Top Reasons to Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer Even if You’re Innocent

Imagine that the Ontario Provincial Police have charged you with a criminal offence – a mid-level offence under Canada’s Criminal Code, punishable by potential imprisonment if convicted – suppose further that you are innocent of the crime. How should you set about defending yourself from the charges, and should you hire a criminal defence lawyer even though you’re innocent?

Canada’s judicial system allows criminal defendants to defend themselves without legal representation. However, no matter the basis of your innocence, we suggest you carefully consider the potential limitations of defending yourself. While you have undoubtedly seen courtroom dramas in movies and on TV, your understanding of criminal procedure, evidence rules, and common defence strategies is likely limited. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage as your case progresses towards a conclusion. At the very least, you should talk to the court’s duty counsel before deciding whether to defend yourself.

Duty counsel will not represent you in court, but offer free legal advice. By talking to duty counsel, you can better assess what you may be getting into by defending yourself. Along with a limited understanding of the law and court procedure, consider these other reasons why you should hire a criminal defence lawyer even if you are innocent:

1. Your Lawyer Will Assess the Grounds Supporting the Arrest

If you know you are innocent, why are the police convinced you committed the offence, and on what basis did they lay the charge(s)?Answering these two questions is among the first tasks a criminal defence lawyer typically addresses. Criminal charges must be based on “reasonable and probable grounds.” Given the subjectivity of reasonable and probable grounds, police sometimes make arrests based on weak ones.

If your lawyer can prove that the arrest lacked such reasonable and probable grounds, the charge(s) will likely be dropped, withdrawn, or stayed, which marks a successful outcome from the get-go. As a layman, you may not be able to effectively assess and challenge the reasonable and probable grounds supporting the arrest. Thus, your defence lawyer’s work in this regard can sometimes prove invaluable.

In addition, even if the grounds support the charge(s), your lawyer now has greater insight into why police believed that you committed the offence and the basis for the charge(s). This insight gives your lawyer with the initial ammunition to strategize a robust defence.

2. Ensure Your Charter Rights Have Been Protected

Your criminal defence lawyer comprehensively understands the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As such, your lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected and that you can take advantage of these rights in the context of criminal procedure.

Your lawyer will likely advise you to exercise your Section 11(c) Charter Right to remain silent. Your lawyer will also examine all elements of the arrest and Crown’s case to assess whether any of your rights may have been violated during the investigation, arrest, and processing.

Charter Rights violations and police procedural mistakes provide your lawyer with additional ammunition to weaken the Crown’s case. As a layman, you may not be able to effectively take advantage of your rights or uncover potential Charter Rights violations.

3. Provide Sound Legal Advice and Guidance

With criminal law expertise and familiarity with criminal court procedures, your lawyer can provide sound legal advice and guide you through the process.

Your expected inexperience with criminal law, evidence rules, and criminal procedure puts you at a disadvantage. If you have evidence supporting your innocence, you may not know how to best utilize it to clear yourself pre-trial or effectively introduce it during trial.

4. Secure Evidence in Support of Your Innocence

Your criminal defence lawyer is trained to recognize how evidence is used to support or dispute allegations of the offence. One of your lawyer’s tasks is to secure evidence that supports your innocence, and experienced lawyers can often uncover potential evidence that their clients may not have even thought of.

5. Help Navigate Your Way Through the Criminal Trial Process

Prior to trial, your criminal case proceeds through several administrative procedures the Court system uses to secure pre-trial resolutions or, absent that, prepare for the actual trial. These procedures include:

  • First Appearance
  • Disclosure
  • Arraignment
  • Crown Pre-Trial
  • Judicial Pre-Trial

As a layman, you would likely be disadvantaged by needing to learn how to address these procedures or use them to your advantage effectively. Additionally, defendants are often limited in how they are allowed to participate in some procedures, such as the Crown and Judicial pre-trial meetings.

During these procedural maneuverings, your defence lawyer can effectively raise issues and evidence about your innocence to secure a favourable pre-trial resolution. Your lawyer will also ensure that Crown prosecutors fully disclose the evidence they plan to use against you.

6. Strategize an Effective Defence

While your innocence is likely paramount to you personally, proving your innocence may not be a central focus at trial. Instead, the Crown must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” based on two factors: that you committed the criminal act, and that you did so with intent and/or knowledge.

As such, your lawyer’s defence strategy on your behalf will largely raise doubts about the Crown’s narrative of the offence and its supporting evidence. Any relevant evidence supporting innocence will also be used where possible, but their goal during trial is disproving guilt rather than proving innocence.

In strategizing your defence, your lawyer may also turn to any number of recognized criminal defence strategies as warranted by evidence and case details.

7. Represent Your Best Interests at Trial

During the course of their work, your defence lawyer will have carefully explained the charge(s) you are facing and the potential penalties that come with a conviction. Your lawyer will likely also continuously advise you on best- and worst-case outcomes that may arise through the pre-trial procedures.

Depending on the evidence and case details, your lawyer will advise you on decisions you should make to secure the most favourable results. Despite your innocence, your lawyer may suggest a pre-trial outcome that doesn’t prove innocence, especially if the Crown has a strong case against you. However, you are the client, and if you are bound and determined to argue your innocence in court, your lawyer is duty-bound to steer your defence towards securing an acquittal.

8. Help Secure Your Pre-Trial Freedom, if Needed

If you’re facing pre-trial incarceration due to the severity of criminal charges, the services of a criminal defence lawyer could prove invaluable.

Should the Crown seek pre-trial detention, you must successfully navigate the Ontario court system’s Judicial Interim Release (bail) process. Failure to make bail will keep you in jail and limit your ability to strategize an effective criminal defence.

9. Can You Afford a Potential Life-Changing Conviction?

One of the last questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether or not to defend yourself from criminal charges is, can you afford a life-changing conviction?

Along with the loss of freedom that imprisonment entails, a conviction leads to a permanent criminal record that can impact many facets of your life going forward, including:

  • Risks to current and future employment.
  • Impediments to licensing in certain professions.
  • Risk of deportation and denial of residency or citizenship depending on status.
  • Restrictions on visiting other countries.
  • Potential impacts to child custody and visitation rights.
  • Adoption denial.
  • Harsher sentencing for future criminal convictions.

When to Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer

If you’re facing pre-trial detention, it’s in your best interest to immediately secure the services of an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Otherwise, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible.

The sooner you retain a lawyer, the quicker they can begin work to prove your innocence pre-trial or begin strategizing the most effective defence. In fact, the more severe the charges, the more important it is for your lawyer to begin work immediately.

At Vilkhov Law, our team is here for you to help you access the legal services you need. Reach out to a member of our team to schedule your consultation in the following areas:

Criminal Lawyers Toronto

Criminal Lawyers Etobicoke

Criminal Lawyers Scarborough

Criminal Lawyers Newmarket

Criminal Lawyers Brampton

Criminal Lawyers Mississauga

By |2023-09-15T17:17:48+00:00September 19th, 2023|Criminal Defence|

5/5 - (2 votes)

Criminal Lawyers Association
Toronnto Lawyers Association
Law Society of Ontario
Criminal Lawyers Association
Toronnto Lawyers Association
Law Society of Ontario
Excellent5.0 Based on 114 reviews fromRajveer SinghRajveer Singh ★★★★★ WaheguruAlyssa TolentinoAlyssa Tolentino ★★★★★ Igor is an incredibly professional, yet empathetic lawyer — I retained his services for charges laid against someone close to me, and would make that decision time and time again! He pays attention to every detail, and will be by your side to get the best outcome possible. You’re in good hands with him.Kathryn GilfoyKathryn Gilfoy ★★★★★ john la magnajohn la magna ★★★★★ I had a great experience with Vilkhov Law. Igor was professional, efficient, and made my very stressful first endeavour into needing legal council as much of a breeze as it could have been.He was also very patient with me as a first time offender with way too many questions.I highly recommended Igor, and his team at Vilkhov Law!Norbert WysockiNorbert Wysocki ★★★★★ Igor and his team provided excellent service in very delicate and emotional case. They were extremely supporting and knowledgeable. Thank you for everything you have done!Jason WorthJason Worth ★★★★★ Words cannot describe what Igor has done for me. Igor is the most skilled and amazing attorney I have ever met in my entire life. I had a long list of charges (some that carried some serious penitentiary time) and worked some serious magic with countless hours behind the scenes for me to make just 1 appearance and have ALL THE CHARGES WITHDRAWN and a peace bond put in place. The timeframe for it was amazing as well he took care of me and this situation in only 15 months! (we all know the justice system does not work that fast normally!) If you want a very highly skilled, passionate, available(Igor would take calls and messages even after normal hours to fill me in!), experienced and dedicated attorney that will work tirelssly with you and for you to get you the absolute best results then Igor is your man! 5 stars does not do this man justice he deserves 100 stars!N -N - ★★★★★ Great lawyer. Knowledgeable and helpful. 10/10 would recommend :)GLORIS SPENCEGLORIS SPENCE ★★★★★ Working with Igor and his team during a very unpleasant situation has been a blessing. Even though the legal process was a lengthy one, they were there to answer the questions and concerns we had.Thankfully, it's all over and settled and hopefully we'll not need his services again, but it is reassuring to know that if the situation should every arise where legal counsel is needed, Vilkhov Law Professional will be there in my corner.Thank you.Scott K.Scott K. ★★★★★ I would like to give Igor 5 stars for handling my serious case for the last 11 months of my life. In December 2022, I was wrongfully accused of 2 serious charges under my name however, Igor took care of it from the beginning and finally all of those wrongful charges are withdrawn and now I feel much better and at ease. I am very glad that Igor could help me throughout the hard process and bring out the best result possible! Also, what I want to pinpoint out for the most is that he picks up the call by himself and you get to contact directly with him whenever you have questions or want updates throughout the process. I know that it could be tiring for lawyers who have other clients at the moment but Igor always keep a close contact with his client and I was always able to talk to him directly when I needed for the last 11 months. At last, I wish all the best for Igor and hope that god blesses throughout his career and may he be able to offer his professionalism to help other people in need. Thank you Igor :)SAID ALISAID ALI ★★★★★ Igor is an exceptional lawyer! I am very thankful for his excellent professional legal advice and assistance, he was able to drop my S.A charges. Thank you Igor for everything you've done, I really appreciate your services.M AlyM Aly ★★★★★ I was charged with SA, which rarely ever get dropped and generally always go to trial. Igor Vilkhov was able to get my charges fully withdrawn with no consequences or harm to me.Every lawyer I spoke with quoted me astronomical fees and explained how they would have to jump through hoops and perform ‘legal gymnastics’ to help me. Igor was the only lawyer who gave me a fair and realistic fee structure. He walked me through what the process would look like and gave realistic expectations. It was clear from the start he knew what he was doing and that his experience was significant. Throughout the process he provided regular updates and was always reachable. If you’re charged, I highly recommend at least speaking with Igor before making a decision on an attorney.Melissa HinrichsenMelissa Hinrichsen ★★★★★ Igor was amazing to deal with. His response time was amazing compared to others. He knew what I needed and got the job done. I highly recommend to everyone.NicoleNicole ★★★★★ Very kind and helpfulDevere SDevere S ★★★★★ Mr.Vilkhov is a professional and very good lawyer, goes through everyrhing to make sure it gets dealt with properly, He replies fast if you have questions or anything as well, along with his staff Jessica she was a big help as well.Jessica Gavrikov-ZinchenkoJessica Gavrikov-Zinchenko ★★★★★ Igor Vilkhov is a one-of-a-kind lawyer, his skills truly exceed expectations. He is incredibly diligent and has a passion for ensuring that his clients receive the best possible representation. Additionally, he has a wonderful team behind him, ensuring that his business operations and client relations are running smoothly.Saira JawaidSaira Jawaid ★★★★★ Igor is a good friend and colleague of mine that has helped me tremendously in my legal profession. I can always rely on him for any legal related questions. I’ve personally worked with him and I can say with confidence he is a hard working, dedicated, result focused lawyer. Keep up the hard work!Daniel SlobodkinDaniel Slobodkin ★★★★★ I have known Mr. Vilkhov in a professional and personal capacity for several years. Mr. Vilkhov is a well-respected and devoted criminal lawyer who prioritizes the success and livelihood of his clients. Mr. Vilkhov goes out of his way and makes time, at all times of day, to tend to the needs of his clients. Mr. Vilkhov is a diligent lawyer I would recommend to anyone dealing with a criminal matter. Well-spoken, confident, methodical and professional are qualities that only begin to scratch the surface of Mr. Vilkhov's criminal law practice and his character at whole.mike cookmike cook ★★★★★ I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Mr. vilkhov he truly takes pride in his work and did his absolute best to work on my case and get me the best deal I would recommend him to everyone. Hiring Mr .vilkhow will be the best decision for anyone to make he’s truly amazing at what he does .Amina HuseynovaAmina Huseynova ★★★★★ I've known Igor professionally for a long time, one of the most dedicated criminal lawyers I have met. He gets amazing results for his clients and I would recommend anyone who is looking to hire him.maddy mmaddy m ★★★★★ I am international student in Canada, six months ago I was falsely accused of SA and I was charged. I had never dealt with all this in my life and I started looking for a lawyer. I spoke too more than 50 lawyers all over ontario and every lawyer I spoke to tried to scare me and told me that I am a dead meat here and this thing is definitely going to trial and were only interested in talking about their fees. Mr Vilkhov patiently heard my case and told me that there is a high possibility of getting the case withdrawn . He was straightforward and honest. He convinced me after one call that he is the right lawyer for me to retain. He charged a very reasonable fee which he let me pay in installments. He kept me well informed about my case in every stage. Mr. Vilkhov and Daniel from his team were my constant support. Every message and every phone call was answered.Mr Vilkhov got the charges withdrawn!!! My case was in a jurisdictions were cases like these never get withdrawn. But Mr. Vilkhov gave his best and got the charges withdrawn without any conditions. I cannot thank Vilkhov law professional for giving my life back! Mr. Vilkhov is very knowledgeable and he is the lawyer you need by your side when you need it the most! He wins when you need it the most! Thank you Vilkhov law corporation!Jay ModiJay Modi ★★★★★ Igor and his team exceeded my expectations, efficiently getting all charges dropped in my case. His timely responses, coupled with Daniel's eloquence, made for an exceptional first-time experience with a lawyer. They provided a unique blend of empathy and straightforwardness that instilled confidence throughout the legal process. Highly recommendable for anyone in need of a criminal justice lawyer.Naqib PopalNaqib Popal ★★★★★ I just left Brampton courthouse. I was acquitted of 11 charges after a long trial. Igor Vilkhov absolutely killed it during the entire trial. If it wasn’t for him, I would be going to jail. Thank you so much for your work, you ensured the truth came out. Thank you, you got me my life back.Chad AllanChad Allan ★★★★★ Igor got me an amazing deal, he was always communicating with me and updating me about my case, he got me the deal of a lifetime and I can’t him enough. If you are reading this and you are thinking about who to hire, just call him, he is the right lawyer for you.Jamie LewisJamie Lewis ★★★★★ If you need a lawyer who is actually going to work for you, and get results go with Igor at Vilkhov Law. He was very patient and understanding and knows his stuff. I was facing a huge fine which would have devastated me financially for years to come, but with his passionate submission to crown on my behalf he was able to get the fine reduced by 90%. His colleagues he works with are amazing too. Thank you so much for all of your help through this matter Igor! You truely have saved my future. I appreciate it beyond measure! All the best in the future!js_loader

CONTACT US

“Caring, honest, and highly knowledgeable.”

Contact Igor for a Free Consultation!

Please contact us online for a free consultation.
Go to Top