We represent a lot of clients who are charged with mischief and one of the first questions they ask us is how do I get these charges dropped? I allegedly damaged the dishes at home or, or, you know, damaged a car intentionally or not. I’m innocent, but I want to get these charges dropped. Well, the first step is we need to get hold of all the police reports. The disclosure if you are the witness statements, the complainant statement alleged damage the vehicle or dishes, every scrap of evidence that the police gathered they provide to the crown attorney, and we get copies of that fairly early on in the process. Once I received that I can review that very carefully analyze it and determine various issues like what are the strengths and weaknesses of the crown case? Was the extent of the damages as a minor incident? Is there any reasonable prospect conviction? What do I think I can do with this file in terms of whether a I can win at trial, or be whether I can get a great result because it’s a fairly minor incident. So for mischief charges, I’m often able to get this chart essentially dropped through through various mechanisms. I’m going to then meet with the client after formulating my opinion and provide them with my legal advice, have a full discussion regarding the file the strengths and weaknesses of the case, what I think I can do, what the options are, and with their instructions, and then going to meet with the crowd. One of the important and most important things to do if trying to get charges dropped is you need to take a complete background from the client, you need to learn everything about their life, their prior history, that they’re a good person, one time incident, for example, and be able to discuss that with with the crown in a mitigating and sympathetic way, with a view to trying to get the charges dropped, or at least the best possible result. For minor Miss MIT mischief charges, I’m often able to get the crown to brief For example, to what’s called our turnit of measures diversion, diverted out of the court system, sometimes, even if it’s a mental health issue, you can get into mental health court and diverted in that fashion. And what does this mean? Well, the person’s got no prior record, they’re a good person, they broke the dishes in front of their wife because they’re angry. They’ve done some upfront Kelsang. they’re prepared to do more counseling, the crowds taking this all into account and saying, look, in this situation, I agree with you, Mr. Cruz, that we should probably divert this out of the criminal justice system, we can potentially go on a peace bond, which is in order to keep the PCB of good behavior for a period of 12 months, for example, and withdraw the charge, continue to do some counseling, perhaps, you know, there’s all sorts of mechanisms of taking care of these charges. And this often works for minor charges with minor damage, we can often get this done. Effectively, there’s no criminal record, then that’s that’s often a great result for a person who did it. Some some people, even if they’re not guilty, choose to take that particular if they actually didn’t do it, they want to avoid the risk of going to trial because there’s a chance of winning of losing the trial, even though we may win it. So that’s one great result and a way to get a Chartist drop. Another is if when we look at the file, we go, look, there’s no reasonable prospect conviction here that their case is so weak, it’s circumstantial, at best, it doesn’t point us that does happen, I will then try and convince your crown just to withdraw the charges outright. And I’ve been successful at times in doing that. It’s a very low level test. And that’s the test the crown supposed to apply. Is there any reasonable prospect of conviction? If there’s not they should withdraw the charge? Is it in the public interest to proceed with with the charges part of the test as well? And if the answer those questions are no the crowds who would try it not all crowds have the courage to do that mean? less experienced ones are ones that are very conservative, sometimes push the matter head but of course, we’ll win that matter at trial anyway, but that’s costing the client more money, you don’t want to go that route. So part of the process is trying to deal with a bar liberal crown. We know the calories we’re dealing with, we know the crowns and we try and where we can we try and meet with a crown who’s more liberal and inclined to, you know, provide us with a better deal. And that’s an important consideration as well to know your crowns and know their predilections if you might put it that way, and how they react to these charges. It is helpful when an alleged victim was the charges drop, even though the crowds in charge the prosecution and the victim for example, in a domestics type situation of breaking the dishes. Even though the victim has no say technically and whether charges have dropped the crown will take that into account at least in a minor situation either hopefully offered diversion or or at worst a conditional discharge. What’s a conditional discharge? Well, let’s take a situation perhaps a little bit more serious mischief, where there’s more significant damage, and the crowd won’t go for diversion or some crowds won’t go diversion version. On other cases, because they’re conservative, they might agree to a conditional discharge, which means you’d be pleading guilty to the offense, there’d be a joint submission in front of a judge that you received a conditional discharge which, which means just that you’re discharged on conditions. In other words, you go on a period of probation, say, for 12 months, keep the peace of good behavior, maybe some counseling vocable consent that you can go home, for example, if it’s a domestic if your wife or husband wants you to go home. And effectively, you have no criminal record, you’ve pled guilty, but you’re not, you’ve not been convicted offense and you can truthfully say you have a criminal record. And eventually, that won’t even appear on your criminal record check. Although it will potentially for a period of time, under the criminal records Reform Act that came out in 2018. At least a level two and three criminal record checks, it’ll show up for a number of years before it’s wiped out. You can also get your fingerprints and mug shot destroyed so your files destroyed eventually. So eventually it will not show up on any record. It’s not supposed to show up on our level one criminal record check, by the way, a basic criminal record check. But a level two is a criminal record and judicial procedures check where the judicial matters check will it will show up for a few about three years, I believe. So there’s ways and means of sometimes getting these charges dropped, I can’t get every charge dropped. But I can often get lesser ones. When it’s more serious damage involving 1000s of dollars, it gets a little trickier, it gets even a little trickier to get a conditional discharge. But I’ve even been able to do it and or other lawyers. I’m more serious cases. But it requires a person with no prior criminal record. Of course, you want a person with good background to do this. But when you’re getting into prior criminal records and you have a new mischief, you’re probably going to wind up a criminal record unless you can win at trial, of course, and it’s all about negotiation skills. It’s all about plea bargaining skills and hiring the right lawyer to know it that’s the key is just hiring a good lawyer so to navigate your way through the through the legal system. Thank you for watching our video, we are absolutely committed to bringing you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario and require our services, please click on the link in the description below.