At The Defence Group, our goal is to win the best result possible for you. And sometimes, if you did commit the offence you are charged with, the best result possible is a guilty plea to a lesser offence, or a sentencing hearing after a heard-fought trial. Rest assured that we will do everything we can do to win your case, either through negotiations or at trial. Regardless of whether you committed the offence or not, we do not give up on trying to win the case and we consider a guilty plea or a sentencing hearing only as a last resort, after all other options are exhausted. And we do not take any steps without your full cooperation and understanding of what the options are and why.
Preparing for a Sentencing Hearing
If a sentencing hearing becomes necessary, we will prepare just as thoroughly as we would for a trial. Sentencing is an area which is often neglected, yet one which is vitally important, because after all of the analysis and preparation, negotiations and trial, the end result is what counts. A properly prepared and presented sentencing hearing can mean the difference between a conviction, which burdens you with a criminal record, and a discharge, which does not; or the difference between a suspended sentence or jail; or between a jail sentence served in a detention centre, or one served at home. There are many other ways in which we can win the best result for you once the trial is over. We will analyze and discuss with you, depending on your case, the pros and cons of a penitentiary versus a reformatory sentence; eligibility for parole or remission; or the effect of pre-trial custody, and tough bail conditions on sentence reduction. If you are going to serve a period of probation, we negotiate or fight for the best terms, or access to the best programs. If you are serving a federal sentence, we will set up the most effective scenario for your upcoming parole hearing.
We will also advise you on which “ancillary” orders you can expect, including a DNA order, firearms prohibition, or, in sex offence cases, the provincial and federal sex offence registries and related provisions.
What is a “pardon”?
A pardon is society’s way of recognizing that an offender has paid his or her dues for the crime s/he committed and that enough time has now passed, without any further offences being committed, so that s/he can have the crime erased from their record.
Depending on the particulars of the crime and how much time has elapsed since you were sentenced, you might be eligible to seek a pardon. At The Defence Group, we can take care of all aspects of seeking a pardon, as well as applying for the destruction of your fingerprints and “mugshot” on file with the police.