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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Criminal Records Check? Learn the Latest

One of the major concerns an accused person has is how potential criminal charges will affect their current job or future employment. For certain positions, especially those working with vulnerable populations, a criminal records check is a mandatory part of the application process. The release of information to employers can be arbitrary and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Even people who are found not guilty or have their charges withdrawn can have details about the charges released to their employers.

criminal records check

Actual copy of a criminal record check.

New Criminal Records Check Legislation

Fortunately, new Ontario legislation seeks to limit the amount of information that the police can release when conducting criminal records check. Now, police can only release information in background checks with the permission of the individual. The individual also has the right to review what information is being released and they can ask for decisions to be reconsidered.

Importantly, this legislation makes it very difficult for information to be released where the charges have been withdrawn or the person was found not guilty. This information will only be released in exceptional circumstances – for example, where a person is applying for a job involving vulnerable populations and the police are able to justify the release of the information.

This new legislation goes a long way to protecting the privacy of those who have not been convicted. Despite this legislation, however, if you are facing criminal charges, there’s always a possible risk to employment (depending on the type of charges), which is why it’s so important to have proper legal representation.

Recently the Hamilton Police Service launched and on-line criminal records check service.  Click here to access this service.

Smordin Law Criminal Lawyers
41 King William St. #200
Hamilton, ON
L8R 1A2
Tel: 1 (905) 525-0005
Toll Free: 1 (844) 525-0005
Fax: 1 (905) 525-5716
www.smordinlaw.com




Criminal Record Travel concerns?

The Basics: Criminal Record Travel

If you’ve recently been charged or convicted of a criminal offence, you have a lot to think about. with a Criminal Record Travel issues often arise. What will you do to fight the charges against you? What are you going to do to make sure your family is taken care-of while you deal with these matters? What will happen to your job and your future job prospects? Criminal charges affect all areas of an accused individual’s life, sometimes in unexpected ways. One such area is the ability to travel, especially to the United States.

American law in this area is complex, but there are a few common situations that are important to keep in mind. An individual found guilty of an offence of moral turpitude cannot enter the United States. “Moral turpitude” is not defined in American law, which complicates matters. Generally, moral turpitude refers to crimes that involve serious dishonesty or actions that go against a community’s morals. Some examples of this include: murder, robbery, embezzlement, and certain sex offences. As well, an individual cannot enter the United States if they have been convicted of more than one offence and the total custody time between all of the offences exceeds five years. This stays in effect regardless of whether the offences were moral turpitude offences.

Most importantly, it is crucial to remember that border officials are given a very wide margin of discretion, and can reject entry into a country for a variety of reasons aside from a criminal conviction.

What about pardons?

If at least five years have passed since your offence, you could be eligible for a pardon, which is officially known as a record suspension. Unfortunately, record suspensions are only valid within Canada, so they cannot always diminish the effects of a criminal record.

If you are facing criminal charges …

The lawyers at Smordin Law have extensive experience with all levels of criminal charges, and understand the travel-related difficulties that criminal charges produce. If you are facing criminal charges and have future travel plans or concerns about travel plans, contact Smordin Law to review your options.

Sources:

https://www.educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/impact-criminal-record

John Howard Society

Smordin Law Criminal Lawyers
41 King William St. #200
Hamilton, ON
L8R 1A2
Tel: 1 (905) 525-0005
Toll Free: 1 (844) 525-0005
Fax: 1 (905) 525-5716
www.smordinlaw.com

criminal record travel




Crown Disclosure. The Crown’s evidence against you.

Crown Disclosure Definition

Crown Disclosure refers to all materials the Crown will use against the accused in criminal proceedings, and usually consists of a package which includes several paper documents. Among the documents, individuals may find: police officers’ notes, witness statements, a copy of their CPIC (criminal record), and a screening form. A screening form is a form the Crown completes, which briefly details the charges against the accused, and the punishment the Crown will seek.

Disclosure is not limited to paper copies of evidence, and can come in video, audio, or photograph form.

Why is getting disclosure important?

Receiving all disclosure related to an ongoing criminal matter is important for a variety of reasons. A person can best face the charges against them if they can access all the information the Crown will be using to prosecute them. Furthermore, it is an individual’s constitutional right to receive their disclosure. It is therefore the Crown’s duty to provide the disclosure.

crown disclosure

This is an actual copy of a letter the Crown attaches to crown disclosure.

A Lawyer’s Role

A lawyer has several roles related to disclosure.

Crown disclosure often comes in stages over the course of a few weeks. It is not always complete or ready to be distributed to the accused by the time the accused’s first court appearance is scheduled. If an individual retains a lawyer, the lawyer will review the disclosure to see if there is missing information, and based on his or her findings, request that the Crown provide what is missing.

The lawyer will also review the Crown disclosure to understand the case against the accused. Lawyers examine the disclosure to determine whether the process of obtaining evidence was fair to the accused, and that the accused’s rights were respected throughout any investigation. Finally, and most importantly, lawyers review the disclosure with the accused individual, to ensure that the individual knows about all aspects of the case against them, and that all of the individual’s questions are answered.

Source:

Law Facts

Smordin Law Criminal Lawyers
41 King William St. #200
Hamilton, ON
L8R 1A2
Tel: 1 (905) 525-0005
Toll Free: 1 (844) 525-0005
Fax: 1 (905) 525-5716
www.smordinlaw.com




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