Criminal Law Meeting Place in Ottawa
Located near the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the Ottawa Town Hall, Aitken Robertson is always ready to defend those facing criminal allegations.
Virginia Dolinska, an experienced criminal defence lawyer, works with our clients in Ottawa and the surrounding area. Virginia is a tireless advocate and sets her clients’ worries at ease by keeping them constantly informed as she fights their charges. Virginia is assisted by founding lawyer Richard Aitken, who has been practicing criminal law for over 35 years.
Clients facing lesser criminal offences or provincial offences such as Highway Traffic Actviolations will work with paralegal Jami Sanftleben. After completing his licensing hours with Aitken Robertson, Jami stayed with the firm full-time. In addition to fighting for the clients under his care, Jami assists the firm’s lawyers with document review, research and defence preparation. Jami also helps with marketing for the firm. Our law clerks work with all of Aitken Robertson’s Ottawa clients, organizing meetings, scheduling when Virginia and Jami meet with Crown representatives and ensuring that all of the documents on your case are secure and organized.
Aitken Robertson believes that to provide our clients with top tier criminal defence our entire team should work collectively. While our Ottawa clients may deal with only Virginia, Richard, and Jami directly, they are consistently refining your defence strategy with the help of many experienced lawyers, paralegals, clerks, administrators and students. You’ll have a team of over twenty legal professionals in your corner the moment you retain the Aitken Robertson team.
Aitken Robertson has developed three programs to make it easier for our clients to afford quality legal services: free 30-minute consultations, flat fee billing, and interest-free payment plans.
All those charged with a criminal or provincial offence are encouraged to set up a free 30-minute consultation with a member of our team. We’ll discuss with you the facts of your case, what happened, what the police claim happened, and the kinds of evidence the Crown may have. This consultation is protected by legal confidentiality and so you can trust that the details of your case are secure with us. We’ll use this consultation to determine what the cost of your defence would be and what the odds of success are. This way you’ll have all the information you need to decide on retaining us or not.
The price we give you after your consultation is a flat fee and does not fluctuate based on “billable hours”. We want you to know at the very beginning what our service will cost so you can focus on getting past your charges and not on an unknown price tag.
If the cost of your defence is intimidating there’s no need to worry. Criminal defence is an important investment, and like many other important investments in life, it can often be best to pay off in multiple small payments rather than all at once. We offer interest-free payment plans which are customized to meet each client’s financial needs so that you can fight your criminal charges without worrying about breaking the bank. Rather than a lump sum payment you can make bi-weekly instalments over several months, or monthly instalments over the year. We work with you to make sure it fits your financial situation.
Meet with our team in Ottawa for your free 30-minute consultation as soon as possible so we can begin fighting your charges without delay. We are available to meet with you in-person, by telephone, or virtually (using Zoom or Google Meet).
Our Team In Ottawa
Frequently Asked Questions
Criminal charges are complicated, and fighting them in the Crown’s office, in pre-trials, and trials, is even more complicated. Our team is experienced at handling these things for a variety of clients with a variety of charges. First, we meet with you for a free 30-minute consultation where you can explain to us what happened. We use that information to give you a cost and a rough estimate of the kinds of outcomes you might expect. Next, if you retain us we contact the Crown Attorney (the government lawyer whose job is to convict you) and request disclosure. Disclosure is a file with all of the evidence the Crown has against you; they are obligated to let us see what they have to work with. We review that to determine how strong the Crown’s case is, then discuss it with you to see what options you might be interested in proceeding with. This could mean trying to have the Crown drop the charges, attempting to secure a deal where you plead guilty to a lesser offence to have the original charges dropped, taking the case to trial, etc. For the most part, we can handle things without you being present and if we need you to be there we can let you know in advance. From there we update you along the way and try to resolve the charges in the way you specified.
Once you retain us, not usually. Your criminal defence lawyer acts as an “agent” on your behalf, which means you typically don’t need to be at meetings with the Crown or most sessions in Court. If you need to be present, for example, to sign a peace bond or for sentencing, we’ll let you know in advance. Since we can go in for you most of the time you don’t need to worry about court dates interfering with your work or personal life.
It depends. The cost of a defence varies based on the charges, the evidence the Crown has, how much time our lawyers, paralegals, clerks and law students will need to work on the case, etc. That said, we don’t use the “billable hours” model that many firms still use, where the cost increases as time goes on and you don’t know the final bill until the case is finished. We give you a block rate at the very beginning so you know how much it will cost before you agree to retain us.
Ask us for an interest-free payment plan. We recognize that legal fees can be intimidating when viewed as a lump sum cost, so we offer a chance for our clients to make small payments over a longer period with no additional interest. It’s easier to make a small payment each time you get a paycheck than it is to get the entire cost together at once. We’ll work with you to build a custom plan that best suits your financial situation.
There are plenty of restaurants in the area. If you stay on Elgin St you’ll find several pubs, a diner, a vegetarian restaurant, a Mexican restaurant and a sports bar.
Never assume your case is unwinnable, always discuss it with a criminal lawyer first. There are plenty of things we tend to notice in cases since we’ve been handling criminal defence for decades. For example, a case of driving with a blood-alcohol level over 80mg/100ml might seem unwinnable if the police have several tests that show you did have an alcohol level above the legal limit. However, if the police failed to tell you about your right to counsel within a reasonable time the evidence from their tests might be deemed inadmissible for violating your Charter rights. This could weaken the Crown’s case enough to have the charged withdrawn by the Crown or dismissed by a judge. These are the sorts of things we look for in the notes provided to us by the Crown in their disclosure. Talk to us before you make any assumptions about your likelihood of success.
You can contact any of the following places to have an Interlock Ignition device installed on your vehicle:
LifeSafer Ignition Interlock
2615 Lancaster Road, Unit 20
Ignition Interlock Ottawa
25 Laurier Ave West, Suite 900
Ottawa Area Criminal Law Resources
Ottawa Courthouse Location
Ottawa Superior Court of Justice
161 Elgin St
Ottawa Ontario Court of Justice
161 Elgin St
Provincial Offences Court Offices
100 Constellation Dr
Telephone: 613-580-2665 Extension: 7
Ottawa Courthouse Accessibility Coordinator
161 Elgin St
Ottawa Crown Attorney’s Office
161 Elgin St
Legal Aid Ontario, Ottawa Office
275 Slater St, Suite 1101
University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic
17 Copernicus St
Recent Ottawa Cases & Success Stories
CASE STUDY: Acquittal – Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
CASE STUDY: Sexual Assault x2 in Eastern Ontario
CASE STUDY: Withdrawal, No Conviction – Assault Charges
CASE STUDY: Acquittal: Criminal Negligence Causing Bodily Harm and Other Vehicle-Related Offences
“I was very pleased with how Virginia helped me understand my charges and fight and beat most of them best around i feel thanks.” – C.W., Aitken Robertson Client