*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

The effects of criminal charges in Canada

Being criminally charged in Canada can result in the accused being sent to jail, obtaining a criminal record, losing their job, and being denied their immigration/IRCC status. It can also prevent them from travelling to the U.S. and internationally for life.

Being charged with a criminal offence is perhaps one of the most potentially devastating things a person can ever experience. While the criminal justice system is flooded with people who seemingly have nothing left to lose, our clients do not fit this profile. They tend to be educated professionals, business owners, students, and new immigrants who have worked very hard to get to where they are today.

All of our articles are written by a lawyer and are aimed to address the concerns and issues that our typical clients face. Many are first time offenders with no experience with the criminal justice system before. For them a criminal charge has the potential to ruin virtually everything they have ever worked for. It threatens their reputation, livelihood, family, immigration, and freedom to travel.

More information:

How to Get Charges Dropped: How to get criminal charges dropped in Ontario, Canada. This includes information on what can be done by victims to help in domestic cases.

Domestic Violence Charges in Ontario: Ontario domestic violence policies require the police to charge and the Crown Attorney to prosecute even the most minor cases. Accused are often forced out of their home and face jail and a criminal record.

Victim Affidavit Services: We get calls everyday from victims/complainants in domestic cases looking to drop the charges and have their partner return home and be allowed to communicate with them again. The most substantial thing they can do to help is an affidavit.

How to know if you have been charged: About the most common forms of paperwork provided by the police to those they are charging for Criminal Code offences in Canada.

Criminal Records in Canada: How a criminal record can negatively impact a person's life in Canada. Anyone who is charged (given an appearance notice, undertaking, or release order), is at a risk of obtaining a criminal record.

How criminal charges can impact a person's immigration status: When someone who is charged is not a Canadian Citizen they are at risk of being deported, deemed inadmissible, or having their future immigration applications rejected by IRCC.

Receiving a phone call from the police: What to do if the police call and ask you to go to the police station, be present at home or elsewhere to be served charging paperwork, or are looking for a statement or information from you.

How being charged can cause you to be denied entry to the U.S.: The U.S. considers most forms or Canadian criminal offences (including theft, fraud, mischief) to be moral turpitude offences which may cause a person to be refused at the border for life.

Evidence is often just a witness statement: While most people think of evidence as videos and forensics, many cases in Canada are based only on a witness/victim claiming something happened. This is particularly true in domestic cases.

Form 10 Criminal Undertaking: Many accused who are not held for bail will be released via an Undertaking. About the forms of release conditions and how a breach will lead to new charges.

Form 11 Release Order: When the accused is held for a bail hearing and released they will receive a Form 11 Release Order with conditions to abide by while the await the outcome of their case.

Charges after blacking out: About being criminally charged by the police after blacking out from alcohol and/or drugs. Many accused have no memory of what happened and do not know exactly why they were charged.

What a Suspended Sentence is in Canada: In Canada, a suspended sentence means a probation order of up to 3 years and a permanent criminal conviction record. While not a jail sentence, for those who do not already have a criminal record this can be a devastating result.

Being charged with assault after a spouse talks to the police: Ontario police work under policies to always charge if an allegation of assault is made in the domestic contect. This results in the accused not being allowed to return home and possibly a future trial based on testimony.

Absolute and Conditional Discharges: For most offences, courts in Canada have the option of granting a discharge which is not considered to be a conviction or a criminal record.

Bail Hearings: If the police do not release the accused at the police station they will be held and brought before the court for a bail hearing and it will be up to the judge to determine if they can be released and on what conditions.

Criminal sentencing upon a finding of guilt: If the accused is pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial the court will proceed to the sentencing phase in which the judge will decide what penalty will be imposed (jail, probation, etc.)

Pleading Guilty: An accused may decide to plead guilty if they feel they would lose at trial in exchange for a lighter sentence. In Canadian criminal law an early (before a trial date is set) guilty plea is considered a strong mitigating factor. Normally a deal is in place beforehand but the Judge will always have the ultimate say.

Section 810 and common law peace bonds: 810 and common law peace bonds are often part of a deal to have charged dropped (withdrawn) in Canada. People can also apply for a peace bond against a 3rd party who has not been charged.

Parole applications and eligibility: Depending on the case and the sentence imposed virtually all convicted offenders sent to jail or prison will eventially become eligible for parole. A discussion of the process and options to try and gain an early release.

Mental disorder and NCR defences: Some accused are deemed to be not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder after a trial. Also sometimes referred to as the insanity defence.

Legal Aid Ontario assistance: Some very low income people charged in Ontario may be eligible for some assistance from Legal Aid Ontario.

How police investigate crimes: Before a charge is laid there is always a police investigation. How the police investigate potential suspects in Ontario.

Restitution for victims: In cases where the victim is found to have experienced a financial loss the offender may be ordered to pay them back by the criminal court. This is common in cases of theft, fraud, and mischief.

Theft Under $5000 Charges s. 334 (b): Theft Under $5000 commonly involves shoplifting, theft from an employer, and doorstep/porch package stealing. It is serious criminal offence in Canada punishable by up to 2 years in jail.

Mischief Under and Over $5000: Mischief usually involves damage to personal property such as cars, houses, phones, computers, etc. Not all cases are car keying or graffiti, sometimes mischief charges can be laid in any circumstances of interference with property (even a noise complain).

Assault Section 266: While some assault charges are described as common or simple they are all punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Assault charges can be both domestic and non domestic.

Uttering Threats: It is a crime to threaten to assault or kill someone. A threat can be made in person, via text message, over social media, etc. Some cases are domestic, some relate to stranges, are the result of intoxication, or getting upset over social media.

Shoplifting Theft and Fraud charges: Stealing from retail stores is a common source of criminal charges in Canada. This can take the form of simply not paying for merchandise (theft) or switching a price tag (fraud). The offence carries a maximum punishment of 2 years in prison.

YCJA Youth criminal charges: If the accused is under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offence they will be charged under the provisions of the YCJA. While specific rules apply including a "Notice to Parent" being provided, the accused is still subject to jail, probation, and a criminal record if convicted.

DUI, DWI, Impaired Driving, Over 80, Refuse Breath Sample: There are many names for impaired driving related charges, but it remains a serious offence in Ontario as anyone who is found guilty will receive an automatic criminal record. Subsequent offences will result in a mandatory jail sentence.

Bar fights and alcohol related charges: Those charged with alcohol related offences at bars or nightclubs should contact a criminal lawyer immediately as CCTV/video evidence of their innocence may be deleted.

Child Pornography charges: Child Pornography related charges including possessing, accessing, making, and distribution are some of the most serious offence in the Criminal Code. Jail is a mandatory minimum. A finding of guilt will result in sex offender registration and a criminal record for life.

Voyeurism image distribution: Criminal Code voyeurism charges under s. 162 after sending (text, email, social media, etc.) or posting nude images of someone online. Victim image removal court orders and how distribution is considered an aggravating factor on sentencing is also discussed.

Sexual Assault and Rape: Any form of a sexual assault is considered to be a very serious offence in Canada and may result in jail and sex offender registration. Sometimes the charge is based solely on the complainant's allegation/statement to the police.

Indecent Act charges: About Indecent Act charges under Section 173 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Most cases are of a sexual nature in a public place. Potential punishments and consequences are discussed along with the separate related offence of Exposure under Section 173 (2).

Murder: A discussion of what constitutes murder in Canada and when those who are convicted may be eligible for and receive parole.

Prostitution related offices: Sex workers and their clients are often concerned about potential criminal liability related to the activities. Clients and pimps (those trafficking) are often charged as of 2021.

Criminal Lawyer fees: How much criminal lawyers in Ontario normally charge to take on cases. The fee a lawyer asks for does not necessarily indicate their skill, knowledge, or success rates.

Flat fee criminal lawyers: Most criminal defence lawyers in Ontario will charge a flat fee for each case as opposed to an hourly rate. This helps maintain a healthy relationship with the client.

Good cheap criminal lawyers: A cheaper criminal lawyer may be just as good or better than an expensive one. There are many reasons why some lawyers ask for higher prices than others that do not relate to the quality of the work provided.

Getting domestic assault charges withdrawn: In domestic assault cases the best outcome is to have the charges withdrawn which does not result in a criminal record and will automatically cancel the no contact release conditions.

The definition of assault in Canada: How Sections 265 and 266 of the Criminal Code define assault in Canada and how assault cases are classified as either domestic or non-domestic.

Can those charged with assault for the first time go to jail?: First time assault offenders in Canada can be sentenced to jail. Information about what circumstances the court will take into consideration upon sentencing.

How to beat an assault charge: What an accused can do to beat the charges by having them dropped before trial or being found not guilty in court.

"Alleged to have committed": The meaning of alleged to have committed a Criminal Code offence in Canada. Charges are laid when the police swear a document called the Information. One statement from a witness is enough for the police to charge someone criminally.

Drug charges: About drug related charges including challenging police evidence based on improper warrants and search procedures.

Airport related charges: About being criminally charged at the airport including incidents on planes, the discovery of warrants by the CBSA/customs, and searches at the border for the importation and possession of contraband such as drugs and child pornography.

Amazon employee theft charges: Amazon employees are frequently charged with both theft under $5000 and theft over $5000. Jail time and a criminal record is often sought by Ontario Crown Attorneys for first time offenders who are caught stealing from Amazon warehouses.

Failure to stop after an accident: Failure to stop after an accident charges under Section 320.16 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The potential punishments, aggravating factors, and how criminal lawyers defend the charges are discussed.

Breaking and entering (CC s. 348 (1)): About breaking and entering charges in Canada under Section 348 of the Criminal Code. Potential punishments and case types (dwelling, domestic, workplace) are discussed. How lawyers defend B and E charges and can sometimes get them dropped or win an acquittal at trial.

Private Prosecution: A victim can press criminal charges themself through a process known as a private prosecution in Ontario, Canada. This allows the victim to charge someone with a criminal offence even if the police refuse to lay charges.

Record Suspension / Pardon applications: How to get a record suspension (pardon) in Canada. Why people with criminal records should apply for a record suspension, what offences are eligible, job background checks, US travel, and fingerprint/police records database destruction are also discussed.

Criminal Appeals in Ontario: How to appeal a conviction or sentence with the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Canada. The Court of Appeal can overturn convictions and reduce or impose new sentences for those found guilty.

Canada-wide warrants: About Canada-wide warrants for arrest issued under s. 703 (1) of the Criminal Code. Out of jurisdiction police forces, the CBSA and US Customs can find out about a warrant and arrest you whether the warrant is Canada-wide or not. Canada-wide warrants alert signals are sometimes attached to a known suspect vehicle's licence plate by the MTO.

Professional regulatory complaint defence: Defending professional regulatory complaints, investigations, hearings, tribunals, appeals, and compliance requests. About defending claims of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, and other allegations that threaten your career and reputation.

Zoom court appearance lawyer: Those who have been given a remote or virtual criminal court appearance date via Zoom in Ontario should hire a lawyer to defend them as soon as possible (ideally before the first Zoom court appearance date).

Charges dropped before Zoom court: Criminal charges are not normally dropped before the first Zoom remote court appearance date in Ontario, Canada. Most cases require multiple virtual Zoom appearances before a successful completion.

Zoom court disclosure: Those who have been given a remote Zoom (virtual) criminal court appearance date in Ontario should have a lawyer apply for the disclosure on their behalf as soon as possible.

Ontario Zoom virtual/remote court links: Direct Zoom links to all criminal remote first appearances and set date court appearances in Ontario.

Remote court Zoom login details: Virtual remote courthouse Zoom Meeting IDs and passcodes, join meeting video links, and telephone login information for first appearances and case management adjournments in Ontario, Canada.

Why you should hire a lawyer even if guilty: Those who are guilty can benefit tremendously from hiring a lawyer prior to their first remote court appearance date. Sometimes charges can be dropped even if the accused is guilty.

First-instance arrest warrants: When the police can't locate a suspect to arrest them they will put out a first-instance warrant for their arrest. First-instance warrants are often made public in the media harming the reputation of the accused.

Why fingerprints are required before remote court: Why you must provide your fingerprints before the first remote court appearance date, what happens when you go for fingerprints and how the information collected is stored and shared with other police forces, IRCC, and U.S. Customs.

Ontario Daily Court Lists: The names of those criminally charged in Ontario are posted online via the Daily Court Lists. The DCL allows the public to view and search the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ) and Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) dockets online.

Names of those charged: How to find out the names of those who are criminally charged in Ontario, Canada. The names of those charged with criminal offences are public information.

Ontario Court Dates: How to find out the court date for someone who is criminally charged in Ontario, Canada. Court appearances are generally open to the public to view.

Voyeurism charges lawyer: Information about voyeurism charges in Ontario, Canada under Section 162 (1) of the Criminal Code. Potential punishments and case types (hidden camera, screenshot recordings, domestic) are discussed. Why false charges are made and how a lawyer can help defend them.

Shoplifting fines: Shoplifting fines include criminal record sentences if found guilty, provincial offence trespassing tickets, and store civil demand letters. How much are shoplifting fines and what happens if they are not paid.

Improper firearms storage charges: About improper firearms storage charges in Ontario, Canada under Section 86 of the Criminal Code. How gun owners get charged with improper storage of a firearm and what defences are available including Charter applications relating to illegal police search and seizures.

Robbery charges: About robbery charges under Section 344 of the Criminal Code. Different robbery case types (domestic, workplace, etc.) are discussed along with the potential punishments and consequences if found guilty.

Human Trafficking Charges: Human Trafficking (trafficking in persons) charges under Section 279.01 of the Criminal Code of Canada are discussed including punishments, defences, and false allegations.

Americans charged in Canada: About being from the USA, but criminally charged in Canada. What Americans charged in Canada should do. How Criminal Code charges impact crossing the border, IRCC applications, and can lead to US Green Card and TN visa status revocation.

Outstanding Arrest Warrants: How to deal with an arrest warrant for criminal charges in Ontario. How to know if there is a warrant out for your arrest, what you should do if you have an outstanding warrant, and the consequences of ignoring an arrest warrant and remaining wanted or at large.

The Law Offices of Mark Zinck
121 Richmond Street W, Suite 1100
Toronto, ON
M5H 2K1
By Appointment Only.

*Please note: Due to COVID-19, we do not require our clients to physically meet with us in person. We represent clients throughout all of Ontario and do not need them to come to Toronto to retain us.

The Law Offices of Mark Zinck
121 Richmond Street W, Suite 1100
Toronto, ON
M5H 2K1
By Appointment Only.

*Please note: Due to COVID-19, we do not require our clients to physically meet with us in person. We represent clients throughout all of Ontario and do not need them to come to Toronto to retain us.

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.

*2023 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 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   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