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Toronto Criminal Defence Lawyer: Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) Applications

Accused Persons Suffering from a Mental Disorder

The Criminal Code of Canada provides that no person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it is wrong. The question of whether the person knew that the act or omission was wrong involves a consideration of whether, in the circumstances, the person knew that the act or omission was "morally wrong" according to the moral standards of society.

Section 16 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides as follows:

16(1) No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong.

(2) Every person is presumed not to suffer from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility by virtue of subsection (1), until the contrary is proved on the balance of probabilities.

(3) The burden of proof that an accused was suffering from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility is on the party that raises the issue.

I have extensive experience in pursuing Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) Applications for clients. I have the experience, the research skills and the network of experts necessary to make a successful NCR defence on your behalf or on behalf of a loved one who suffers from mental health issues. A successful NCR Application may mean the difference between spending as little as a year in a mental health facility or life in prison without eligibility for parole for 10 years or more.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one is charged with a serious criminal offence committed while suffering from mental health issues, I encourage you to get in touch with me to discuss a possible NCR Application.

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

When Are NCR Applications Used?

The NCR defence is only used in the most serious cases, such as murder. This is because a successful NCR Application usually results in the accused being detained in a mental health facility for an extended period. If the NCR Application is successful, the accused is found not guilty for reason of mental disorder. A disposition hearing is then completed in order to determine whether the person should be detained in custody. Usually the disposition hearing results in an order directing that the person be detained in custody in a mental health facility subject to such conditions as the court or a special review board, called the Ontario Review Board, considers appropriate.

The order providing for the person to be detained in custody in a mental health facility is subject to review by the Ontario Review Board every 12 months or every 36 months if the person is designated as a high risk offender. The person will be released from custody only if and when the court or the Ontario Review Board determines that it is appropriate and safe for the person to be released from custody.

What Makes a Successful NCR Application?

Whether or not an NCR Application will be successful depends upon two major factors:

First: Whether the defence psychiatrists and psychologists are able to establish that the client suffers from a mental disorder. I routinely work with highly respected mental health professionals to investigate my client's mental health history. A pattern of mental health problems may make the NCR defence much stronger.

Second: Whether the client's mental disorder rendered him or her incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act committed or incapable of knowing that the act committed was morally wrong. This requires defence opinion evidence from the highly respected mental health professionals that I routinely consult on behalf of my clients.

NCR defences are very complex, requiring a lawyer who is capable of handling the most serious cases. I am that kind of lawyer. You can rely on me to present the strongest possible case that you or your loved one are not criminally responsible for the act committed.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one is charged with a serious criminal offence committed while suffering from mental health issues, I encourage you to get in touch with me to discuss a possible NCR Application.

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

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