Like all criminal cases, but especially those that are document heavy, what matters most is whether the Crown can "prove" that you're guilty. If the Crown cannot gather the required evidence (N.J.) or if the evidence falls short mid-trial (J.N.), your salvation may be near at hand.
The police only need a reasonable belief to arrest you. At trial, proof must be offered — not that you did something wrong, but that you did something criminal. In a major fraud case successfully defended by my office-mate Lucas Rebick, the Judge reminded us of the difference in this 2016 ruling:
[T]his is not a civil lawsuit; this is a criminal prosecution. Negligence or recklessness is not dishonesty[.] As well, the fact that the accused may have been guilty of a civil wrong is not necessarily conclusive of a criminal wrong[.] Sharp business practice is also not conclusive of a criminal wrong[.]
Depending on the nature of the case and my instructions, I sometimes can avoid a conviction with an absolute or conditional discharge. Under section 730(1) of the Criminal Code, a discharge can be granted if it's in your best interests and not contrary to the public interest. That's possible even in breach-of-trust cases (D.N. & E.L.), but unlikely in very serious cases (as explained by the Judge in J.L.'s Case).
Explore below my Court transcripts and Judges' Rulings. Then call about my free consultation: 416 410 2266.
Craig Penney, Toronto Theft & Fraud Lawyer
M.S.'s Case — robbery & theft under — withdrawn
N.J.'s Case — fraud over & possession proceeds crime — withdrawn
S.V.'s Case — fraud under — 11-year old arrest warrant
J.N.'s Case — use stolen credit card data — missing evidence at trial
D.N. & E.L.'s Case — breach-of-trust theft — conditional discharges
R.S.'s Case — fraud over — arrest warrant rescinded and charges withdrawn