Mr. Baratz has successfully represented hundreds of accused persons since opening his practice. The following cases are only a sample of cases Mr. Baratz has successfully defended against.
*Names have been replaced by initials to respect the privacy of clients.
ASSAULT WITH A WEAPON
267(a) Criminal Code of Canada
S.T. was charged with assaulting his teenage daughter with a coat hanger and belt after an alleged argument over her involvement with an online dating website. His daughter further alleged that a year before, he also assaulted her with a weapon, namely a belt, causing multiple injuries to her. The Children’s Aid Society became involved with this family as a result of the criminal charges. S.T. cooperated with the Children’s Aid Society and made positive gains by taking a parenting course. Mr. Baratz ensured the Crown Attorney was aware of these gains and what they meant to S.T. and his family. Mr. Baratz’s philosophy of optimism and always providing relentless defence was what allowed him to convince the Crown Attorney to withdraw all charges against S.T.
271 Criminal Code of Canada & Trafficking in Persons, s. 279.01 Criminal Code of Canada
M.S. was charged with serious criminal charges, including sexual assault and human trafficking. It was alleged that M.S. sexually assaulted the complainant on numerous occasions including procuring her into sexual activity with others. It was further alleged that this activity had occurred when M.S. had enticed the complainant on a 2 week drug fueled rampage whereby she would engage in prostitution with others in order to financially support M.S.’s supposed drug habit. As it turned out the complainant and the accused also were accused of stealing tools from residential homes in order to financially support their substance addictions. The pair also allegedly stole expensive cheese to sell on the black market at local pizzerias by filling up shopping carts at supermarkets with expensive cheeses and running out without paying. The complainant had an interest to obtain funds for her own benefit. At the preliminary hearing the complainants’ credibility was seriously damaged under cross examination by Mr. Baratz. The Crown and court could not rely upon her testimony. As it turned out, the complainant, a drug user herself, benefited from the funds received from prostitution, using it to purchase illegal drugs for her own consumption. Her alleged involuntariness to engage in the sexual activity in question was highly suspect, as she desperately needed the funds to support her drug addiction. As a result the Crown had agreed with Mr. Baratz to withdraw the charges against M.S.
DANGEROUS OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE
249 (1) (a) Criminal Code of Canada & Assault with a weapon, s. 267(a) Criminal Code of Canada
N.M. was a single mother who was charged with dangerous driving and assault with a weapon against numerous police officers. She had no criminal record. One day she was leaving the underground garage of her apartment building to avoid noise created by many police officers and a crowd of spectators who were outside her apartment building in regards to an unrelated incident. As she was leaving the underground garage and driving up the ramp, the police alleged that she was speeding towards them with her car and that she had clipped some officers with her car as they jumped out of the way (the car was the “weapon” as per the charging officers). After a highly contested trial N.M. was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges.
OBSTRUCT PEACE OFFICER
129(a) Criminal Code of Canada
P.K., a bouncer at a popular nightclub in downtown Toronto was charged with obstructing justice. He had no criminal record. One evening there was a police raid on the club based on information the club was a haven for drug dealers. P.K. was stationed at the front entrance to the club. The Toronto ETF (Toronto Emergency Task Force) raided the club through the front entrance. It was alleged that P.K. had notified other bouncers inside the club of the raid on his two-way radio headset, thereby providing notice of the raid. Furthermore, it was alleged that P.K., given his large body size, managed to block the entrance to the club and caused a chaotic scene, thereby delaying the ETF’s entrance into the club. The Crown alleged that the heads up of the ETF’s raid and their delayed entry allowed many of the targeted patrons to throw out and ditch the drugs and other items that were the subject of the raid. After trial P.K. was found not guilty and acquitted of the charge. While the result was a delayed entry, P.K. ultimately did not intentionally block the door to delay the ETF’s dynamic entry. He lacked the mens rea (intent) to obstruct. His ability to continue in the security industry was untarnished.
ASSUALT BODILY HARM
267(b) Criminal Code of Canada
V.P. was married and his wife was pregnant with their second child. The couple had been going through difficult financial times and were struggling to make ends meet. The couple had been constantly arguing about their financial affairs and their relationship was strained. One day, V.P. came home to find a goodbye letter written to him by his wife as she had decided to leave him and take their 3 year old daughter with her. Not knowing where his child was, V.P. brought an application at the Ontario Court of Justice, Family court for custody and access to her on an emergency basis. However, shortly thereafter, V.P. found himself charged with threatening death and two counts of assault bodily harm against his wife. This impacted the ongoing family law case as onerous and restrictive terms were placed on his bail, restricting his access to his child. What made matters worse was that the alleged victim was pregnant with their second child at the time of the alleged offences. At trial, Mr. Baratz demonstrated that the historical allegations were completely fabricated and the result of the alleged victim trying to gain leverage in the simultaneous family court case. V.P. was found not guilty on all charges and acquitted at trial.
DANGEROUS OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE
249 (1) (a) Criminal Code of Canada & Assault with a weapon, s. 267(a) Criminal Code of Canada & Threatening Death, s. 264.1 (1)
W.C. was charged with Assault Bodily harm and threatening death against two family members, J.T. and S.T., who were in the power washing business. W.C. was also charged with dangerous driving. On the day in question, W.C. was alleged to have engaged in a dispute with J.T. and S.T. over a parking spot. J.T. and S.T. who were washing graffiti off a private business establishment advised W.C. he could not park where he just did as they needed the space to complete the wash. An argument between the individuals ensued over whether in fact W.C. could park in the spot. It was alleged that W.C. had shoved and threatened J.T. and then while abruptly leaving the scene reversed into S.T. (thus the allegation of driving in a dangerous manner). Mr. Baratz had convinced the Crown to withdraw all charges against W.C.
POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR DANGEROUS PURPOSE
88 (1) Criminal Code of Canada & Mischief to Property, s. 430 (1)(a) Criminal Code of Canada, & Threatening Death, s. 264.1 (1) Criminal Code of Canada
S.M. had a volatile history with an ex business associate of his, R.B. In the past, R.B. had alleged that S.M. had assaulted him by punching and kicking him over a business dispute. Mr. Baratz had convinced the Crown S.M. was defending himself at the time against an aggressive R.B. The Crown withdrew these charges. However, a few years later, R.B. alleged that S.M. had slashed his work van’s tires at 2 o’clock in the morning, thereby causing mischief to R.B’s van. This was allegedly done outside of R.B.’s residence in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Furthermore, R.B. had alleged that S.M. had been hiding in the bushes in order to get R.B. back for the earlier charges. When R.B. had awoken in the middle of the night and gone outside to investigate what had occurred to his van, it was alleged that S.M. had appeared literally out of the bushes and waved a switchblade towards R.B. and threatened death. S.M. allegedly ran away after, not expecting R.B. to investigate at 2 o’clock in the morning. Oddly enough, according to R.B., he apparently chased after S.M. but S.M. managed to get away. At trial, Mr. Baratz attacked R.B.’s recollection of the events and his ability to identify the perpetrator. Identify became a major issue at play in the trial. S.M. was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges after trial.
HARASSMENT BY WATCHING OR BESETTING
264 (2) (c) Criminal Code of Canada, Committing an indecent act in a public place s. 173 (1) criminal Code of Canada, and Exposure of Genitals to a young person under 16 years old s. 173 (2) Criminal Code of Canada.
L.C. was charged with flashing two female victims at a busy plaza in Toronto while allegedly parked in his car. It was alleged he was the suspect. The suspects’ modus operandi was to ask his victims for directions to Fairview mall on his smartphone using the Google Maps application while seated in his car in the plaza’s parking lot. While the victims would hold the smartphone the suspect would apparently masturbate and expose his penis while seated in his car. One of the victims was under the age of 16 at the time. The first victim identified the accused out of a photo line up out of 12 individuals – a perfect match. The second victim identified the accused and two others in the photo line up. L.C. was arrested at the plaza where the offenses occurred. His smartphone was seized by the police. Upon searching the google map application the police found the map application, when opened, immediately depicted the location of Fairview mall. At trial, Mr. Baratz had argued successfully that the police had conducted an illegal search and seizure of L.C.’s smartphone, in addition to a lack of transparency over the search – that evidence was therefore excluded from trial. Next, under cross examination, Mr. Baratz had challenged the victim’s recollection of the suspect and the suspect vehicle – drastic inconsistencies had arisen. At the end L.C. was fully acquitted of all charges and walked out of court a free man. Convictions for these offenses would have had life-altering consequences.