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The stages of the legal process

The stages of the legal process

It is important for a person accused of a criminal offense to fully understand the legal process and its different stages in order to better prepare for it. A lawyer specializing in criminal law will also have the role of ensuring the proper understanding of his clients. It is therefore essential to consult us quickly following an arrest.

The stages of the legal process

The arrest

Before entering the judicial process, an arrest must take place. There are two types of arrest in criminal law, arrest with or without a warrant.

The police have the power to arrest without a warrant any person:

  • Have committed a criminal act or who he believes on reasonable grounds has committed or is about to commit one;
  • Who is in the act of committing a criminal offence;
  • Who has an arrest warrant.

For example, in matters of impaired driving, the peace officer has the power to arrest a person when he believes, on reasonable grounds, that the latter was driving his vehicle while his faculties were impaired by effect of alcohol or a drug.

It is the job of the criminal lawyer to ensure the legality of the arrest. If the arrest is unlawful, there are ways to challenge it in court.

« Commits theft any person who takes, or diverts for his own use or for the use of another person, fraudulently and without color of right, any thing whatsoever with the intention of temporarily or absolutely depriving its owner of it. »

Detention

Following an arrest, the police officer has the power (mostly discretionary, with some exceptions) to release the person or keep him detained.

When the police officer releases a person, he can do so in one of the following ways:

  • Release her unconditionally, by immediately giving her a promise to appear or a summons, i.e. a document requiring her to appear on a specified date in a courthouse or municipal court to appear for the offence(s) ( s) committed;
  • Release her unconditionally, indicating that she will receive a summons or subpoena by mail;
  • Release her with conditions to be respected, by giving her a promise to appear accompanied by a promise with conditions, which she must sign and agree to respect.

If the police officer does not release the detained person, he will remain detained until he appears before a judge at a courthouse or municipal court. It will then be up to a Crown prosecutor to determine whether or not he objects to this person being released.

If the crown prosecutor opposes, it will be the duty of the defense lawyer to bring out all the arguments useful to the release of the person, and this, during a release investigation presented before a judge.

The stages of the legal process

The appearance

The appearance is the first step in the legal process. During this stage, the person represented by a lawyer generally does not need to appear, since the latter will appear for them.

This step is important, since it is at this time that the lawyer obtains a copy of the police report containing all the evidence they say they have against the accused person.

In the vast majority of cases, and as recommended, a not guilty plea is entered and the case is postponed to a later date. This is so to allow the lawyer to meet his client, take his complete version of the facts and proceed with the study of the file in order to provide him with a legal opinion on the possible avenues in the file.

The meeting with the criminal lawyer is essential in order to determine if a defense can be invoked, in which case a trial will be set, or if it is possible to avoid a criminal record. If this is not the case, the defense attorney will have a duty to lessen the consequences of a guilty plea or conviction.

The trial and the sentence

In the event that a trial takes place, the parties will present the evidence they have, following which a judge will determine whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime charged.

The trial therefore serves to bring to light the circumstances surrounding the alleged offence. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. In other words, it is up to the Crown prosecutor to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the guilt of the accused.

It should be noted that several types of defense are possible, whether for example for the violation of a right protected by the Charter, the absence of element(s) constituting the offense or the absence of guilty intent.

At the very end of the trial comes the pleadings stage. It is during this stage that the parties put forward their arguments in support of their respective positions.

After this exercise, the judge will have to give his verdict. He will then pronounce the acquittal, the conviction or the verdict of not responsible on account of mental disorder. If a verdict of guilty is returned, a sentence will be imposed. The lawyer representing the accused will then have the task of reducing the consequences of this sentence on his client.

The settlement of the case and the sentence

When a trial is not possible, the accused person may have to enter a guilty plea in order to dispose of his case. Once the plea has been entered, a sentence must be imposed.

At this stage, the work of the criminal lawyer is crucial, since it involves negotiating with a Crown prosecutor, the possibility of an agreement on a fair and appropriate sentence in the circumstances. It is also at this stage that the criminal lawyer does everything in his power to avoid a criminal record for his client, when possible.

If an agreement is reached, the suggestion on the sentence is submitted to the judge, who must accept it unless he judges that this sentence is unreasonable.

If no agreement is reached, the parties will plead each on their side the sentence that they consider appropriate in the case. It is at the judge’s discretion to impose a sentence appropriate to the nature of the offense and the circumstances of the accused.

Before even thinking about being given a sentence, note that the lawyer has several options to save his client from a criminal record.

Discuss with our lawyers to assess your possibilities of benefiting from an absolute or conditional discharge, settling your case with an 810 form, obtaining a complete withdrawal of the charges or even transforming your criminal offense into a criminal offence.

Riendeau Avocats at the service of your interests

Riendeau Avocats’ criminal lawyers have the best interests of their clients at heart and are committed to defending them vigorously to obtain the best results!

Do not hesitate to request a free consultation now.

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Portrait professionnel de Alexandre Giroux, Avocat en criminel.

Alexandre Giroux en

Criminal lawyer

Me Alexandre Giroux (c.j.c. British Columbia) completed the integrated bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Modern Languages ​​from Laval University before obtaining his double degree in civil law and common law from McGill University.

During his studies at McGill University, he was involved with Legal Aid of Montreal, Innocence McGill and Criminal Law McGill. He is also a course assistant for Criminal Justice, the course introducing first-year students to criminal law. Finally, he is an intern with the Honorable Robert Hamel, judge at the Court of Quebec, Youth Division.

Me Giroux began his career in Vancouver, where he practiced in two highly renowned criminal defense firms. He then relocated to Montreal and joined Riendeau Avocats, where he practiced mainly in criminal law. Me Giroux firmly believes in the presumption of innocence and in the right of all accused to benefit from the best possible defence. He can assist you in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Portrait professionnel de Emmy, Avocate en criminel.

Me Emmy

Criminal Lawyer

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Montreal, Emmy finalized her professional career by completing the bar school in 2022. She then joined the Riendeau Avocats team. Throughout her studies, Emmy volunteered with companies that shared her values, such as the pro bono students of Canada. Listening to her clients and passionate, Emmy will be able to support you throughout your legal process.

Portrait professionnel de Carolia Ranivoharindrano, Responsable de la comptabilité.

Carolia Ranivoharindrano

Accounting Manager

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Concordia University, Carolia decided to continue her studies in Paralegal Technology at CDI College. Passionate about criminal law, she decided to join the Riendeau Avocats team to complete her internship. She loves learning more about the field of criminal and penal law from lawyers. In addition, with her many years of experience in customer service, she knows how to help clients with professionalism and rigor, in order to give the best satisfaction to the firm’s clients.

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Headshot of Anthoni Daoust, Penal and Criminal Lawyer.

Me Anthoni Daoust

Penal and Criminal Lawyer

Maître Anthoni Daoust, holder of a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Sherbrooke and member of the Bar since 2021, stands out for his incessant quest for knowledge. Indeed, he also obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Quebec, a minor in criminology from the University of Montreal, as well as training in police technology from John Abbott College. This variety of academic training gives him a unique and informed perspective when reviewing his files.

Me Daoust is a lawyer specializing in criminal and penal law, demonstrating a deep commitment to the recognition and respect of individual rights. As a progressive lawyer, he actively engages in a practice aimed at making justice more accessible to all. Thanks to his exceptional analytical and negotiation skills, he manages to obtain optimal settlements in order to guarantee his clients a complete and effective defense.

Headshot of Gabrielle Lauzon, Criminal and Penal Lawyer.

Gabrielle Lauzon

Criminal and Penal Lawyer

Bachelor of Laws under the COOP regime of the University of Sherbrooke, Me Gabrielle Lauzon joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal lawyer after completed his internship. Me Lauzon shows great compassion towards everyone of its customers and always remains available to help others. Driven by her thirst for knowledge and her dynamism, she devotes herself enormously to each of her causes. Also practicing in criminal law, Me Lauzon is part of the MTL Ticket team and will be able to defend you vigorously for any statement of offense related to the Safety Code road.

Headshot of Pascal Guilbert, Penal and Criminal Lawyer.

Pascal Guilbert

Penal and Criminal Lawyer

Me Pascal Gilbert is passionate about law. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Montreal, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in history, Me Gilbert joined the Riendeau Avocats team as a criminal and penal lawyer. Listening to the needs of his clients, he will be able to be creative in order to explore all possible avenues throughout your legal process. Mr. Gilbert has excellent research and writing skills and is a keen learner. He wants to advance the law in the best possible direction.

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Louisa Heniche

Criminal lawyer

Me Louisa Heniche holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Quebec in Montreal. Passionate about law, she first completed a first bachelor’s degree in international relations and international law, before completing her studies with a bachelor’s degree in law. Her career has been marked by the defense of human rights, as she has long been involved in the international clinic for the defense of human rights at UQAM as well as in the Innocence Project, which helps victims of miscarriages of justice. . Registered on the roll of the bar association, Me Heniche works as a criminal lawyer, in addition to supporting our clients in their requests for forgiveness. She always has the interests of her clients at heart and demonstrates thoroughness and empathy.

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Coralie Leblanc

Paralegal Student – Personal Biography Soon. 

At Riendeau Avocats, we are proud to have highly qualified and professional personnel on our team who defend our clients’ cases with thoroughness and determination. Our lawyers, paralegals, students-at-law, and management and administrative staff work together to provide a full answer and defence to each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the offence.

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Danyka Beauchamp

Paralegal – Personal Biography Soon. 

At Riendeau Avocats, we are proud to have highly qualified and professional personnel on our team who defend our clients’ cases with thoroughness and determination. Our lawyers, paralegals, students-at-law, and management and administrative staff work together to provide a full answer and defence to each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the offence.

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Valérie Paquette

Accounting Manager and Accounting Technician – Personal Biography Soon. 

At Riendeau Avocats, we are proud to have highly qualified and professional personnel on our team who defend our clients’ cases with thoroughness and determination. Our lawyers, paralegals, students-at-law, and management and administrative staff work together to provide a full answer and defence to each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the offence.

Katherine Hurtubise

Administrative assistant – Personal Biography Soon. 

At Riendeau Avocats, we are proud to have highly qualified and professional personnel on our team who defend our clients’ cases with thoroughness and determination. Our lawyers, paralegals, students-at-law, and management and administrative staff work together to provide a full answer and defence to each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the offence.

François Gamache, directeur des ressources humaines Riendeau Avocats

François Gamache

Human Resources Director 

For more than 15 years, François Gamache has been working within our firm as the human resources director who has been successfully balancing team management and operations coordination. Versatile and mindful, he ensures that each employee is happy and fulfilled, which is what makes François a major asset at Riendeau Avocats. He is also in charge of hiring and integrating new employees.

Headshot of Ariane Roberge, Criminal and Penal Lawyer.

Me Ariane Roberge

Criminal and Penal Lawyer

Member of the Bar, Me Ariane Roberge holds a Bachelor of Laws with graduate studies in Common Law and Transnational Law (Juris Doctor) from the University of Sherbrooke. Me Ariane Roberge is a lawyer with a practice focused on criminal and penal law. Although she joined the Riendeau Avocats team as an intern, she quickly made her mark as a lawyer and gained the trust of her clients. Her good energy is always present, Me Roberge is known within our firm as a dynamic lawyer who is 100% committed to each of her causes.

Chloé Rainville, avocate criminel et pénal à Montréal

Me Chloé Rainville

Criminal and Penal Lawyer – Personal Biography Soon. 

At Riendeau Avocats, we consider ourselves lucky to have highly qualified and professional staff within our team to defend our clients’ cases with rigor and determination. Our lawyers, our paralegals, as well as our trainees and our management and administrative staff, work together to offer a full and complete defense to each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the offense.

Headshot of Chanèle Lecompte, Criminal and Penal Lawyer.

Me Chanèle Lecompte

Criminal and Penal Lawyer 

A lawyer practicing mainly criminal and penal law, Me Chanèle Lecompte holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sherbrooke. During her university career, she had the chance to do an internship with the judiciary, which allowed her to acquire the many assets that she puts forward during her representations before the courts. Passionate about criminal law, Me Lecompte will accompany you and defend you during the different stages of your file, and will listen to you.

Catherine Bernard, avocate criminaliste de chez Riendeau Avocats

Me Catherine Bernard

Criminal Lawyer – Personal Biography Soon. 

At Riendeau Avocats, we are proud to have highly qualified and professional personnel on our team who defend our clients’ cases with thoroughness and determination. Our lawyers, paralegals, students-at-law, and management and administrative staff work together to provide a full answer and defence to each of our clients, regardless of the nature of the offence.

Alexandra Bérubé, avocate chez Riendeau Avocats Montréal

Me Alexandra Bérubé

Criminal Lawyer – Personal Biography Soon. 

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in law at the University of Montreal, Me Alexandra Bérubé then perfected her training by completing a master’s degree in criminal law at the University of Sherbrooke. Having already practiced in civil law before devoting herself to criminal law, she shows great versatility and knows how to juggle the different spheres of law in order to fully understand all the issues that may arise in the cases entrusted to her. Honest, rigorous and passionate, Me Bérubé is a lawyer of conviction who firmly believes in rehabilitation and in the right to a full and complete defense.

Headshot of Cédric Materne, Criminal Lawyer and TVA Group employee.

Me Cédric Materne

Criminal lawyer and TVA Group employee

Me Cédric Materne holds a bachelor’s degree in law from UQAM and has been a member of the Bar since 2016. A true passion for criminal law and a proud collaborator of Groupe TVA, he inspires increased confidence and defends each cause by using both his determination and his extensive knowledge of criminal matters. His curiosity about the most recent legal developments and his creative way of always pushing the limits of current law have earned him an excellent reputation.

Portrait professionnel de Me Ana-Maria Mocanu, Avocate criminaliste sénior et responsable du département anglophone.

Me Ana-Maria Mocanu

Senior Criminal Lawyer and Head of the English Department

Me Ana-Maria Mocanu obtained a degree in psychology before obtaining her law degree at Sherbrooke University. She began her career at Riendeau Avocats and has been a real asset for the past 6 years since she deals in particular with the firm’s English-speaking clientele. She pays particular attention to each of her files, which are very diverse, and she defends the rights of her clients with ardor.

Headshot of Annie Lahaise, Senior Criminal Lawyer and Head of the Senior Department.

Me Annie Lahaise

Senior Criminal Lawyer and Head of the Senior Department – Personnal Biography Soon. 

Member of the Bar since 2003, Me Annie Lahaise has worked in the criminal world for more than 19 years. Today, she is not only a criminal lawyer at Riendeau Avocats, but also responsible for the senior department and lecturer at the Cégep régional de Lanaudière.

Portrait professionnel de Me Jessica Chebab, Avocate criminaliste et directrice du département des demandes de pardon.

Me Jessica Chebab

Criminal lawyer and Director of the Pardon Application Department

Holder of a major in criminology from the University of Montreal and a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Sherbrooke, Me Jessica Chehab invests herself with heart in all her files and ensures that her clients are heard and represented. with sympathy. A fervent negotiator, she puts forward the right arguments to defend the interests of her clients so that they benefit from a full and complete defense.

Anne-Geneviève Robert, avocate chez Riendeau Avocats Montréal

Me Anne-Geneviève Robert

Criminal lawyer and Director of the Penal Department

Me Robert is a criminal lawyer with a Bachelor of Law degree from UdM. Committed to defending her cases, she always works in the best interest of her clients by using her in-depth knowledge in the field and proactive approach before the court. Her leadership skills have led her to take on the role of Director of the Criminal Law Department, which she founded upon joining the team. Socially involved, she is a member of the board of directors of the Fondation NeuroTrauma Marie-Robert and is involved in many committees of the AADM and the JBM

Portrait professionnel de Me Joanie Chainey, Avocate criminaliste et directrice du département criminel.

Me Joanie Chainey

Criminal lawyer and Director of the Criminal Department

Me Chainey received a solid education in law from the University of Ottawa. Her passion for criminal law led her to join Riendeau Avocats, where she exclusively practices criminal law. A tireless litigator, this young lawyer is never at the end of her arguments. Brimming with ideas and energy, she is particularly creative, which helps her find defenses in cases that at first seem indefensible. Me Chainey is a go-getter lawyer, always ready to fight to best represent the interests of her clients.

Portrait professionnel de Me Valérie Riendeau, Avocate criminaliste sénior, présidente et fondatrice du cabinet.

Me Valérie Riendeau

Senior Criminal Lawyer, and President and Founder of the Firm

Graduate of the University of Montreal, Me Valérie Riendeau began her practice by founding her own law firm. Experienced and professional, she has been at the head of Riendeau Attorneys-at-law for 13 years now. Her team stands out with unparalleled customer service and a personalized approach for each client. Fervent negotiator and excellent litigator, Me Riendeau knows how to make the right arguments in order to defend the interests of her clients and to obtain the best results.

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