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Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 3530
Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
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You're there? Alberta, Canada, Just seeking general

Customer Question

you're there?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Alberta, Canada
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Just seeking general information
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Debra replied 11 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  Debra replied 11 months ago.

I don't see any facts here. Please start at the beginning and provide me with the basic facts.

Then please set out your specific question.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Late one night; my girlfriend and her friend thought I was going to drive home drunk. So, in the front entry of the friend's house, they were holding my arms and emptying my pockets, and yelling. Soon enough, I pushed them both off of me by their necks at the same time, and walked out of the house. All 3 intoxicated. The cousin of the friend (not intoxicated) called the police, who came and took a verbal statement from girl #2, the cousin, and the cousin's husband. They were asked to write up statements and take them in but they didn't, on account of the sister of girl #2 who asked them not to - in my favour(?) - since we are all friends and have been for a long time.On my first court date, the two girls (complainants) went to the court house to talk to the 'domestic abuse' team and gave a report that said they don't want me to be charged, it was a heated argument, and they want to drop the charges and the no-contact order - that was implemented automatically, being a domestic case. The crown has told my lawyer he is going to phone the girls to clarify the actual "choking" that happened.I am having second thoughts on my lawyers advice to agree to a peace bond for one year, before we even have full disclosure; including police report, 9-11 call, and these statements the girls gave to the domestic abuse team. Why would my lawyer agree to do a peace bond with the crown before this information even comes in - does self-defense not apply here? The arresting officer reported red marks on their necks, but I didn't hurt them (and it happened for about the length of time it takes to say, "Get the hell off of me.").First question is, could the crown call up the girls and hear their clarification and decide not to press charges (rare I'm sure)? Further, if I plead not-guilty, can the crown (or judge) decide there's no use in going to trial, during a preliminary inquiry? If the girls changed their story or expressed that they didn't want charges to go forward. Would the crown proceed with charges using statements from the cousin and her husband? Against the wishes of the complainants?And lastly, is it advantageous(/possible) for a young defense lawyer to make a quick peace bond deal with a very busy crown prosecutor, for future considerations?
Expert:  Debra replied 11 months ago.

I am going to opt out and let a criminal lawyer answer this post.

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 11 months ago.

Hello, thank you for the question. I believe that I can help you. Thanks for that level detail you provided, and I'm glad that you didn't say anything that can identify you.

I understand your situation. For most lawyers, a peace bond is a good result. It means no conviction, and it wraps up the matter quickly.

However a peace bond is still an admission that you did something wrong even if there's no conviction. For some, that admission is very important. It's a contract between you and the Crown that you will keep the peace and be of good behaviour, especially towards named individuals. if the contract is broken the charge leading to it can be resurrected.

The first thing you need to acknowledge is that you screwed up. I'm just being blunt. Regardless of whether they were in your face or trying to hold you back, on simply doesn't grab a woman by the neck and push with enough force to leave a mark. Yes, the circumstances were unusual, but you escalated the situation to where it is now. Maybe you could benefit from some counselling.

The Crown will have offered the peace bond because they know that their case against you is weak if the complainants aren't going to co-operate in the case against you. Yes, the Crown can drop the charges if it believes that it has little chance of convicting because its witnesses are falling apart. The witnesses don't press the charges, the Crown does; so the witnesses cannot "withdraw the charges" by themselves. However the crown knows that if the witnesses aren't going to be of help then it has essentially no chance to convict. The witnesses have told the Crown that they are recanting or changing their story, which is most likely why the peace bond was offered.

The wishes of the complainants don't matter much in a case like this.

If there are witnesses other than the complainants, and you mention the cousin and her husband, then yes the Crown can still proceed on their evidence. But the case is much weaker if the "victims" don't testify of course.

A lot of accused people wonder whether their lawyer is "in cahoots" with the Crown. If you believe that your lawyer is too young or inexperienced, then get another. I doubt very much that your lawyer is selling you up the river for considerations, but it's possible that your lawyer isn't experienced enough to be pushing your advantage. Certainly, one should wait until after disclosure is received and reviewed and then have a fulsome pretrial conference, but the result would likely be the same. The Crown rarely withdraws charges this early in the process, and if the get a Peace Bond out of you that's something.

Maybe it's time to get a different lawyer.

Anything else to discuss?

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 11 months ago.

I think you've seen what I wrote. I'm here for your question or comment.

If I've answered you fully, may I please have a positive service rating? Ratings are how I get credit from the site for helping its customers. I'd appreciate it.


Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 11 months ago.

Did you get a new lawyer? Any developments?