Anthony De Marco
Toronto Criminal Lawyer

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Violent Offences Lawyer In Toronto

Mississauga, Brampton And Newmarket Violent Offences Lawyer

If you are facing charges for any violent crime, you should seek the advice of an experienced Toronto violent crime defence lawyer immediately. These offences can carry extremely severe penalties, including prison time. Having the right representation on your side can help ensure that your rights are protected. Since 1985, I have helped countless clients charged with violent crimes.

As a senior criminal lawyer, I have the knowledge and the experience to fully understand the charges you are facing and to conduct a thorough review of the evidence against you. I will provide you with an honest and realistic assessment of your case and help you understand what to expect throughout the process.

If your case requires a jury trial, I have the necessary experience, advocacy skills and confidence to convincingly argue your case to the jury.

I will not recommend a plea of guilty unless there has been a reasonable plea bargain offer from the Crown and you do not have a viable defence. If there is any possibility of an acquittal, I will always recommend proceed to trial.

I represent clients charged with a broad variety of violent offences, including:

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco For A Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your violent offence case. 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 our office or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by  e-mail.

Seeking The Most Favourable Outcome On Your Behalf

In many cases, distinguishing the intent behind the alleged violent act is key to creating a successful defence. I take the time to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the legal and evidentiary issues in your case, and I take the time to determine the strength of the Crown’s case. The defences that may be available to you depend upon the particular circumstances of your case, the admissibility of evidence, and the legal principles that are relevant to your case. The availability of certain defences will also depend upon the exact charge that you are facing. There are many defences that apply to different violent offences.


A common defence in assault cases is self-defence set out in Section 34 of the Criminal Code of Canada which reads as follows:

  • 34 (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if
    1. (a) they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;
    2. (b) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and
    3. (c) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.
  • (2) In determining whether the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances, the court shall consider the relevant circumstances of the person, the other parties and the act, including, but not limited to, the following factors:
    1. (a) the nature of the force or threat;
    2. (b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;
    3. (c) the person’s role in the incident;
    4. (d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon;
    5. (e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;
    6. (f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;
    7. (f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;
    8. (g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and
    9. (h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.
  • (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the force is used or threatened by another person for the purpose of doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

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.

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.

Electing To Have A Preliminary Inquiry

In cases in which a Defendant is exposed to a possible period of 14 years or more in jail, the Defendant will have 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 or without a jury. In the past, this level of court was referred to as “High Court”.

The completion of a preliminary inquiry is not mandatory. The Defendant has the right to waive the preliminary inquiry and to proceed directly to trial in either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice. If the trial is to be completed in the Superior Court of Justice, the waiver of the preliminary inquiry will require the consent of the Crown.

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.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco For A Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your violent offence case. 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 our office or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.