been arrested. Can I get out on bail?

Bail is basically a promise, backed by collateral (usually in the form of money), that you will return to court to face the charges against you. Cash bail may be posted to cover the amount, and if the defendant is exonerated at the end of the case, the defendant receives a check for the entire amount posted However, it is much more common for the court to seek a “surety” – someone who knows you well and is willing to supervise you while you are out on bail to ensure that you comply with all the conditions the court might impose. This person will be asked to pledge a certain amount of money and to prove that those assets are available (though they will generally not be asked to post cash up front). Any defendant held in custody is entitled to a bail hearing to decide whether he or she should be released on bail; a criminal defence attorney can represent you at this hearing and work to secure your release so that you can go on with your life while you await your trial.

I have been falsely accused. Do I need a defence lawyer?

In a word, yes. The police and the justice system can make mistakes, but even if you are confident in your innocence, the charge against you is very real, and the prosecutor will work diligently to convict you. You don’t have to face this ordeal alone. An experienced criminal lawyer can be your ally, representing you in court and mounting the strongest possible defence.
The person who called the police does not want to press charges. Does that means I’m off the hook?
Not necessarily. While some charges may be dismissed if the victim chooses not to press charges, the police may choose to pursue the charges anyway. Consult an experienced criminal defence lawyer to discuss your options.

Doesn’t the government provide me with a lawyer?

In Canada, anyone charged with a crime has the right to be represented by legal counsel. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be provided with access to an Ontario Legal Aid certificate if you meet the financial and procedural eligibility criteria. At Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, we accept Legal Aid certificates on a case-by-case basis for certain offences, depending on the circumstances.

I was arrested for DUI. Can I plead guilty without a lawyer?

You can, but it is not advised. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to assess your case and help you decide whether pleading guilty is really your best option. For example, your lawyer may be able to use his knowledge of the criminal law to identify police misconduct in your case; this can result in having key evidence or charges thrown out. He or she may also be able to negotiate a plea bargain, which can result in reduced charges or a less severe sentence.

How do I choose a lawyer?

One of the most important factors in choosing a lawyer is specific expertise. Not all lawyers practice criminal law. Just as you wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your car, neither should you hire a real estate lawyer or a family lawyer to defend your criminal case. You want someone with extensive experience in cases like yours, with a strong track record of success.

Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman: Criminal Defence Lawyers On Your Side

The Law Firm of Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman is committed to providing the highest standards of legal defence for individuals and corporations charged with criminal offences. Collectively, this team of lawyers has decades of experience in all areas of criminal law, including conducting trials and arguing cases at all levels of court in Ontario as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada. They represent those who find themselves facing criminal charges, and they also provide legal assistance to other lawyers and firms in a variety of legal areas (such as immigration or family law) when those matters cross the line into the criminal arena. They have established reputations within the Ontario legal community for their commitment to justice and unwavering dedication to professionalism. For a free initial telephone consultation, contact Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman at 5000 Yonge St, Suite 1708, Toronto ON M2N 7E9, or by calling (416) 365-3151.