When a person is accused of a violent crime, most people tend to presume guilt before all of the facts of the case are heard. Understandably, allegations of violence evoke strong emotions, but the reality is that everyone accused of a crime in Canada has a right to challenge the prosecution's evidence. In fact, many criminal cases are won by defendants before arguments are ever presented to a judge.
Allegations of assault, murder, manslaughter and domestic violence arise from a wide variety of circumstances. In any case, defendants can be assured that the Crown prosecutor will interpret the evidence in such a way as to attach the severest possible charges. However, the real story is often much more complex than the one told by the prosecution.
For example, sometimes the defendant's mental health at the time of the alleged offence is a factor. In some situations, a person who has suffered abuse is accused of violently retaliating against the abuser. If that is the case, then the relationship between the parties must be fully examined to prove that the defendant is not criminally responsible.
People also find themselves accused of violent crimes when the truth is that self-defence resulted in injuries or death to a person who attacked the defendant. With proper preparation, a defence of self-defence may be effective.
Whether the charge is first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter or assault, being convicted of a violent crime can lead to various penalties. It is therefore important to protect against overcharging and ensure that the facts of the case are fully investigated.
The lawyers at Neuberger & Partners work to protect the rights of accused individuals by building custom defence strategies. These could involve in-depth preparation of the defendant through mock trials; rigorous cross-examination of witnesses; identifying and investigating evidentiary deficiencies; and use of our expertise in forensic psychiatry and forensic DNA.
We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our areas of legal practice.