Winning Against Robbery & Weapons Charges

Minimum jail sentences are the norm for gun charges now – whether the gun was real or not and regardless of whether harm was intended from its use. As a result whenever you can find another resolution, that opportunity should be taken. Below is just such an example.

My Experience In Robbery and Weapons Charges

2016 Robbery and Weapons Offences
2 out of 2 cases resulted in no criminal record.
1 conditional discharge.
1 withdrawal of charges.
R. v. S.
Factual Background: My client had two handguns stolen from his residence which he did not report to the police at the time. This was due to the worry that he would end up being charged with having carelessly stored them, which would result in a loss of his Firearms Acquisition Certificate and subsequently the loss of his job as a security guard. The guns ended up being found by the police as a result of them being used in the commission of other offences; the serial numbers had been filed off, but the experts were able to recover the serial numbers and trace them back to my client. As a result, he had no defence to the charges.

Strategy: I had to convince the Crown that it was obviously not acceptable that he did not report the original theft of the handguns to the police, but that it was understandable given that he was worried about losing his Firearms Acquisition permits and his job.

Decision/Outcome: I was able to get the Crown to understand that was the case and that my client was not a bad person, but rather someone who had made a bad decision. Ultimately I was able to convince the judge to grant him a conditional discharge. Even though the Crown had originally been seeking 4-6 months in jail, they ultimately ended up seeking a fine and a criminal record.
R. v. D. - Weapons & Threats
Factual Background: Client's sister had been harassed by an ex-boyfriend and a couple of his friends. In an effort to defend his sister, the client paid the men a visit and then sent them a picture of a toy gun insinuating that it was a real gun. The witnesses told police that he had shown up with the gun and was threatening them with it. The client gave a full statement to police explaining how he was going to do that, but his girlfriend talked him out of doing so.

Strategy: I needed to convince the Crown that what the client had told police was the truth and that the real bad guys here were the guys who had been harassing his sister. The police officers confirmed that they had been harassing my client's sister.

Decision/Outcome: The client completed some counselling for anger management, and the charges were withdrawn with him signing a peace bond to have no contact with the complainants.
R. v. D. (2015 Brampton) - Possession of a Prohibited Weapon and Possession of Cocaine
Factual Background: During a visit to the accused's school he was found to be in possession of a baton and cocaine.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that the reason the police were slow in providing disclosure, which ultimately they did supply, was because the search was completely illegal. They demanded for no good reason that he empty his pockets, which was how they found the baton. The Crown agreed the search was improper.

Decision/Outcome: Charges were withdrawn.
R. v. L.F. - Robbery (2015)
Pled guilty to assault, got probation for 9 months - client was on probation at the time for an earlier robbery - these matters were in youth court
R. v. C. (Brampton Court, January 2013)
Factual Background: Following a domestic argument in which alcohol was a factor, my client supposedly went downstairs and retrieved a compound bow and arrow while his wife was on the phone with police. He was charged with possession of dangerous weapons.

Strategy: To prove to the crown that this was an out-of-character incident for my client, and he was attempting to rectify the situation by enrolling in alcohol abuse counseling and the Partner Assault Response Program.

Decision/Outcome: Client was given a conditional discharge with probation even though the Crown was seeking a jail sentence. I was able to convince the judge that this was out of character and that the client had rectified the underlying issues.
R. v. S. (Brampton Court, December 2011)
Factual Background: Client engaged in a verbal altercation during a house party, in which he pulled out a gun and fired a shot in the air; after the house party he met up with an individual and pulled a gun out of the front of his pants. He was later charged with weapons dangerous and carrying a concealed weapon. Police showed up at the client’s house and he gave them the item in question which was actually a replica gun.

Strategy: To set a preliminary hearing date in order to have an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, and demonstrate that this was much less serious than everyone thought at first. The Crown's position on a plea was 6-9 months in jail. A preliminary hearing date was set, and none of the witnesses were willing to come to court, which demonstrated to the Crown that they clearly did not care.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. D. (June 2011)
Factual Background: Client forced his way into his ex-girlfriend's backyard, damaging her fence door, backyard shed, and door frame in order to retrieve some of his work tools. The police were called, and the client was arrested for Mischief Under $5,000.

Strategy: I was able to convince the Crown that not only had my client built the fence and shed that he damaged, but that he had a legal right to go into the shed and get his belongings, as she had been refusing to return them to him.

Decision/Outcome: Although the Crown had originally been seeking a criminal conviction and probation for 12 months, the Crown ultimately accepted my arguments and withdrew the charges.
R. v. R. (April 2011)
Factual Background: Client was charged with two counts of possession of property obtained by crime. Following two major robberies (robberies allegedly committed by my client’s boyfriend) items stolen in the robberies were found in her possession.

Strategy: It was clear that the client was in an extremely tough position, as she had been found in possession of the items her boyfriend and his associates had stolen. It was also clear the Crown wanted her to be a witness, and it was my job to convince her that she needed to tell the truth despite the fact that it might end up putting her boyfriend in more trouble. If she did not tell the truth, she would end up facing serious charges herself.

Decision/Outcome: My client testified at the preliminary hearing, told the truth, and at the end of her testimony, the Crown immediately withdrew charges against her.
R. v. I. (Brampton Court, March 2010)
Factual Background: Client, a young person, was charged with a robbery at school in which another student’s iPod was taken.

Strategy: I had the client provide a full statement to police regarding his involvement. I would then use that to convince the Crown that he was not guilty of robbery.

Decision/Outcome: The police repeatedly failed to provide a copy of the client’s new statement and eventually the Crown and pre-trial judge lost patience and the charges were withdrawn.
R. v. W. (Brampton Ct., September 2009)
Factual Background: Client charged with knocking a kid to the ground, threatening to kill him, and taking his bike. He was arrested for robbery two days later at an unrelated location.

The Strategy: I encouraged the Crown Attorney to withdraw the charge because there was no evidence disclosed that linked the client with the robbery. The Crown sought further information from the police and after six months we finally received further information. When the information arrived, it became clear that a photo line-up had been shown to the victim’s father who was not present at the time of the alleged robbery but had seen the client a few hours later and his son told him ”that was the guy”.

Decision/Outcome : The Crown agreed that this was completely inappropriate police work and the charges were withdrawn and the police officers in question were suspended.
R. v. B. (Brampton Ct., July 2009)
Factual Background: Client charged with robbing 2 young kids outside a McDonalds'. The kids run to the local police station and get the police. The police return with the boys and the accused is still at the McDonald's. Police arrest him and find an imitation firearm in his pants when he is searched.

The Strategy: They clearly have the right person but the Robberies are done in such a way that it can be argued that they were not in fact robberies. Legal research also showed that the weapons offence that the accused was charged with was the wrong offence and could not be proven. I needed to convince the Crown Attorney of this and work out a plea deal.

Decision/Outcome: Crown agreed to accept a plea to one count of Attempted Robbery and withdraw the other charges. The judge then gave him 12 months probation with a condition that he write letters of apology to both victims.
R. v. B. (Brampton Ct., July 2009)
Factual Background: Client and 2 other males charged with robbing a young boy of his iPod and money at a bus shelter outside a local mall. The boy ran off and told security who called the police. Security checked their mall cameras and located the suspects still at the mall and they were arrested. The boy told police that my client was one of the culprits who had robbed him.

The Strategy: I was quite certain my client was guilty but I was not sure the young victim would be able to identify him. I would need to cross-examine him politely and carefully; pointing out the weaknesses in his observations.

Decision/Outcome: During my cross-examination of the victim, he admitted that he did not believe my client had been involved and that when he saw the culprits on the security video, he just assumed my guy was one of them because he was with the other 2 guys. He then said maybe there was a fourth guy and then he became very confused and the Crown had to ask the judge to dismiss the charges. The Crown is obligated to prove identity beyond a reasonable doubt and if they cannot do so, the person must be found not guilty.
R. v. K. Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton Ct., 2008
Factual Background: The client was charged with the gunpoint robbery of a pizza delivery guy. Two other persons were also charged and it was alleged that 1 of the other guys held the gun. The client claimed he was innocent but had no meaningful alibi.

The Strategy: Convince the Crown Attorney that the evidence from the one accomplice that implicated my client was too weak to be relied upon and the charge should be withdrawn – the client was facing time in the penitentiary.

Decision/Outcome: I was able to convince the Crown about the weaknesses in their case; my client signed a peace bond and the charges were withdrawn.
Related to
Robbery and Weapons Charges