City: Picton, Ontario
Our Client: Mr. M.
Charge(s): Assault Causing Bodily Harm, Break and Enter, Robbery, Mischief Under, Assault with a Weapon, Breach of Recognizance x3
Lawyer: Virginia Dolinksa
Case Study: Plea Bargain – Break and Enter
Mr. M. was the only adult accused, he was charged with three other individuals, one male and two females, who were all under 18 years of age. Mr. M.’s girlfriend was a co-accused. Previous to the incident, the complainant engaged in some nuisance behaviours towards Mr. M.’s girlfriend and the other female co-accused. Mr. M. wanted the complainant to stop the behaviour and teach him a lesson which went too far and consequently meant that Mr. M. was potentially facing at a jail sentence in the range of four years. Mr. M. and the three other co-accuseds entered the complainant’s home during the night and assaulted him. A rubber mullet was held by Mr. M. who threatened to use it on the complainant. A substantial quantity of cash and marijuana was taken from the residence. There was some damage to the property as a result of the incident. The complainant’s neighbours and some passersby were able to identify Mr. M. and the other co-accused. Mr. M. was arrested the same night. He was released with a number of strict conditions, including a condition prohibiting contact with all co-accused, including his girlfriend. While the charges were pending and negotiations with the Crown were ongoing, Mr. M. breached his release conditions on three separate occasions. He contacted and met his co-accused girlfriend when he was prohibited to do so. He spent six days in custody between his releases on bail for the breach charges.
The goal was to keep Mr. M. out of a lengthy jail sentence. The other co-accused were all under 18, and would therefore get youth sentences. Mr. M. was prosecuted as an adult. The charges Mr. M. was facing were indictable offences, which means that the penalties are much harsher.
Given the evidence against Mr. M. as well as his confession, going to trial would be extremely risky especially given the fact that a lengthy custody period would be imposed. Lengthy negotiations and plea-bargaining was made with the Crown and additional discussions were done with the judge in order to craft a sentence Mr. M. could accept. A pre-sentence report was ordered which allows a probation officer to interview the defendant and his family after which sentencing recommendations are made.
Mr. M. entered a plea to break and enter, assault with a weapon and one count of breach. All other charges were withdrawn. Mr. M. was sentenced to 12 months house arrest which included, amongst others, an exception allowing Mr. M. to continue his employment. A 12 month probation order would follow upon the completion of the house arrest sentence.