Engel and Associates

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FAQ - Engel and Associates

Most people are blissfully unfamiliar with the criminal law system until they are actually in need of qualified legal counsel—and being charged with a crime doesn’t usually lend itself to opportunities for education. With that in mind, here are a few questions that cover the basics when it comes to seeking professional criminal lawyers to represent your case.

What is criminal law?
Criminal Law basically deals with the prosecution and defense of cases that fall under the category of criminal offenses under the Criminal Code Of Canada, or under the various Provincial offenses. A few (but by no means all) of the areas that criminal lawyers deal with include breaking and entering, domestic and sexual assault, drug offenses, fraud, impaired driving, internet charges, murder/manslaughter, robbery and theft, weapons charges, and juvenile offender cases.

When should I call a criminal lawyer?
If you believe you have done something illegal but aren’t sure, it is usually better to make the first move rather than waiting for the police to get involved. A consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer early on could save you thousands of dollars in defense fees, as well as prevent a single charge from ever being filed against you. In the unfortunate event that charges are actually filed, then you have already laid the groundwork for your defense and you won’t be caught by surprise.

Do I really need a lawyer? Can’t I represent myself?
Canada has a very complicated and sometimes confusing legal system. Matters of a serious nature, such as criminal defense, should always be left to a professional legal representative with expertise in the area you need.

Aren’t non-criminal lawyers less expensive?
Sometimes—but when serious criminal charges are being leveled against you, bargain shopping is probably not the best course of action for you to take. You should also keep in mind that many lawyers charge by the hour, so an inexperienced attorney can run up some major legal fees without effectively representing you. A criminal lawyer whose practice in focused in this area of law will often spend less time preparing your case, thanks to their expertise. Do not underestimate the importance of hiring legal counsel with the right experience and background to defend you against criminal charges. Some things are worth the cost.

I’m not going to jail, so why should I be worried?
A criminal record can have lasting consequences down the road for you, such as preventing you from getting a job or causing you to lose your current one. You may be prohibited from traveling to other countries, or even within certain areas of Canada. If you are not a Canadian citizen, your immigration hopes may be severely curtailed.

Serious charges require a serious defense. Take the time to secure quality, experienced legal counsel. Engel & Associates are trusted experts in criminal defense in Ottawa and the surrounding communities. They are located at 116 Lisgar St. Suite 210 Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2, and they may be reached by calling (866) 762-9250.