Meeting with a Lawyer at Berkes Law

Most of you will have never been to a lawyer before and even fewer of you will have been to see a criminal lawyer.  We ensure prompt and effective communication with our clients throughout the entire criminal process.

The first time we meet you will have many
questions, which we will endeavor to answer.
The first thing we will do is listen to your side of the story.  In most cases, either no one has asked you
your side of the story, or if they have, you have properly exercised your right
to silence.  Based on the information
that you provide us, we will advise you of the possible outcomes of your
matter.  Depending on your case, there
may be materials which will help us prepare your matter.

The second biggest question people have when they first go to a criminal lawyer is what to do about their bail.  Some bails are relatively open, but some may require you to live with your surety, be under house arrest or stay away from your wife and children.  How can I change these conditions?  What happens if my surety wants to withdraw?  What if I need my conditions changed for work or travel?  We will review the various options for changing your bail conditions and assess how quickly this can be done.

  1. Explain procedures going forward.  There are many phases of a criminal trial, including:
    • Disclosure (the evidence the Crown has against you);
    • Crown meetings;
    • Judicial pretrials;
    • Diversion, PARS, mental health diversion, other resolutions;
    • Trial;
    • Sentencing.


2.      Discuss how long this will take and how much it will cost:

    • We will explain our retainer and the fee structure for the case.
    • We will discuss payment plans and payment options.

After we receive disclosure in your matter, we will be speaking on the telephone or in person.  At that meeting you will have a clear understanding of the following:

  1. A summary of the relevant evidence that the Crown has against you and the strength of that evidence.
  2. How your side of the story matches up against the Crown’s evidence.
  3. What your possible defences are for the case.
  4. Our plan for meeting with the Crown to attempt to resolve your case and what we think our chances are for resolving the matter.

Once we meet with the Crown and/or a judge (Crown Pretrial and/or Judicial Pretrial), we will have another meeting to discuss trial and or resolution of your matter.

After that meeting, you will have a clear
understanding of the following:

  1. The potential options for resolving your matter, including the possibility of obtaining or avoiding a criminal record.
  2. What potential defences you will have at trial.
  3. When a trial may take place and what the costs will be for a trial.
  4. The possible outcomes after a trial.

We are always available to answer your questions by phone or e-mail.