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Toronto Attempted Murder Criminal Defence Lawyer

Have you been charged with attempted murder? Are the police trying to convince you to answer questions and make a statement? Do you have questions about the legal process and consequences you may face if convicted?

Criminal Defence Lawyer With More Than 30 Years of Experience

I have been practising law since 1985. I have acquired experience and comprehensive knowledge in a broad variety of criminal law and related areas, including offences involving extreme violence. I am here to answer your questions, provide dedicated counsel and thorough representation.

For more information about my experience and criminal defence services, contact me today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation at my Toronto office.

Attempted murder charges carry a maximum possible sentence of life in prison and, if committed with a restricted or prohibited firearm in connection with organized crime, a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison or, if committed with any other type of firearm, a minimum sentence of 4 years in prison. I prepare every case as if it is going to trial and I have a solid track record of success at all trial court levels. If your case involves a jury trial, I have the necessary experience, advocacy skills and confidence to convincingly argue your case to the jury.

DNA and Other Forensic Evidence

Forensic evidence, such as DNA evidence, is just one type of evidence that the Crown can try to introduce against a person accused of a crime. The defence can challenge the admissibility of forensic evidence on the basis of relevance, prejudice or that there is a lack of a sufficient scientific foundation to make the evidence reliable and worthy of being admitted, in other words, the forensic evidence is inadmissible because it is based on "junk science".

Over the years, there have been several types of forensic evidence that have been rejected by the courts in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada, including voice print identification, comparative bullet lead analysis and several indicators of arson dependent on visual cues.

Likewise, there are various other types of forensic evidence which are possibly unreliable, such as microscopic hair comparison, and "pattern comparison" evidence such as bite marks, tire marks and handwriting.

Even in cases where the forensic evidence is ruled admissible, the defence can still try to weaken the impact of the evidence by arguing, for example, that the results of the forensic testing were the subject of "motivated perception". In other words, the scientist who did the testing interpreted the results so as to support his or her expectations or the expectations of the police or Crown prosecutors. The defence can argue, or call evidence to show, that the forensic examiner should have first tested the evidence blindly without knowing anything about the case in order to avoid a subconscious bias. Studies have shown that even the opinion of fingerprint analysts can be affected by the analysts' preconceived notions about the case. Also, there is always a risk of a false positive. Moreover, if the laboratory that completed the testing, such as the Centre of Forensic Sciences, is known to have made errors on occasion in the past, the defence can argue that the error rates should also be entered in evidence.

In appropriate cases, and where funds permit, the evidence can be re-tested by an independent laboratory for verification.

A good defence lawyer should know the weaknesses of specific scientific techniques or seek out an appropriate defence consulting expert to learn about and present evidence regarding those weaknesses.

Proceeding with a Preliminary Inquiry

A person charged with attempted murder has the right to proceed with a preliminary inquiry in the Ontario Court of Justice and then a trial in the Superior Court of Justice before a court composed of a Judge sitting with a jury. In the past, this level of court was referred to as "High Court".

At a preliminary inquiry, the Crown is required to call some evidence upon which a properly instructed jury, acting reasonably, may return a verdict of guilt. This is an easy test for the Crown to meet in the vast majority of cases. Accordingly, it is relatively rare for someone who proceeds with a preliminary inquiry to be discharged with respect to all of the charges which he or she is facing. The real value in having a preliminary inquiry is not in the hope of being entirely discharged, thereby bringing the entire criminal proceedings to an end, but in being able to better prepare the case for trial. The defence lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine and test the evidence of the primary Crown witnesses. An experienced and skilled defence lawyer can discover the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown witnesses and commence building an effective defence strategy. A preliminary inquiry is especially valuable for the defence in cases involving young, infirm, unreliable or unsavory Crown witnesses.

Representing Clients Through Legal Aid

Legal Aid Ontario maintains an Extremely Serious Criminal Matters (ESCM) panel to which I have been admitted. ESCM lawyers must meet strict and demanding experience requirements before they are admitted to the panel.

If you or a friend or family member is charged with murder, manslaughter or attempted murder, the case will most likely qualify for Big Case Management, which means that I can negotiate with Legal Aid for a budget that will ensure an effective defence. More information on representing clients through Legal Aid is available here.

Contact a Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Attempted Murder Charges Law Firm

Do not hesitate to reach out for legal help to fight attempted murder or manslaughter allegations. Set up a free consultation with me by calling 416-651-2299 or toll free 1-888-399-3164 today or via e-mail.

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