Frequently Asked Questions
What to do if you are Charged with Fraud in Windsor?
What will Happen if I am Charged with Fraud in Windsor?
What to do if you Have been Accused of Employer Fraud in Windsor?
Sentence for Fraud Charges in Windsor
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
What to do if you are Charged with Fraud in Windsor?
The criminal justice system can be scary and confusing for those who are inexperienced. As a result, being charged with a criminal offence, especially for the first time, can be unsettling. The most important thing to do if you have been accused or charged with a criminal offence is to protect your rights.
One of the most effective ways to protect one’s rights during a criminal case is to hire experienced legal counsel. Counsel can guide you through the process and ensure you do not make any decisions that will hurt your case later. Prior to making any decisions in your case, it is important to have all relevant information and a full view of the Crown’s case. This means you must receive and review full disclosure prior to making any decisions. Legal counsel can assist you in reviewing your disclosure to determine possible defences.
What will happen if I am Charged with Fraud in Windsor?
If the police have received credible information that an individual has committed a fraud offence, they will have a warrant issued for the individual’s arrest. Once an individual is arrested, they will be brought into the local police station to the processed. Depending on the nature and severity of the charges the accused may be released from the police station without a bail hearing. If, however, the police have concerns about releasing the accused, they will be held for bail and brought before the court.
An accused who is held for bail will be brought in front of a judge within twenty-four hours of their arrest. Depending on the accused’s history and the nature of the charges, the Crown may consent to the accused’s release. Where the Crown does not consent to release, the accused will be forced to run a bail hearing and prove to the court that they will not reoffend if released and will attend all future court dates.
Generally, when an individual is arrested and charged with fraud, they will either be released directly from the police station or released on Crown consent. It is unlikely that an individual charged with fraud would be denied bail unless they have an extensive criminal history.
Once the accused has been released from police custody, they will be provided their first court date. At the first appearance the accused or the accused’s lawyer will attend court and collect initial disclosure if it is available. Disclosure is the evidence in the possession of the Crown and the information that will be used to convict the accused.
In Canada, the Crown is obligated to provide all evidence in their position to the accused as soon as possible. Once the accused has received and reviewed full disclosure, they can determine what steps to take next.
What to do if you have been Accused of Employer Fraud in Windsor?
In situations where an individual has been accused of defrauding their employer the cases tend to be more complicated. Generally, the court will view employee theft as an aggravated form of fraud due to the trust relationship between an employee and employer. While there is no separate charge for defrauding one’s employer, those who are convicted of fraud occurring in this context may be sentenced more harshly.
If you believe you are going to be accused or have already been accused of defrauding your employer, it is important to consult with legal counsel prior to participating in any discussions or meetings with your employer or anyone else. It is important to remember that anything disclosed to your employer will likely be turned over to police and may be used to prosecute you criminally. To ensure this does not occur, it is important to provide as little information as possible.
In the vast majority of cases, an individual caught defrauding their employer will be terminated regardless of their tenure in the position or relationship with the company. As a result, there is almost never an upside to participating in an interview or discissions of any kind with your employer.
Sentencing for Fraud Offences in Windsor
When determining the most appropriate sentence for an individual convicted of fraud a number of factors must be considered. Most importantly, the court will consider the offence for which the accused was convicted. For example, an individual who is convicted of fraud under $5,000 will likely face more lenient penalties than those convicted of fraud over $5,000. This is a result of the different sentencing guidelines provided in the Criminal Code for different offences. The Code indicates that an individual convicted of fraud under $5,000 may be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison. An individual convicted of fraud over $5,000 however, may be sentenced to up to fourteen years in prison.
In addition to the specific offence charged, the court will also consider other factors including relevant details surrounding the commission of the offence and personal characteristics of the accused including their age and past criminal history.
What is the Difference between Theft and Fraud?
The offences of theft and fraud are quite similar and contain many of the same elements. Both offences require the accused take something that is not lawfully theirs, without lawful excuse. Fraud, however, includes an added element of deceit.
What are Common Penalties for Fraud in Windsor?
The sentences imposed on those convicted of fraud in Windsor may differ significantly from one offender to the next. Sentencing courts engage in complex analysis before imposing a sentence on an individual convicted of fraud. They will consider, among other things, the maximum penalties outlined in the Code, the criminal history of the accused and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances in the case.
Can I get a Discharge for Fraud?
In some cases, yes. Where the court is of the opinion that it would not be against the public interest to discharge the accused, they may agree to either an absolute or conditional discharge. Generally, discharges will only be offered in minor cases.
Can I get my Fraud Charge Withdrawn?
Whether or not the Crown will agree with withdrawal a fraud charge will depend on a number of factors including the likelihood the Crown can prove their case at trial. Where the evidence in the possession of the Crown is weak or the defence can present evidence to undermine the Crown’s case, the Crown may agree to withdrawal the charge.
Does the Court offer Diversion for Fraud?
In some cases, yes. In cases involving minor, low level fraud accusations, the Crown may offer a diversion program to the accused. A diversion program allows the accused to complete certain tasks after which their charges will be withdrawn.
Will I go to Jail for Defrauding my Employer?
In some cases, yes. While there is no separate offence for defrauding one’s employer this is seen as an aggravating factor in a case. The court will take into consideration the relationship of trust between the parties when determining the most appropriate sentence.
What if I Accidentally Committed Fraud?
In some cases, individuals are duped themselves into participating in fraudulent activity. If you have been tricked into committing fraud or were unaware that your actions were fraudulent, it is important to hire experienced legal counsel to defend you.