About us

Criminal Lawyers at Cormier Simard deal with cases in the districts of Montreal, Laval, Longueuil and the surroundings.

Mr.Cormier is a former Crown Prosecutor who acquired experience in criminal law in the Quebec Court, the Superior Court of Quebec, the Appeal Court of Quebec as well as municipal courts. He acted as a legal consultant for the United Nations and practised within two international penal tribunals: the International Tribunal for Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. As a criminal defense lawyer, Mr.Cormier’s strategy is often to find flaws in the accused’s charges and to expose them while defending his clients.

Mr. Luc Simard began his law career as a prosecutor for the City of Montreal. Then he joined the firm of one of the best criminal lawyers in Montreal, where he practised criminal law in complex cases, such as fraud for several hundred thousand dollars, sexual aggression, drug, violence and numerous other cases. Finally, he joined Mr. Xavier Cormier to found the Cormier Simard law firm. Because of his experience, Mr. Simard is the supervisor for our firm concerning sexual crime cases.

Are you charged with committing a criminal offence? It is indispensable that you resort as soon as possible to the services of a criminal defense lawyer / criminal lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the legal system, in order to have your rights respected and benefit from the best possible defense.

What can a criminal defense lawyer do for you? A lawyer practising criminal defense, also known as a criminal lawyer, can represent you at every step of court proceedings, can provide you with essential legal advice and mainly, defend your case during the trial. A criminal defense lawyer knows the regulations governing evidence especially as they apply to criminal law and is experienced in examining and cross-examining witnesses.

A criminal lawyer practising exclusively criminal law can defend you in cases of driving while under the influence, theft, fraud, drugs, sexual assault, assault, mischief, firearms, and many other violations of criminal law.

Read other items in this blog about criminal cases defended by our criminal defense lawyers, especially cases of attempted murder, possession of narcotics, death threats or threats to cause grievous bodily harm, sexual assault, shoplifting, assault, fraud and possession of a prohibited weapon. You will also find information on other topics related to the work of the criminal defense lawyer and criminal affairs, such as absolute discharge, peace bonds, the right to silence, arrest warrants and dejudicializing.

How to have the police delete your fingerprints

In many cases, clients reach such results that they avoid having a criminal record. For example, this is the case when they are acquitted, when they sign a commitment under Section 810 and have the main charge withdrawn, when they receive a conditional discharge or an absolute discharge during sentencing, or when the charge is dropped by the Prosecutor despite an initial summons to appear before the Judge, as when there is a non-judicial treatment of the offence.

Then how do you have the fingerprint file deleted as well as the identification sheet created by the police following the arrest?

You have to send a written request to the police body at the address where the fingerprints were taken. It is preferrable to accompany this letter with a copy of the document showing the final results of the case (these documents are usually accessible from the Court Clerk). The request may be made by the citizens or their criminal lawyers.

See the model of the letter requesting deletion of the fingerprints.

Sexual assault charge successfully challenged

An individual was summoned to appear in the Montreal Courthouse because of a complaint for sexual assault under Section 271 of the Criminal Code. He met with criminal lawyer Veronica Vallelonga to ask her to defend him.

Mrs. Vallelonga represented this person during the appearance, pleaded not guilty and requested a copy of the evidence. Once she analysed the situation, she decided that the best strategy would be to question the charges. As for the plaintiff, she also wished to go to court to have the man convicted. Continue reading “Sexual assault charge successfully challenged”

Plea bargaining

Plea bargaining is a common practice in Quebec penal judicial system.

Here is an exemple of plea bargaining:

A client of Xavier Cormier was charged with assault causing bodily harm (Section 267b) Criminal Code of Canada), assault with a weapon (Section 267b) Criminal Code), mischief exceeding $ 5,000 (Section 430(1)a)(3)a) Criminal Code) and possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence (Section 88(2)a) Criminal Code). During the preliminary hearing, Mr. Cormier cross-examined the victims of the offence and pointed out weaknesses in their testimony regarding identification of the client.

Mr. Cormier then negotiated with the prosecutor. She agreed to withdraw all charges except for one. The client pleaded guilty to the charge of mischief under $ 5,000. Mr. Cormier pleaded with the judge so that the client could receive a discharge conditional on carrying out 80 hours of community work, which she agreed to.

The clients of Mr. Cormier, criminal lawyer, are not all acquitted and do not all receive discharges. Read the notice.

A client charged with fraud and possession of a falsified credit card is acquitted

A client of Mr. Xavier Cormier, Criminal Lawyer,, was charged with fraud (Section 380 (1) b) (ii) Criminal Code of Canada) and possession of a falsified credit card (Section 342 (1) c) f) Criminal Code). Mr. Cormier carefully reviewed the police report as well as the court documents. He found an error concerning the date on which information was laid before the Justice of the Peace. This error made it possible for Mr. Cormier to have the charges dropped, and the client was acquitted.

Not all Mr. Cormier’s clients are acquitted. Read the notice.

Three clients charged with shoplifting are given absolute discharges

Three clients of criminal lawyer Luc Simard had been charged with shoplifting together (Section 334 Criminal Code of Canada). Mr. Simard undertook negotiations with the Prosecutor. The clients made a donation to a charity organization and pleaded guilty to the charges. Taking into account the donations made as well as each of the women’s permanent resident status, the lawyers suggested the Judge grant them absolute discharges. The Judge acquiesced.

Not all clients of criminal lawyer Luc Simard receive a discharge. See notice.

Indecent Acts

An indecent act is an offence under Section 173 of the Canadian Criminal Code. An indecent act is inappropriate behaviour that is not necessarily sexual, but that exceeds the threshold of social tolerance.

Persons are guilty of an indecent act if they wilfully commit an indecent act in a public place in the presence of one or several persons or if they commit such an act in any place with the intention of insulting or offending someone.

An indecent act is punishable on summary conviction under the Criminal Code; it is therefore a criminal offence. It is not a mere dismeanour without consequence.

Visit our bulletins to find examples of cases of indecent acts pleaded by a criminal lawyer from our firm.

You are strongly advised to call a lawyer if you charged with this offence.

Death threats

The offence of uttering threats to cause death or inflict bodily injuries is covered by Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. This means to express to another person a threat to kill someone or cause them bodily injuries, destroy their property or kill/injure an animal that is their property

It is not essential that the threat be expressed directly to the victim for the crime to be done. Also, it is not necessary that the defendant actually had the intention to carry out the threats for him or her to be found guilty.
 
In R. v. O’Brien, the Supreme Court of Canada acquitted Mr. O’Brien. He had told his girlfriend that he would kill her if she went through with an abortion. The question of whether the intention of the perpetrator who has uttered threats, in absence of any explanation by the accused, has somewhat been clarified. The intent of the accused should “usually be determined by the words used, the context in which they were spoken, and the person to whom they were directed.”

In R. v. O’Brien, the victim didn’t believe the perpetrator’s words but the Crown felt that the shear utterance of a threat in an intercepted text was enough, whether or not the victim believed it or the perpetrator intended it. In essence the Crown forwarded the claim that any utterance of a threat was considered a violation of s. 264 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46; uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm to another person. This would broaden the scope of threats to, for example, someone who posted a joke online that was clearly understood by its receiver to be one. The Court dismissed the Crown’s appeal and clarified that the “context” was pivotal in deciding whether the threat violated s. 264.1(1)(a). In essence, the test is not objective but subjective and the trial judge must “consider the words…in the context of the evidence of [the person to whom they were directed]”.

The criminal lawyer defending a client charged with uttering threats has to ask himself or herself certain questions: Does the client’s version contradict the plaintiff’s version? Is there any other proof of the threat, apart from the plaintiff’s testimony? Did the words uttered actually make up a threat under the Criminal Code? There are also other relevant questions.

The maximum sentence for uttering threats to kill or cause bodily injury is 18 months emprisonment under summary procedures (Section 264.1 (2) b) Criminal Code) and 5 years for a criminal offence (Section 264.1 (2) a) Criminal Code). An absolute discharge is a possible sentence if certain conditions are present.

Please consult other articles of this site for examples of threat cases defended by a criminal lawyer of our firm.


Any person charged with threats should consult a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

A client charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is acquitted

A client of criminal lawyer Xavier Cormier was charged with driving his vehicle with impaired faculties (Section 253 Criminal Code of Canada). Mr Cormier decided to take the case to trial, since the police report did not contain sufficient evidence of alkoholemia. On the day of the trial, Mr. Cormier discussed the case with the Prosecutor. The latter dropped the charges because of lack of evidence, and Mr. Cormier’s client was acquitted.

The clients of criminal lawyer Xavier Cormier are not all acquitted. See notice.

Shoplifting: how long do procedures last?

The length of procedures for charges of shoplifting in the Montreal Muncipal Court can vary. The following are some of the steps individuals charged with shoplifting have to go through:

1) The police gives or mails the person a document summoning them to fingerprinting and a Court date. Fingerprinting and the appearance in Court should take place no later than a few weeks following arrest for shoplifting.

2) After first appearing in Court, if the defendant pleaded not guilty, the case can last from two months to approximately one year. This depends on the choices made by the defendant and their lawyer: there may be an alternative case settlement (participation in a community program and plea bargaining, etc.) or they may choose a trial to challenge the charge.

3) Remember there are several strategic reasons involved in deciding to plead guilty or not guilty when first appearing in Court. Just because the defendant admits having committed the shoplifting offence does not mean he necessarily has to plead guilty on the Court date. A good strategy can have an important impact on the sentence in case of a conviction verdict.

For further information, consult the link for shoplifting, or contact criminal lawyer Xavier Cormier for an appointment.

Assault

Cormier Simard, criminal lawyers, provide individuals with defense if they are charged with assault.

Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines assault as follows:
(1) A person commits an assault when
(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

Under Section 266 of the Criminal Code, the maximum sentence for simple assault is 6 months imprisonment if the prosecution is done summarily and five years if it is found to be a criminal offence.

Open the bulletins of this site to read about examples of cases of assault defended by Mr. Xavier Cormier, a criminal lawyer.

A client is acquitted on charges of uttering threats and using a firearm in a careless manner

A client of Mr.Luc Simard was charged with uttering death threats (Section 264.1 Criminal Code of Canada), using a firearm in a careless manner and storing a firearm in a careless manner (Section 86 (1) Criminal Code). The client pleaded not guilty to all these charges.

During the trial, the Prosecutor examined the witnesses that were meant to establish the guilt of Mr. Simard’s client. Then Mr. Simard cross-examined these witnesses in order to point out the weaknesses in the incriminating evidence. Mr. Simard finally had his client testify, followed by another witness who was the alibi of his client.

The trial ended with the Judge acquitting Mr. Simard’s client on all charges.

This is an example of a case won by criminal lawyer Luc Simard. Some of Mr. Simard’s clients are found guilty of the offenses with which they are charged. Read the notice
.

About us

Criminal Lawyers at Cormier Simard deal with cases in the districts of Montreal, Laval, Longueuil and the surroundings.

Mr.Cormier is a former Crown Prosecutor who acquired experience in criminal law in the Quebec Court, the Superior Court of Quebec, the Appeal Court of Quebec as well as municipal courts. He acted as a legal consultant for the United Nations and practised within two international penal tribunals: the International Tribunal for Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. As a criminal defense lawyer, Mr.Cormier’s strategy is often to find flaws in the accused’s charges and to expose them while defending his clients.

Mr. Luc Simard began his law career as a prosecutor for the City of Montreal. Then he joined the firm of one of the best criminal lawyers in Montreal, where he practised criminal law in complex cases, such as fraud for several hundred thousand dollars, sexual aggression, drug, violence and numerous other cases. Finally, he joined Mr. Xavier Cormier to found the Cormier Simard law firm. Because of his experience, Mr. Simard is the supervisor for our firm concerning sexual crime cases.

Are you charged with committing a criminal offence? It is indispensable that you resort as soon as possible to the services of a criminal defense lawyer / criminal lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the legal system, in order to have your rights respected and benefit from the best possible defense.

What can a criminal defense lawyer do for you? A lawyer practising criminal defense, also known as a criminal lawyer, can represent you at every step of court proceedings, can provide you with essential legal advice and mainly, defend your case during the trial. A criminal defense lawyer knows the regulations governing evidence especially as they apply to criminal law and is experienced in examining and cross-examining witnesses.

A criminal lawyer practising exclusively criminal law can defend you in cases of driving while under the influence, theft, fraud, drugs, sexual assault, assault, mischief, firearms, and many other violations of criminal law.

Read other items in this blog about criminal cases defended by our criminal defense lawyers, especially cases of attempted murder, possession of narcotics, death threats or threats to cause grievous bodily harm, sexual assault, shoplifting, assault, fraud and possession of a prohibited weapon. You will also find information on other topics related to the work of the criminal defense lawyer and criminal affairs, such as absolute discharge, peace bonds, the right to silence, arrest warrants and dejudicializing.

A client receives a discharge despite his past jail sentence

In the Montreal district, an individual was charged with harassment, under Section 264(1)(3)b) of the Criminal Code, communicating repeatedly by means of telecommunications, under 372(3)(4)b) of the Criminal Code and uttering threats to cause bodily injuries under Section 264.1(1)a)(2)b) of the Criminal Code. Under the influence of alcohol, the defendant had made several consecutive phone calls to another occupant of the housing complex of his lady friend. The conversations, which included terms of harassment, had been registered by the plaintiff and submitted to the police.

 

Another similar incident had taken place two years prior and a complaint had been laid by the same person. Also,  the defendant had many criminal records, including some in similar cases.  In the past, he had been sentenced around ten times to prison sentences for various periods, going up to 4 years of penitentiary. However, he currently held a contractual position on condition of later obtaining a pardon. Mrs. Catherine Charland from our firm negotiated an agreement with the Prosecutor and the defendant was discharged contingent to carrying out a certain number of hours of community work and completing therapy to deal with his alcohol problem. This way, he avoided a new criminal record.

 

Not all Madam Charland’s clients obtain a discharge. See notice.

 

Mischief

A person commits the offence of mischief when he or she wilfully destroys or damages property, renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective or obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property. The acts that constitute the offence of mischief are described under Section 430 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The person charged with mischief must have voluntarily committed the forbidden action or have been guilty of wilful blindness regarding the consequences of the action.

Mischief is liable to a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment when the property is worth over $5,000 or a maximum imprisonment of 2 years if the property is worth less than $5,000 (Section 430 (3) (a) and Section 430 (4) (a) Criminal Code). The maximum sentence is 6 months when charges are laid summarily (Section 430 (3) (b) and 430 (4) (b) Criminal Code). An absolute discharge is one of the sentences a judge can impose in case of conviction for mischief.

A lawyer defending a person charged with mischief has to ask certain questions: Is there proof beyond any reasonable doubt that it is the client who committed the act of mischief? Is the client’s version infirmative? If the client made an incriminating statement to the police, is it admissible as evidence? If the evidence is conclusive, is it possible to reach an alternative solution (for ex. a peace bond)?

Any person charged with mischief should consult a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Hit and run

Have you been accused or charged with leaving the scene of an accident better known as a “hit-and-run”? If so, you should know your rights and legal obligations. A hit-and-run can turn in to a very serious offence and could place someone in jail. 
Basically, a hit-and-run means you (1) do not stop your vehicle and/or do not give your name and address when you are involved in an automobile accident or you (2) do not provide assistance to an injured person or a person that seems to need help when you are involved in an automobile accident. A criminal lawyer defending an individual charged with committing a hit-and-run must ask several investigative questions.
What evidence is there that the charged person omitted stopping with the intention of avoiding their civil or criminal responsibility? Can the Prosecutor prove who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident? Was it an accident as defined by jurisprudence? Do the explanations provided by the person charged make up a defense to this charge? There are also other questions.
FEDERAL LAW
Section 252 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada (The Code) entitled “Failure to stop at scene of accident” states that:
“Every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle…that is involved in an accident with another person, [or] a vehicle, and with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle, give his or her name and address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.” [edited]
Section 252 (1.1) states that the accused can be guilty of an offence punishable up to 6 months (summary conviction) or get up to 5 years in prison with an indictable offence. It is possible to get an absolute dischage as a sentence in case of a conviction. However, if the offence involves bodily harm, the maximum sentence is increased to 10 years (Section 252 (1.2)) and in case of death, the accused may get life imprisonment (Section 252 (1.3)). So it’s important to know how bad the injuries are.
According to the court in R v Chase 2005 BCCA 275, there is no requirement of actual injury or damage to the vehicle to be obligated to stop at the scene of an accident and leave a name and address even if there is no occupant. The Code states that you are presumed guilty “in the absence of evidence to the contrary,” of an intent to escape civil or criminal liability when you fail to stop and give your name (section 252 (2)). The Crown merely needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1) the accused had the care, charge or control of a vehicle;
2) that the vehicle was involved in an accident;
3) the accident was with either (i) another person or (ii) a vehicle;
4) the accused, with the intent to escape civil or criminal liability failed to:
a) stop the vehicle;
b) give his or her name and address; and
c) where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.

PROVICIAL LAW:
The doctrines of paramountcy and concurrency govern the interaction of the federal and provincial laws. Therefore, if convicted under the Code, and as a result a provincial statue as well, the stricter of the two penalties will apply and they will likely run concurrently (Ross v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles(1975, SCC)). For example, if you were given a license suspension of 1.5 years and the province automatically gave only 1 year, then 1.5 years would the length of your suspension.

QUEBEC
The  Highway Safety Code (QHSC) governs the interaction of motorists in the province. Section 168 states that an individual must remain or return to the scene “and render the necessary assistance to any person who has sustained injury or damage”. If someone is injured, the driver must also call a police officer (section 169) and it is this police officer that will take the drivers information – as opposed to exchanging information with others in the accident (section 170). Section 180 states that as soon as an individual is convicted of an offence under section 252(1) of the Code, the QHSC automatically administers a:
1) Revocation of a learner’s license, probationary license or driver’s license and
2) Suspension of the right to get a license.
This means, depending on how many penalties one has, a license can be suspended anywhere from 1-5 years and the individual can receive a fine anywhere from $200-$2000 (section 76, 178, 179). Note, there is no jail time to be served under Quebec law.
If you’ve been charged with a hit-and-run, and are not sure of your options for beating it, speaking to a team of lawyers with experience defending individuals is a sound first step.

A client charged with sexual assault and sexual contact gets acquitted.

Lawyer Luc Simard was defending a client charged with sexual assault and sexual contact (Section 151 a) Criminal Code). A minimum sentence of imprisonment would have automatically been imposed on the defendant if he had been found guilty. The procedures in this case, which lasted approximately two years,
included appearance before the Judge, the pro formas, the preliminary inquiry and then the trial. During the trial, two witnesses were heard for the prosecution. As defence lawyer, Mr. Simard brought forward two witnesses also. What was at the core of this case was the credibility of both the defendant and the plaintiff. Both of them were providing contradictory versions of what happened on the evening of the event.
After hearing the witnesses, Mr. Simard as well as the lawyer for the prosecution, the Judge acquitted the client because of the reasonable doubt that remained in his mind.

Not all Mr. Luc Simard’s clients are acquitted. See notice.

A client charged with shoplifting receives an absolute discharge

Criminal lawyer Xavier Cormier was defending a client charged with shoplifting for a value exceeding $ 800 (Section 334 Criminal Code of Canada). Given her professional status, her age and the fact that she did not have a criminal record, Mr.Cormier negotiated with the Prosecutor so that his client could benefit from a discharge. The client made a donation to a charity organization and then pleaded guilty. The Judge agreed to the lawyers’ solution and granted Mr. Cormier’s client an absolute discharge.

Some clients are given a stricter penalty than a discharge. See notice.

A client charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is acquitted

A client of criminal lawyer Luc Simard had been charged with driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (Section 253 a) Criminal Code of Canada). Mr. Simard read the evidence and information. He found an error in the drafting of the criminal information by the prosecution. The Prosecutor eventually dropped the charges of drunken driving, and Mr. Simard’s client was acquitted.

Not all clients of criminal lawyer Luc Simard are acquitted. See notice.

Criminal Harassment

Xavier Cormier, a criminal defense lawyer, defends clients charged with criminal harassment and harassing phone calls.

Criminal harassment is a criminal offence provided under Section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The essential elements of criminal harassment are as follows: repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them; repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them; besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family. The actions must have the effect of making the victim reasonably fear for his or her physical, psychological or emotional safety. Sometimes all it takes is one gesture to make it possible to conclude there was criminal harassment. Criminal harassment is liable to a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment or a fine of $ 2,000 when prosecuted summarily (Section 264(3)(b) Criminal Code) and five years in prison when considered an indictable offence (Section 264 (3)(a) Criminal Code). Criminal harassment often occurs in a context of domestic violence. An absolute discharge is a possible sentence if certain conditions are present. A peace bond is an alternative way to settle the case that is sometimes used by lawyers in cases of criminal harassment when certain conditions are present.

The offence of harassing telephone calls is provided under Section 372(3) of the Criminal Code. The offence is described as follows: Every one who, without lawful excuse and with intent to harass any person, makes or causes to be made repeated telephone calls to that person is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction. The crime of harassing phone calls is liable to a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment or a $ 2,000 fine.

A lawyer responsible for defending clients charged with these offences has to ask certain questions, for instance: what evidence is there that the client carried out the acts he is charged with, did the actions make the plaintiff reasonably fear for her safety (as regards the offence of criminal harassment), what were the client’s intentions when he carried out the alleged actions?

Any person charged with criminal harassment or harassing phone calls is highly recommended to consult a criminal defense lawyer.