Jump to Navigation

Criminal Harassment and Providing False Information Lawyer In Toronto

Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Criminal Harassment and Providing False Information Offences Lawyer

Commonly Asked Questions

  1. What is criminal harassment?
  2. What is the sentence for criminal harassment?
  3. Are there aggravating factors that may affect the sentence?
  4. What type of conduct may constitute criminal harassment?
  5. What is the required intent for criminal harassment?
  6. What is the defence for criminal harassment?
  7. What is the offence of conveying false information?
  8. What is the sentence for the offence of conveying false information?
  9. What are my Charter rights?
  10. Can the Charter help my defence?
  11. Can I get assistance from Legal Aid Ontario for my case?

A conviction for criminal harassment is very serious and can result in significant penalties, including jail time. If criminal harassment is committed within a domestic context, you should know that there is a zero tolerance policy against domestic assault, threatening and criminal harassment in Ontario. What this means is that regardless of whether the complainant is your wife or husband, your common-law spouse, one of your children or a current or past girlfriend or boyfriend, you will, in all likelihood, be prosecuted.

Once a charge is filed, only the Crown can withdraw it. Even if your accuser decides not to move forward with the case, the Crown is likely to prosecute. As a senior criminal defence lawyer practicing since 1985, I have the knowledge and the experience necessary to defend these types of charges. I will challenge the prosecution's case and work hard for your acquittal.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your criminal harassment or providing false information case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in some cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.

What is Criminal Harassment?

Section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides, in part, as follows:

  1. 264(1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

What Type of Conduct May Amount to Criminal Harassment?

Subsection 264(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the prohibited conduct as follows:

  1. 264(2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of
    1. (a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
    2. (b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
    3. (c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
    4. (d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

What is the Sentence for Criminal Harassment?

Subsection 264(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides as follows:

  1. 264(3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of
    1. (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
    2. (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

What are the Aggravating Factors that May Affect the Sentence for Criminal Harassment?

Subsection 264(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the following aggravating circumstances that may affect the sentence for criminal harassment:

  1. 264(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating factor that, at the time the offence was committed, the person contravened
    1. (a) the terms or conditions of an order made pursuant to section 161 or a recognizance entered into pursuant to section 810, 810.1 or 810.2; or
    2. (b) the terms or conditions of any other order or recognizance, or of an undertaking, made or entered into under the common law, this Act or any other Act of Parliament or of a provincial legislature that is similar in effect to an order or recognizance referred to in paragraph (a).

What is the Necessary Intent for Criminal Harassment?

The required intent for criminal harassment is that the accused must have knowledge that engaging in the prohibited conduct will harass another person, or the accused must be reckless or willfully blind as to whether the other person is harassed. The particulars of the relationship between the accused and the complaint will be critical in establishing the necessary intent, recklessness, or willful blindness and in determining whether the complainant's fear was reasonable.

What is the Defence for Criminal Harassment?

The available defence for criminal harassment involves the following:

  1. (a) the accused had lawful authority to engage in the prohibited conduct such as, for example, appearing at someone's residence or being in someone's neighbourhood;
  2. (b) the accused lacked the required intent or recklessness; or
  3. (c) the complainant did not have, in all of the circumstances, a reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them, in other words, the complainant's fear was unreasonable.

What is the Offence of Conveying False Information?

Section 372 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides as follows:

  1. 372 (1) Everyone commits an offence who, with intent to injure or alarm a person, conveys information that they know is false, or causes such information to be conveyed by letter or any means of telecommunication.
  2. (2) Everyone commits an offence who, with intent to alarm or annoy a person, makes an indecent communication to that person or to any other person by a means of telecommunication.
  3. (3) Everyone commits an offence who, without lawful excuse and with intent to harass a person, repeatedly communicates, or causes repeated communications to be made, with them by a means of telecommunication.
  4. (4) Everyone who commits an offence under this section is
    1. (a) guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
    2. (b) guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Pre-Trial Charter Applications

Often, the best defence to a criminal charge involves a challenge to the investigation that resulted in the arrest of the accused or the collection of evidence against the accused. The police are not allowed to breach the rights that are guaranteed to the accused by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I will investigate any possible Charter breaches by carefully reviewing the Crown disclosure documents, including the documents used by the police to obtain search warrants for the home, car or other property of the accused, and the documents used by the police to obtain production orders, such as for cell phone records and wiretap authorizations.

If I detect any violation of the Charter rights of the accused or violation of acceptable investigative procedures established by the courts, I will proceed with an application asking for the exclusion of evidence from the trial of the accused obtained illegally by the police, including the statements of the accused and other evidence seized during the investigation.

I have an established reputation for success in pre-trial applications. Winning a Charter application will result in the exclusion of evidence if the court determines that not excluding the evidence will bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The exclusion of evidence often results in a finding of not guilty if the Crown's remaining evidence is insufficient to prove that the accused committed the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have the necessary experience, research skills, writing skills, and advocacy skills to prepare and effectively argue pre-trial Charter applications. The value of legal writing skills cannot be overstated since proceeding with pre-trial Charter applications will require the preparation of several documents including a Notice of Application, an Affidavit, and a Factum setting out the relevant facts and summarizing the relevant case law.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your criminal harassment or providing false information case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in some cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.