Monthly Archives: March 2011

When Should You Hire a Criminal Lawyer ?

Criminal LawyerA criminal defense lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in defending individuals and companies who have been charged with criminal conduct. Although the court allows you to defend yourself (when you are charged with committing a crime), hiring a criminal lawyer often dramatically improves your chances of winning the case. Once hired, your lawyer will try to have the charges against you dropped. If he fails in that, then he will try to get you an acquittal or have your sentence reduced (if you are found guilty).

You should hire a criminal lawyer when you are charged with the following:

Assault: Using force on another person (or persons) with the intention to cause bodily harm is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment. Sexual assault also falls in this category. The maximum penalty for assault is a life sentence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Extortion: Extortion is the use of threat of force, official position or any other illegal means of coercion to force someone to hand over money, property or favor. The maximum penalty for extortion under the Criminal Code of Canada is imprisonment for life.

Robbery: Taking any personal or government property by threat of force or use of violence is called robbery. The maximum penalty for robbery under Canada’s Criminal Code is a life sentence.

Fraud: The act of deceiving someone with the intention to make personal or financial gain is called fraud. Fraud is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or jail sentence or both. Under Canada’s Criminal Code, the maximum penalty for fraud is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Credit card offences: Theft and/or forgery of a credit card belonging to another person, being in possession of a stolen credit card and using a revoked or cancelled credit card are criminal offences punishable by imprisonment. The maximum penalty for credit card offence is 10 years’ jail sentence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Driving offense: Driving dangerously or carelessly or DUI are criminal offenses punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both. Under the Canadian Criminal Code, the maximum penalty for driving offence if death is caused is a life sentence.

Drug offences: Production, possession or trafficking of illegal drug is us a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life imprisonment.

Shoplifting: Taking merchandise from a retail establishment with the purpose of stealing is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both and a criminal record attached to the offender’s name.

Criminal Records and Their Use in Background Checks

If you plan to hire a person to work for you or need to approve a tenant, you would like to confirm that they are trustworthy. This can be done by going through the criminal records available to the public. They can show whether the person has been involved in illegal activities or not. Find out more about these records and how to use them to your advantage.

What Are Criminal Records?

These are records, which contain the criminal offenses of a person. They are usually compiled and kept by courts and are available to members of the public. It is important to note that depending on the way in which the legal system in the respective state works, the account of the criminal offenses may not be full. Some may be erased for specific reasons. Additionally, in some states, traffic offenses are kept only in the driving records of individuals.

Often, the criminal records contain details on arrests, convictions and pending charges and dismissed charges. These will give you a complete idea about a person’s criminal background. Just keep in mind that the amount of detail can vary considerably from one state to another.

Why Are They Important?

You would certainly want to know whether a person that you plan to work with, live with or have an intimate relationship with has a criminal background. Otherwise, you may put people and assets that you are responsible for at risk. It is certainly not unethical to do a check on someone.

Employers, landlords, parents who hire childcare services, homeowners who hire home recordworkers and individuals who do not their new partner well are all recommended to use the publicly available criminal records to do a background check. You have the right to know if the respective person has criminal offenses. Once you have the full information on the respective person, you can readily decide whether to deal with them or not.

How Can You Access Them?

You can readily visit the court in your city or town and request to see their records. Usually, written application is required. This service is typically free, but it is time-consuming to use. That is why most people prefer to use the web. You can use an online service which allows you to search city, regional and state records by name and address. This search will produce results right away.