I am finding this whole process of being charged with a crime very stressful, do the Police or Prosecutors care at all how this is all affecting myself and my family?

You are likely finding yourself in a most stressful situation. You are charged and likely have conditions placed on you as if you were a child, for example, curfew, no contact orders and restrictions on your mobility. Your family, friends or employer may know about your situation, or maybe not, but either way it’s affecting your social relationships and general stress levels. 

All this for something you did not do, or for something that you may have done but has been blown way out of proportion. Let’s face it, you’re incredibly stressed and it’s simply not fair. Do the police care about how this is affecting your life? How about the Crown prosecutors, they must care, right? The reality is that you have been plunged into a massive bureaucratic system that can be anonymous and unforgiving at times – it is the criminal justice system processing thousands of people a day across the Country.

The matter is no longer between you and another person, instead it is you against the almighty state – In Canada otherwise known as Her Majesty The Queen.  Crown and Police are many times perceived as simply, “doing their job” and clocking in their hours until retirement. This perception does have some relevance to real life where some courts are eager to clear their dockets before lunchtime or a long weekend, almost like moving inventory or cattle. In theory, and also many times in practice, the “system” does not care much about how being charged with an offence affects your personal life at the current moment, nor is the system persuaded by others who may want to “drop the charges against you”, as Crowns are busy dealing with thousands of cases a week and many times do not have the time to carefully investigate every case. 

However, there are mechanisms in place that you could and should take advantage of that will make the battle more human, personal and effective. For example, your lawyer can provide you valuable legal and personal advice about your situation. As well, there are counselling programs that you can take to help advance or address some issues you are facing. You can provide your lawyer with reference letters, witness lists and other evidence you may have in relation to your case; you can work with your lawyer in preparing the defence. You can hire a private investigator.  Your lawyer can push and push for a bail variation, and push some more!

Effective preparation equates to success, either by winning trials or getting the best resolution possible in a guilty plea scenario. What you do during the time you are charged with an offence may also mitigate how your matter will be resolved  as Judges do take this into consideration as mitigating factors should a resolution occur – a positive attitude should be reinforced by your lawyer and practiced by you from day one (and always in life). The deck may be stacked against you from the outset, but this much is true: that you and your lawyer, by working hard with a positive attitude at all times, can win with whatever hand you are dealt.   So don’t give up just yet, get ready to fight the good fight – the fight of your life!