Welcome back to our YouTube channel. I have a very interesting topic for you today. We were retained obviously by lots of clients charged with sexual assault, serious crimes, aggravated assault and the first question they ask me is, Mike, can you keep my name out of the media? The real short answer that is no unfortunately, Canada we have freedom of the press. It’s guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
So for example, the newspapers can publish your name, they can write about the allegations, what the charges are. And you know, we represent some high profile clients and their names are slashed across the media and it’s really a stressful situation.
It effectively can ruin people’s lives because when there’s an accusation, a lot of people don’t presume that you’re innocent. So that’s the short answer. Unfortunately, there’s one narrow exception to it, if you have a bail hearing, and most of our clients don’t have have a bail hearing so, at a bail hearing, you can ask for what’s called a non publication order. So at a bail hearing when the crown is trying to keep you in custody, they call evidence and the press is not allowed to publish that evidence, but they’re still allowed to publish your name and the allegations.
So what can you do with this, what do we advise people? Well, we say look, this is a stressful situation. We’re going to guide you through it. I advise clients stay off social media, limit your privacy settings, just to your, actually I would advise people to completely get off social media, talk to no one. Ignore the press. Don’t read it. It’s pretty stressful. And you have to go for your family support systems to get you through it. And then, of course, will guide you through the process and hopefully win your case. So there you have it.
That’s the short primer, the unfortunate answer that no, you can’t keep your name out of the media when you’re charged with a crime in Canada it’s guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and freedom of the press.
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