You’ve been with charged with a criminal offence. You’ve been charged with domestic offence. You have been charged with a sexual offence. The first thing to ask yourself, and the same with your lawyer should ask themselves. What is the complainants motive to lie? You say you are innocent, and people do things for a reason. Motives to lie are a powe3rful tool in criminal law to create reasonable doubt. As a defence lawyer, that is one of the first things I talk to with my clients, with addition to looking at the disclosure and looking at inconsistencies and probabilities on how to confront the case. What is the persons motive to lie? Can we establish one because I have found through the years doing these cases both as a crown and defence counsel that if a defence counsel can presen5t a theory of a motive to lie that it increases the chances of winning. Again, the natural human tendency, the judge is not supposed to say there is no motive to lie. Why would the person make it up? The law says that the defence counsil does not have to establish a motive to lie, but the thing is that it helps. There are patterns of motives to lie in these cases that I found and I will share a few of them. There are so many motives to lie, and things revolve around sex, money, you name it. Let’s take a typical domestic assault matter. The complainant, the wife or the man, may charge the wife with assault to. They say I want to get this person out of the house, I want to control the divorce, I want custody of the kids. What better way to lay a domestic assault case. The husband says he got slapped by the wife, but it never happened. She is out of the house. He now controls the divorce proceedings. He controls the kids and she is out of the house. It’s a very great motive to lie which we can establish in these cases. It helps to create more reasonable doubt. In addition to what defence counsil does, such as cross examination and in terms of challenging the grasp and liability of the witness, creating a consistency and confronting prior inconsistent statements. When you have all these things working in conjunction and you add the resistance, which is divorce 101 which is motive to lie. Well, guess what, you are going to win the case. Not saying you can’t win without it, but it is helpful. Same thing with a sexual assault matter, let’s say a woman has a boyfriend and gets drunk one night, ends with another man and boyfriend finds out. All of a sudden it is a rape case. Powerful motive to lie. How about revenge motive? Like a man or a woman find out their significant other creating adultery. Well, that can lead to anger, to lashing out and can potentially lead to false charges. So, this is what I say to clients, if we have a motive to lie, we have to carefully craft it. It has to be presented intelligent, one of the central themes to the case. Particularly with a jury trial, if there is no motive to lie you have to be careful when selecting a jury to do a big case because even if the judge tells the jury that the defence council doesn’t have to establish a motive to lie. You need to look at the evidence, and proven beyond reasonable doubt. The first thing a juror will say to themselves, why would someone make this up and put them through this craziness. Which is a valid point. It’s going to be psychologically in their mind, and its going to be subconsciously in even in a judge’s mind. SO, this is why I say, very important to establish it. If you don’t have it, it hamstrings you a little bit. But it is not the end of the world, you can still potentially win a case because people do things for all sorts of reasons, including hidden motives to lie we don’t know about. So anyways, an interesting topic and something we spend hours developing with a client. When it is credible and reliable, we don’t make these things up, we have tangible evidence.