Power In The Courtroom
We recently represented a permanent resident charged with sexual assault. Sexual assault accusations can be lifechanging, especially for immigrants. He explained what happened between him and the complainant. His version of events drastically differed from hers. They were also the only two witnesses capable of giving evidence. There was no other evidence the Crown could rely upon in its prosecution. Ms. Williamson listened to Mr. AA and strategically built his defence. It took a lot of work. It required Mr. AA to attend several meetings so that they could properly prepare their defence. It took some time and work, but they did it.
As they were preparing, the prosecutor offered to allow Mr. AA to plead guilty to a simple assault instead of sexual assault. If he were to accept that, all the facts had to have been admitted as alleged by the complainant. Mr. AA could not do this because his version of what happened was so drastically different. Mr. AA instructed his lawyer to decline the offer. Ms. Williamson had previously offered to resolve the file by way of a peace bond (a court order that places a person on specified conditions.) At the time, the Crown was unwilling to accept that.
Ms. Williamson and her client attended trial ready to proceed. Mr. AA understood that this type of case is simply not decided in a “he said – she said” fashion. Mr. AA understood Ms. Williamson’s strategy. He also understood that no lawyer has a crystal ball able to foresee the future and guarantee a result. However, on the trial day, the Crown relented and offered to withdraw the charge all together and allow Mr. AA to be placed on a peace bond. Mr. AA was so relieved and grateful because through this he gained certainty and control over his future.
This case demonstrates the power in working with your lawyer so that you can both achieve the outcome you want. The judge was very reluctant and frustrated in this situation. Often times, people believe that the judge is the most powerful person in the room. That is simply not so. It is the prosecutor. They have total discretion to proceed with the prosecution or not. It is important to have total trust in your lawyer so that you know when you should accept an offer and when you should decline it. This was an excellent outcome for Mr. AA. It meant that he would have no immigration consequences, he would not be facing any type of Sex Offender Registry Order and there could be no finding of guilt. Mr. AA has been empowered in his future and has total control of his outcome.
Finding the right criminal defence lawyer for your case is essential, especially when dealing with sexual assault accusations. Contact our legal team today if you are currently dealing with a charge.
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