*2022 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

How do I know if I have been criminally charged by the police?

People who are criminally charged will be provided with paperwork by the police or at court with a future court date listing the criminal offences they are alleged to have committed. Most will either also have been fingerprinted already or will be given a future date to attend for fingerprints and photographs for identification purposes.

The paperwork will the police provide will be one of the following:
  1. Undertaking (Form 10): This is a white piece of paper that contains everything the Form 9 does but may also include additional conditions of release such as to not attend at certain areas, communicate with certain people, and not possess specific objects.

  2. Appearance Notice (Form 9): This is either a small blue/green carbon copy piece of paper or a larger white paper with the accused’s name, dob, address along with the fingerprint and court dates.

  3. Release Order (Form 11): If the accused is held for bail and released they will receive this document which has a future court date, release conditions, and also may appoint a surety to pledge money/assets and supervise the accused to ensure they comply with all conditions.

  4. Summons to Appear (Form 6 ): This is normally provided by local police to an accused who is being charged in a different jurisdiction. It will have a fingerprint and court date on it. For instance, if you are being charged by Toronto Police but live in Kitchener/Waterloo, the Waterloo Regional Police may serve you with a Form 6 Summons on behalf of the Toronto Police.
If you have received any of the above noted documents it is important to understand that you are being criminally charged, you will have to be fingerprinted and have your mugshot taken, and your case will ultimately be decided in court.

The alleged victim/complaint is not in charge of the case and does not have the power to drop the charges. The police have already made the decision to charge you and all subsequent decisions regarding your case will be made by the Crown Attorney, the Judge, and yourself in terms of how you proceed through the court system.

An Undertaking (Form 10) issued by the police in Ontario, Canada:

An Undertaking issued by the police under Form 10 of the Criminal Code charging the accused with various criminal offences in Ontario, Canada.

The court date listed on the charging paperwork is not your trial date. That is simply your first court appearance date. Most cases will take several months or even years to complete and there will always be new court dates until the case is over. In most cases your lawyer will attend these dates on your behalf.

What is going to happen on the first court appearance date?

A new court date will be set. This will allow the accused’s lawyer to request the disclosure, review it, and make additional requests if something is missing. The next court date is normally set approximately 4 weeks from the first one however in some Ontario jurisdictions much longer adjournments can be expected.

The lawyer for the accused may inquire whether disclosure is available, ask the Crown Attorney if they will elect summarily, determine if a specific Crown has been assigned, and complete other general case management tasks before setting the next court date. While the Crown and the defence may agree on what date the matter should return to court the final decision will always be up to the Judge or Justice of the Peace (JP) who is sitting in court that day.

What if someone asks if I have ever been arrested before?

If you have any of the above noted paperwork you have been arrested. You were not free to leave before being served with the court paperwork and were under arrest whether you realized it or not. For some it is obvious that they were arrested because they were handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car or held in a jail cell prior to release. Other people may have simply been handed an Appearance Notice or Undertaking at the scene or on their doorstep, but these people were also placed under arrest.

I can’t get charged with something because of my job, immigration status, need to travel to the U.S. and elsewhere, etc.

If you have an Undertaking, Appearance Notice, Release Order, or Summons you are being charged. That ship has already sailed.

Just because you have been charged by the police does not mean you are guilty or that you have been convicted of any crime. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in Canada. Many cases can be withdrawn (dropped) without a trial. Judges also have the power to grant an absolute or conditional discharge to those found guilty which is not considered a conviction in Canada, but may still show up on certain background checks and cause problems with travel.

Being charged with a crime is a time sensitive event. Your defence options will decrease over time.

When you first get charged it is important that the accused hire a lawyer as soon as possible to start working on the file right away. Many outcomes and options are time sensitive and will no longer be available to the accused if they wait too long. Some accused are also displaced from their home/family as a result of their release conditions (no contact) particularly in domestic cases (aka. intimate partner violence (IPV)). It is in their best interest to try to get the no-contact clauses varied asap so they can go back home.

The criminal justice system in Canada also gives substantial credit to those who resolve their cases relatively early. This is considered a very strong mitigating factor that some accused may want to take advantage of especially if the evidence against them is quite strong.

The Criminal Code and various forms of provincial legislation also have limitation periods that sometimes apply. For example, in impaired driving/DUI cases the province of Ontario has strict time limits on certain programs that allow the accused to drive early with a breath testing device being installed on their vehicle.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2022 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2022. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel