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132 Second St East
Unit 101
Cornwall, Ontario
K6H 1Y4


Local Phone: 343-309-9226

Toll Free 24/7: 1-800-668-1657

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cornwall criminal law


We offer free 30-minute initial consultations to individuals in Cornwall. Our criminal defence lawyers are available to review your case with you.

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Aitken Robertson Can Defend Against Criminal Allegations in Cornwall

impaired driving

Drinking and Driving (Impaired Driving)

Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs is illegal as is operating a vehicle with amounts of alcohol or drugs in your blood that are over the legal limits of 80+ mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. The penalties for drinking and driving offences are severe and include fines, a prohibition on driving and driver’s licence suspension, and possibly jail. (If it’s not your first conviction for one of these offences, then definitely jail.)

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sexual assault

Domestic Assault

Domestic assault is the term often used to describe an assault against an intimate partner or family member. However, it is not an actual term found in the Criminal Code. Depending on the facts of the particular case, the charge could be one of the types of assault listed above, for example simple assault or aggravated assault. Regardless of which type of assault charge results from a situation of domestic violence, it will be considered to be a particularly serious occurrence of that type of assault because of the “breach of trust” that occurs when there is violence in such close and dependant relationships. The penalties vary depending upon the seriousness of the assault, will often include weapons prohibitions, and at the high end can include jail.

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ontario domestic assault charges

Sex Assault

Sex assault is an assault characterized by sexual actions that occur without the victim’s consent, for example, unwanted sexual touching, kissing, groping or intercourse. The penalties are very severe and include registering in and reporting to national and provincial sex offender registries.

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internet crimes

Internet Crimes

Internet crime, sometimes called cybercrime, is crime that occurs through the use of the internet and social media. Some examples of internet crime include child luring, impersonation, identity theft, cyber-bullying, child pornography and revenge porn. As the types of crimes that can occur online can vary widely, so do the penalties.

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Child Sex Crimes

Child Sex Assault & Sexual Interference

Child sex assault is not a separate offence in the Criminal Code; instead, it is described within the offence of sex assault (see “Sex assault” above) and is defined as a sexual assault on a person under the age of 16. Other related sexual offences involving children include, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, bestiality in presence of or by a child, and luring a child. The penalties are, without exception, very severe and include mandatory jail sentences and registering in and reporting to national and provincial sex offender registries.

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sexual assault charges

Assaults and Threats

In Canadian criminal law, an assault is the act of applying force intentionally, directly or indirectly, to another person without that person’s consent. It is also assault if you accost or impede another person, or beg, while openly carrying a weapon or an imitation weapon.

The offence of “Uttering Threats” is committed when someone knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat: to cause death or bodily harm; to burn destroy or damage property; or, to kill poison or injure an animal belonging to any person.

There are many types of assault including:

The penalties will be dependent on the type and severity of the assault.

Bail Hearings in Ontario

Bail Hearings

For some offences some people who get arrested will not simply be released from the station after being processed. If you are one of these people you will instead be held in jail to await a bail hearing. Your bail hearing will determine if you can be released, or if you should remain in jail during the time your case is being processed by the criminal justice system. Your bail hearing will not be about your innocence or guilt; it will just be able whether or not you will be let out of jail. If you are not successful at your bail hearing you will have to stay in jail—possibly for months—while your case is working its way through the court process, rather than being able to deal with your case “from the outside.”

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stunt driving

Dangerous Driving

In the Criminal Code, this offence is actually called “Dangerous Operation.” This offence occurs when someone operates a vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public. This definition is admittedly very broad, but the charge is meant to apply to cases of particularly dangerous bad driving and it is a serious matter to be charged with this offence. The penalties are severe and can include a prohibition on driving and even jail.

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suspended liscence

Driving While Prohibited

Driving while prohibited is the criminal offence of driving while you are under a court order not to drive because you were convicted of a previous criminal offence that carries a driving prohibition as one of its penalties, for example a DUI. The penalties for this offence usually include jail and additional periods of prohibition on driving.

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drug charges


Drug charges would involve the supplying, importing, exporting, growing, manufacturing, trafficking or possessing of those substances listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). The CDSA lists both hard and soft drugs, including heroin, cocaine, “magic mushrooms,” marijuana (in quantities above a certain amount) as well as other substances including precursors to listed drugs. Penalties vary depending on the type and amount of drugs as well as other surrounding circumstances. At the high end, the penalties include lengthy jail sentences. If you have a drug charge on your criminal record, you will not be able to enter or even transit through the U.S.

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In criminal law, the term “breach” refers to a violation of a condition in a probation order or in a pre-trial release (such as bail or a Promise to Appear with an undertaking). The breach is itself an additional criminal offence and usually results in serious penalties, often including jail.

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weapon charges


Weapons offences include using firearms to harm others, possessing illegal firearms and unsafe handling of legally owned firearms. You may, in some circumstances, also be charged for having violently used an object other than a firearm, including an object that may have a perfectly legal use, such as a kitchen knife. Additionally, some objects are actually classified as prohibited weapons, as for example brass knuckles or flick knives. Convictions for weapons charges result in severe penalties (although recent amendments to the law have reduced the severity somewhat).

break and enter

Break and Enter and Property Crimes

Break and enter is the crime of breaking and entering into a place with an intent to commit an indictable offence or actually committing an indictable offence in the place. It is always considered a serious offence regardless of the type of place broken into, but if the break and enter is committed in relation to a dwelling-house, the person will be liable to imprisonment for life. Other property offences include arson, burglary, vandalism, theft of personal property, and motor vehicle theft. The penalties for these other offences will vary according to the type, severity and circumstances of the offence.

young offenders

Young Offenders

In Canada, criminal offences committed by young people between the ages of 12 and 18, are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). While the offences with which young people in this age group can be charged are the same Criminal Code offences as for adults, the processes of the criminal justice system and the potential consequences, are different for young people.

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Aitken Robertson | Criminal Lawyers in Cornwall

If you have been charged with a criminal offence in or around Cornwall, the law firm of Aitken Robertson can help. Aitken Robertson’s legal team has over 100 years of combined experience defending people charged with criminal offences in Ontario. Our lawyers and paralegals stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the law by regularly taking continuing legal education courses, even travelling out of the country to get the best training available.

Call Aitken Robertson for a 30-minute free consultation. You can to talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable criminal lawyers in Cornwall who can tell you how we can help you with your criminal charges.

Our Cornwall Criminal Law Team

Richard Aitken criminal lawyer

Richard Aitken

Managing Lawyer
Ottawa Criminal Lawyer - Virginia Dolinska

Virginia Dolinska

Sole Practitioner Lawyer Affiliated with Aitken Robertson
Jami Sanftleben - Paralegal

Jami Sanftleben

Licensed Paralegal
Zachary McDonald - Paralegal

Zachary McDonald

Licensed Paralegal

Where Do I Go For Court In Cornwall?

Criminal offences that arise in Cornwall and the surrounding areas, are heard at the Cornwall Courthouse, located at 29 Second St W, Cornwall. Both the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice are in this building. The courthouse hours are from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (closed on weekends and holidays).

There are also satellites courts in:

  • Alexandria (110 Main St. North, PO Box 699 Alexandria ON K0C 1A0, 613-525-4330), and
  • Morrisburg (6 – 5th Street W. Box 858 Morrisburg ON K0C 1X0, 613-543-2193).

Because of COVID-19, some criminal court matters were postponed and some were being dealt with virtually rather than by traditional in-person appearances. Normal procedures are in the process of resuming, but to be sure about how your case will be dealt with by this court, it’s best to inquire ahead of your court date. You can contact the Cornwall Courthouse by phone at 613-933-7500. (The satellite courts’ phone numbers are above.) You can contact the Cornwall Courthouse (and the two satellite courts) by email at

If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will be able to tell you what the current rules are and will be able to take care of most of your court appearances on your behalf so that you don’t have to attend yourself.

There is some free parking at the courthouse, as well as metered street parking and a municipal parking lot across the street.

If you have time to eat sometime during your trip to the Cornwall Courthouse, the city has numerous fast-food places, but there also a some more formal restaurants that have earned good reviews and are not far from the courthouse. Here are a few:

  • Truffles Burger Bar serving traditional beef burgers as well as burgers made from other ingredients, including kangaroo. They offer both dine-in and takeout service. They do have vegan options as well.
  • Edward’s Bistro serving bistro fare, concentrating on Italian and French cuisine. They offer dining-in, curbside pick-up and no-contact delivery.
  • Tiny Table serving Vietnamese food with options to dine-in, pick-up at curbside or get no-contact delivery.

Looking for A Defence Lawyer In Cornwall?

Sitting at the eastern end of Ontario, beside the St. Lawrence River, is Cornwall. It is on the U.S. border, right across from New York State. Because of this proximity to the border, among the first settlers in this area were the United Empire Loyalists, American colonists loyal to the British Crown, who migrated to Canada in the eighteenth century after the American War of Independence. By the 19th century it was a settled area with just a modest amount of industry. However, “Canal and lock construction in the late 1800s and the early 1900s brought work and international business.”1 And then the railways came:

The railway connections provided connections between Cornwall and local communities that required access to public services in Cornwall itself, such as high schools and medical services, and helped cement Cornwall’s position as a regional centre for a large, rapidly-expanding, and increasingly-populated rural hinterland. The network of villages and towns surrounding Cornwall helped make the city a local entrepot for business, commerce, media and services.2

Today the city has a population of 46,5893 and enjoys a “diversified mix of manufacturing, automotive, high tech, food processing, distribution centres and call centres.”4

Some Things to Do if You Visit Cornwall

Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park is the largest waterfront park in eastern Ontario. On the shoreline of the St. Lawrence, it offers, among other attractions, cycling and pedestrian trails, a community museum, historical plaques, Rotary Eco-Gardens and an Aquatic Centre.5 If you’re interested in engineering and technology, the Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre provides an interactive, historical look at the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.6 Cornwall is also a great place for boating and fishing. And, if you like the roar of automotive engines, the Cornwall Motor Speedway is usually open Sundays from mid-May to mid-October.7

Is Cornwall a Safe Place To Live?

In 2021, Cornwall ranked number eight in the top 10 cities on the list of “Best Communities in Canada” compiled by Maclean’s magazine.8 In Maclean’s listing of “Canada’s Most Dangerous Places 2020,” Cornwall ranked number 47 out of 237for crime in general and 31 for violent crime. However for homicides it ranked close to the bottom at 220. For impaired driving it came in at 91 and for break and enters at 77. So it appears that while Cornwall has a relatively high crime rate, your chances of getting murdered are relatively low. But bear in mind that the particular neighbourhood in Cornwall that you’re in, will matter. The real estate website of HomeGeeks advises that:

Cornwall is a relatively safe place to live; however, if you are new to the area or thinking of buying and don’t know where to look, you may want to know which areas to avoid. I usually refer my clients to the Cornwall Police crime map to know where higher crime areas are in the city.9

The city offers a lot of advantages. It is commuter distance to both Montreal and Ottawa, but housing prices are much lower than in either of these larger cities. And its residents “enjoy the many benefits of a small town like less traffic, larger building lots, friendly neighbourhoods, walking distances to most shopping, transit, and recreation…”10


  2. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
Google Rating
Based on 16 reviews

What Cornwall Clients Say About Us

Patrick C.
Patrick C.
had very good service big ferm and lots of experience lawyers that work there. onlly issue I had was on payment plan but yet told I was caught up on my payments so stopped then got a email many months later stating I need to pay so much luckily was able to get back on the payment plan to finish my... plead so thankful there's that option at this firm all in all good more
Mark M.
Mark M.
I received outstanding service from Aitken Robertson Law. I was charged with robbery by the police, while my version of the story was completely different. I was in shock and very afraid. I contacted this law firm, and I immediately got a call back from from Richard assuring me that they would do... everything they could to help me. He listened and heard my side of the story. Melanie and Richard were amazing with helping me get through the emotional part and giving me professional legal advice. My file was quickly given to Virginia Dolinska who was assigned to be my lawyer and represent me. She said she would be appearing at all my court appearances for me and that I would not have to be present. I feared losing my job. Zachary was amazing keeping me informed about all the appearances. Virginia said she would try to get the best outcome for me, of which she did. After a few months, she called me to say that the crown will withdraw the charge and are willing to provide me with a 12 month peace bond, Which meant no criminal record for me. Therefor. I could keep my job. Wow, from robbery to a peace bond. I was so happy and had happy tears. Virginia's hard work and dedication to help me will never be forgotten. She said she would do her best, and that she did. Also, Suzie was very helpful providing me with a manageable payment plan. Thank you Aitken Robertson Law for all of your help, compassion and dedication. I would recommend your law firm to anyone.RMread more
Kayla A.
Kayla A.
Having to appear in court to prove my innocence has been scary and frustrating. I wasn’t appointed a lawyer and I was denied financial assistance to get one. I had to obtain a lawyer on my own and searching for that right lawyer to take on my case has been a nightmare until I called Aitken... Robertson, I soon met with Lindsay who was extremely nice and took my intake right away she listened to everything I was going through was very understanding, the next day I met with a Lawyer. Richard Aitkens, He answered all my questions, gave me the legal advice I was seeking for and was willing to help me along with my case. I want to say Thank you Aitken Robertson and their team for accepting me with open arms I’m excited to move forward and finally put this case behind me. If you want to feel accepted and your matter heard call Aitken Robertson you won’t be more
I had a very old charge (23 years), where a bench warrant was issued. I contacted the firm thru the website after dinner, and first thing the next morning I received a call from Lindsay! She was very professional, friendly, and asked for a few details to get the process started. An appointment was... set for the same day for a no cost 30 minute consultation with Dan Lamaire. After his call I have full confidence in his ability to manage my charges to the best outcome possible. He was forthright and honest.I was very stressed but everyone one I spoke with at AR made me feel comfortable and well taken care of. Susan managed all of the paperwork, and forwarded lots of pertinent information that made me feel more in control, and prepped for how the process will go no matter the outcome. I highly recommend these folks, they know what they are doing, and make it very clear that I can call and should as often as I need too, without judgement. They do what is called block billing and also have payment plans, so no need to worry about not getting representation because you can't pay for it all up front. Thank you to the whole team for making such a difficult and stressful situation feel more
Ishan A.
Ishan A.
Jami Sanftleben helped me with my case and resolved the matter in a very professional manner. He does his work very diligently and meticulously. I will recommend Aitken Robertson Law Firm!
Shane M.
Shane M.
Professional service, very informative and educatedHave a dui charge still continues.Lindsay was a great help with my issues and clarified anything for meI would recommend this service to anyone who wants to move fasterI felt listened to as well as just Lindsay being there for meAnd if... Ure ever in trouble, would suggest it to anyoneread more
Carla J.
Carla J.
Linsey and Susan are fantastic. The legal team is very impressive. They all very capable
Im grateful for the support I was provided in a very short window of time. This firm mobilized quickly and effectively with what I needed. Additionally, I appreciate that legal counsel is on standby to support me even with the most basic questions, or follow up events transpiring, I find that they... are accessible to me, which isn’t always the case with busy firms. I particularly, appreciated Lindsay’s support during the intake process, she was professional, listened to all of my concerns, provided me with reassurances and made the overall experience such a positive one. As such I feel that I am looked after and that my concerns are addressed in a very timely manner. Excellent service over all!Thank more
I am incredibly impressed by the outstanding service provided by Aitken Robertson. The team are true experts in their field, offering sound legal advice and strategic guidance throughout my family's legal journey. Their professionalism, integrity, and dedication to achieving the best possible... outcome for their clients are unparalleled. I am grateful for their tireless efforts and would not hesitate to recommend Aitken Robertson to anyone in need of legal representation. Thank you for your exceptional service!read more
G M.
G M.
I highly recommend Aitken Robertson. Jamie’s very respectful and his professionalism is exemplary! He was able to get the result we were looking for! Thank you Jamie!
Jonathan L.
Jonathan L.
Although I did not secure an ideal decision I was extremely impressed with Jami’s helpful attitude and respect. Thank you Jami.
Maddy H.
Maddy H.
I highly recommend Aitken Robertson for all of your legal needs. Mr. Phil Stiles is amazing and very knowledgeable. Thank you for all that you guys do!
Brandi G.
Brandi G.
Able to take my case on short notice. Edwin was a fantastic representation for me and got me the desired results. Would recommend these lawyers anytime. I wish I could give 10 stars
Adam B.
Adam B.
Back in October of 2022 i was charged with a DUI. In all honesty with the charges and evidence brought up against me i thought for sure i was going to have to plead guilty.I really gave this firm quite the uphill battle, but in the end my lawyer was able to get me a plea for a careless driving... charge. I was ecstatic as i didn't believe there was any hope for my situation.The whole team at Aitken Robertson is extremely helpful and professional. Their prices are extremely fair for the work and the service you get (which is fantastic). I highly recommend using this firm to fight any driving related charges you may have.Thank you for everything the team has done for me!read more
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