Bradford Criminal Defence Lawyer
Criminal Defence Lawyers Bradford
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, it is advisable to contact a criminal defence lawyer immediately. Most criminal defence lawyers will offer a free consultation. At Daley, Byers Criminal Lawyers, we most certainly provide a free consultation for any person facing a criminal charge or criminal investigation.
The criminal defence lawyers at Daley Byers will provide experience and dedicated legal representation in the Bradford area. Our Criminal Defence Team is available round-the-clock. 24/7 availability means you get the assistance you need from a criminal lawyer, when you need it. Timing can be crucial for a successful criminal defence.
The Criminal Charge Process: Thing you need to know!
There are many stages in process of a criminal charge.
Every criminal charge starts with a Police investigation. The investigation is usually initiated by a complainant, a victim, a witness or in some cases the police. If you know or suspect that you are the subject of a police investigation that could lead to a criminal charge, you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately. The advice provided to you could result in the criminal charge being avoided altogether, or the inability of the Crown to prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt at trial. It is important to realize that when the Police are conducting an investigation they are not necessarily your best friend. They will attempt to obtain admissions from you that will assist with the prosecution of the criminal charge.
It is also important to know that you are under no obligation to talk to the Police at any time and the exercise of your right to remain silent does not make it look like you are guilty. If you are contacted by the police, you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately, review the circumstances with that criminal lawyer, and have the lawyer contact and gather as much information from the Police before anything else takes place. Although most of the time, the proper and safest advice is that a person under investigation should exercise their right to remain silent rather than provide a statement to the Police, in some instances providing full disclosure to the Police can prove beneficial. At Daley, Byers Criminal Lawyers we have sometimes (after we have spoken to the Police) advised our clients to provide a statement and make full disclosure resulting in the Police deciding not to proceed with a criminal charge at all.
- Detention and/or Arrest
Upon arrest or detention the police must advise the accused promptly of the reasons for the arrest or detention; and the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. (There is a notable exception and that is the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay when a demand for a roadside breath sample is made and there is little or no delay required for the test to be taken.)
The accused must be provided with the immediate opportunity to speak to a lawyer of their own choice, or if they do not have a lawyer, the accused can exercise the option to speak to duty counsel – a free lawyer provided by the government. It is important to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as the opportunity is presented, in order to get the legal advice needed to protect your interests. Note, that if your lawyer of choice is not available, and the Police are able to leave a voice mail, they must wait a reasonable period of time for your lawyer to call back. It is important that you take advantage of the right to speak to a criminal lawyer immediately before providing any information to the police. A criminal lawyer will provide you with the advice you need so that you need so that you do not voluntarily provide information that could incriminate you down the road. If you do not have a criminal lawyer, you are still entitled to call your lawyer of choice. Your lawyer may be able to provide you with the name of a criminal lawyer to call. The police will then have to attempt to contact that criminal lawyer if you make the request.
Daley Byers Criminal Lawyers are available 24 hours a day and will respond promptly.
- Bail – Judicial Interim Release – The next step after arrest
Bail is the next step in the criminal charge process. Judicial interim release simply means the terms (restrictions) that a person is subject to while awaiting trial or final disposition of the criminal charge.
The least restrictive release is a “Promise to Appear”. An individual can also be released from the Police station on an undertaking issued by the Officer in Charge. On many occasions, an accused will sign an undertaking just to obtain release rather than be held in jail pending a bail hearing. Unfortunately, the restrictions imposed by the officer are often greater than those that a court would have imposed. The process to change the provisions in an undertaking can be rather simple with the consent of the Crown or more complicated without Crown consent where a motion has to be made before a Judge. Finally, there is the case where the accused is held for a bail hearing.
Bail hearings are extremely important, both from a release perspective but also as the first opportunity to gain some insight into the strength of the Crown’s case. It is important that an accused person be released pending trial. It just makes the preparation of the defence with your criminal lawyer so much easier. (The meetings will be held in an office rather than a jail facility) The restrictive conditions must also be held to a minimum so that there is no likelihood of a possible breach of the bail, and so that the accused person can have as much freedom as possible.
Bail provisions can also be varied. Again, the process is relatively simple where the Crown consents to the variation requested by the criminal lawyer representing the accused. If the Crown will not consent to a bail variation, a bail review application must be made in Superior Court. Bail Review can also be launched where the accused has been ordered detained at the initial bail hearing.
Note: Failing to comply with any condition of bail is a separate offence and often (but not always) will result in a short jail sentence if convicted. Fail to comply with an Undertaking or Recognizance s. 145(1) Criminal Code
Summary of Bail:
- Promise to Appear
- Release on a police undertaking
- Bail hearing
- Bail variations on consent of the Crown
- Bail review applications when the Crown refuses to consent to a variation
- Bail review application to challenge an initial detention order
- Estreat – if accused does not comply the amount pledged is subject to forfeiture
Factors that influence release or detention at a bail hearing
- Severity of the crime
- Criminal record
- Outstanding warrants
- Community involvement and character of the accused
- Safety risk
- Flight risk
- Quality of the surety – ability to supervise the accused
- Financial commitment by way of bond
- Terms of restriction to minimize flight and safety risk
Estreat: When an amount of money is pledged as part of the bail, that amount can be forfeited to the court on application of the Crown for estreat if the accused fails to show in court, or fails to follow the restrictive terms contained in a recognizance of bail.
Fail to Comply with Undertaking or Recognizance of bail s.245(1):
If the accused violates the bail conditions, he/she can be charged with an additional criminal charge of fail to comply with recognizance of bail. A conviction can often result in a jail term especially in cases where the order that has been breached was made by a Judge. Breaches of Court orders are taken very seriously. Note – There are defences that can be employed to justify a breach of bail conditions.
Daley, Byers Criminal Lawyers and bail
Handling bail hearings effectively is essential to a good defence. The criminal lawyers at Daley Byers have extensive experience with all the issues that arise in the context of bail (judicial interim release). With respect to all criminal charges in Bradford, the bail hearings are conducted at the Barrie Court Monday through Friday. On weekends and holidays Bradford bail matters are conducted in Newmarket.
- The first court date (next step in the process of a criminal charge)
The next important stage in the in the prosecution of a criminal charge is the first court date. Although the disclosure (all of the anticipated evidence of the prosecution) can sometimes be obtained prior to the first court date it is normally provided to the accused or his representative (criminal lawyer) on that attendance. It should be noted that if the accused retains a criminal lawyer he/she will not have to attend the first court date if a designation is executed authorizing their criminal lawyer to attend on their behalf. There is no need for the accused to attend in person as this attendance is primarily administrative in nature. At Daley, Byers Criminal Lawyers we attend court for our clients so that they can attend to their normal daily functions. At the Bradford Court, all first date attendances occur on the Thursday of each week.
- Review of Disclosure (next step in the defence of a criminal charge)
Upon receipt of disclosure it is important for the criminal lawyer and client to review it in detail. The disclosure will provide a precise synopsis of all the anticipated evidence available for the Crown prosecution. It is important to note that just because the disclosure provides detail of the allegations, that does not mean that the evidence at trial will come out the same way. Often times the evidence is dramatically different at trial. In addition, the disclosure will sometimes contain copies of 911 tapes, in car video, all video taken of the accused including cell video, sally port video, booking video, video of statements and video of statements made by complainants. The proper and careful review of the disclosure is crucial to the defence of any criminal charge.
- Meeting with the Crown Attorney
After a careful review of disclosure the next step in the judicial process is to conduct what is called a Crown pre-trial. This is simply a meeting the Crown attorney and your criminal lawyer to discuss whether the case can be resolved or whether it is likely to go to trial. The weaknesses of the Crown’s case are sometimes but not always disclosed. There is no point is disclosing a problem with the Crown’s case, if it can be fixed. ie. a mere oversight. These meetings can be very fruitful as it is possible at this point to completely resolve the criminal charge at this time or at the very least plant the seeds for the defence strategy moving forward.
- Judicial Pretrial
A judicial pretrial is a meeting with a Judge (not the trial judge), the Crown and the criminal defence lawyer. This meeting has a 2-fold purpose. Firstly, the issue of resolution is discussed including the strength of the Crown’s case, the antecedents of the accused, and the Judge’s perspective on a finding of guilt after a guilty plea or trial. If the accused agrees to enter a plea, it can be done before the pre-trial judge if both parties agree. The 2nd purpose of a judicial pre-trial is to discuss the number of witnesses, the potential triable issues and to estimate the time for trial. When represented by a criminal lawyer the accused does not take part in the Judicial pretrial process. An unrepresented accused can have a pre-trial in open court. In Bradford, the judicial pretrials are held on the Thursday of each week.
The final step of the prosecution of a criminal charge is the trial. At the trial, the Crown will call their witnesses first. There is usually an order excluding witnesses so that the evidence of one witness cannot be influence by the evidence of another witness. The crown must prove the criminal charge beyond reasonable doubt. This is a high threshold. After the evidence of the Crown has been presented the accused can chose to present evidence of the defence or not.
If the accused choses to call evidence; the Judge must decide:
- If the evidence of the accused is true, then there must be a not guilty ruling
- If the evidence of the accused could be true, then there must be a not guilty ruling
- If the evidence of the accused is untrue – then the judge must decide if the evidence presented by the Crown is sufficient to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. If not the accused must still be found not guilty.
Trials involve a constant evolution of tactics. It is important that the accused be an integral part of all decisions that are made on his/her behalf. A successful defence requires a total team effort. The accused person must have a high level of confidence and trust in his criminal lawyer.
Areas of Practice
The professional law team at Daley Byers can build a successful defence against virtually any criminal charge.
Some the areas of expertise include:
- Sex offenses – sex assault, sexual interference, all child pornography charges, child luring, distribution of intimate images
- Drug charges- possession; trafficking; production
- All Driving Charges – DUI; Dangerous driving; Refuse breath sample; Fail to Stop at the Scene of an Accident; impaired driving
- Domestic offences – assault; mischief; threatening; unlawful confinement, criminal harassment, distribution of intimate images
- Firearms and weapons
- Young offenders
- All Other criminal charges
At Daley Byers Criminal Lawyers
“Winning is everything”