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SERVICES

BAIL

Anyone charged with a criminal offence is constitutionally presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The corollary to that is that accused persons have the constitutional right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause, at the earliest opportunity and on the least onerous conditions possible.  If you are taken into custody, Laura can advise you on your rights and can help you develop a bail plan to increase your chances of being released.  She will advocate for you in court.  If you are detained, she will apply for your release at the earliest opportunity.  If you are released, she will apply for variations to your Release Order if they become necessary.

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION

Often, matters can be resolved without having to proceed to trial.  Laura will negotiate with the Crown on your behalf to get the best result for you.  Sometimes, the Crown will withdraw or stay charges when defence counsel successfully argues that there are legal or evidentiary issues with a charge or that it is not in the public interest to proceed with charges.  Other times, defence counsel can persuade the Crown to drop some of the charges or take a guilty plea to a less serious offence.  Still other times, in response to a letter from defence counsel, the Crown may elect to proceed with a peace bond or alternative measures instead of criminal charges.  Resolution discussions often result in faster completion of the court process and increased certainty of outcome.

 

TRIAL

If you have a legal defence to a charge, or if a reasonable resolution cannot be reached with Crown counsel, Laura will take the matter to trial in either the Provincial or Supreme Court of British Columbia.  She will hold the Crown to proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the offence you have been charged with.  She will raise all evidentiary and legal issues relevant to your case.  She will cross-examine Crown witnesses to expose any motive to fabricate or any weaknesses in their evidence.  You as the accused person cannot be compelled to testify, but Laura will advise you as to whether it would be beneficial in your case.  If you do testify, or if you have other witnesses who will testify, Laura will prepare you and any other witnesses to give clear, compelling, relevant evidence.  

SENTENCING

If you have pleaded guilty or been found guilty after trial, Laura will advocate for you at a sentencing hearing to get the most beneficial sentence for you.  She will spend time with you to learn about your background, your current circumstances, your plans for the future and and steps you have taken such as counselling or treatment since the date of the incident giving rise to the charges.  If the Crown is relying on facts at the sentencing that have not been proven in court and that you do not admit, Laura will hold the Crown to proof of those facts beyond a reasonable doubt and will cross-examine the Crown's sentencing witnesses to test their credibility and reliability.  

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