According to Statistics Canada, nearly 2 million criminal acts were reported to police in 2012. Many of these cases result in arrests. What isn't as clear is whether the people arrested are actually the guilty parties. — Gracia Law (http://www.criminallawcalgary.com/) has announced its new legal defense services with this in mind.
"When a crime happens, police face a lot of pressure to arrest someone," says Paul Gracia (http://www.criminallawcalgary.com/), lead attorney at Gracia Law. "This can result in them being too hasty in their decision to accuse a particular person of a crime."
Even for innocent people, staying out of jail is hard without the right attorney. The prosecution will present what it believes is enough evidence to prove that they do, indeed, have the right person. Despite principles like "innocent until proven guilty," an innocent defendant will actually have take strenuous efforts to prove that the prosecution is wrong. It often ends up feeling as though there is actually a presumption of guilt.
"It's unfortunate, but the truth is that both sides in a case have to work as hard as each other. Whoever is the most convincing will win. That's why it's essential to have a great attorney at your side when you're accused of a crime." Gracia concludes.
Of course, not everyone accused of a crime is innocent. Many are completely guilty of what they've been charged with. In these cases, it is often impossible to gain an acquittal, and many attorneys won't aim for that.
"In cases of clear guilt, the danger is shifted from the verdict to the sentencing phase. Many prosecutors want to appear 'tough on crime' and will push for the maximum possible sentence. Unfortunately, such a sentence usually isn't appropriate. In these cases, my job is to help make sure that the sentence is reasonable."
Arguments at sentencing often revolve around factors like the defendent's prior history, life circumstances, and the nature of the crime in question. A first-time offender is more likely to get a reduced sentence than one who has been through the court system several times before.
While it is possible for a guilty person to be acquitted due to problems like police or prosecutorial errors, this is actually rare. "Cases that involve people 'getting off' for procedural errors make the news precisely because this is a rare occurrence," Gracia notes. "My experience as a former Crown Prosecutor does inform me of what to look for, and I do check for these problems. Still, most cases are decided by convincing a jury through arguments rather than technical problems. Therefore, I place high emphasis on arguing the case in court and on any negotiations that may also take place."
About Gracia Law
Gracia Law is headed by Paul Gracia, B.Ed., M.Ed., J.D., Barrister & Solicitor, who handles defense for all sorts of criminal cases including those involving drugs, assault, and robbery. Mr. Garcia is a former Crown prosecutor, and this gives him a unique perspective on the legal system. He has been a defense attorney since 2002.
Release ID: 51972