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CORNWALL CRIMINAL LAWYERS

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Aitken Robertson Can Defend Against Criminal Allegations in Cornwall

Drinking and Driving (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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Assaults and Threats

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.

Domestic 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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Sex Assault

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 Assault

Child Sex Assault

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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Bail Hearings

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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Dangerous 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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Driving While Prohibited

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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Drugs

Drugs

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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Breaches

Breaches

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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Weapons

Weapons

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 and Property Crimes

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 Area Team

Criminal Lawyer Richard Aitken

Richard Aitken

Managing Lawyer

Court Information for Criminal Offences 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 Cornwall.OCJ.courts@ontario.ca.

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 Criminal 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

 


Footnotes
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornwall,_Ontario
  2. Ibid.
  3. https://choosecornwall.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Cornwall-Community-Profile-Demographics.pdf
  4. https://janiking.ca/cornwall
  5. https://www.cornwall.ca/en/play-here/lamoureux-park.aspx?_mid_=21466
  6. https://www.facebook.com/stlawrencevisitorcentre
  7. https://cornwallspeedway.com/
  8. https://www.macleans.ca/canadas-best-communities-in-2021-full-ranking/
  9. https://www.homegeeks.ca/single-post/is-cornwall-a-good-place-to-live
  10. Ibid.

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