Including Criminal Code, Highway Traffic, Income Tax, and Regulatory Offences

Eight Ways to Win a Criminal Case

Most clients facing a criminal trial might win, even if they 'did it'. For example, I have won cases for clients, which initially seemed hopeless, through all of the ways below.

Cannabis Record Suspensions

New laws have made it easier and cheaper to get a record suspension if you have a conviction for simple possession of cannabis. 

A record suspension used to be called a pardon. Neither name is accurate. Your criminal record remains but is set apart from other criminal records in the Canadian Police Information Centre database. Your record suspension can be revoked or considered invalid for a variety of reasons. 

Refusing to Play Along with the Income Tax Act

There is an adamant element of society who object to paying taxes or otherwise being governed by Canadian laws. They have been bringing all nature of court actions for many years, are usually self-represented, and place a huge burden on judges and the court system.

Arrested and in Custody - Tips if it's You

It could happen – you could be arrested and held in custody at a police station, waiting for release. You should call a lawyer, and that is your right. That way, you will get immediate legal advice tailored to your situation – at least as far as that is possible in a very brief phone call.  

In general, the tips below could apply. Remember though that they might not apply to your particular situation.


Defamation is a legal concept that is broad and expanding. The laws are found in provincial and federal legislation, and in judge-made case law from Small Claims Court all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Communications through never-ending new forms of technology are not adequately dealt with, or even dealt with at all, through legislation that was drafted in an earlier era. Technology also brings with it jurisdictional issues such as - where did the offence occur when it was sent over the internet?

Short Term Rental Offences

Running a short term rental and finding yourself in hot water? You may have thought that since you complied with local bylaws concerning short term rentals, you were operating legally. However, it is possible, and even common, to be in compliance with one law, only to be breaking another.

Taxes and Criminal Law

I deal with tax questions from distraught people. Their upset is understandable:
  • There are endless ways you or your accountant can mess up your taxes, even despite best efforts.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has enormous investigative powers.
  • The CRA has a huge prosecution budget that is sometimes spent without regard to proportionality.
  • The CRA is vested with highly effective enforcement procedures.
  • Scammers very successfully exploit the existing distrust and fear many citizens have towards our tax system. Maybe you know what I'm talking about.

Canadian Legal Terminology

Legal jargon used in Canada for persons going through the criminal justice system includes the following.

When Family Matters Become Criminal

Many people ask me for help with their family law matters, even though my expertise is in criminal law and investigations. Relationship breakdown can quickly turn into the type of case I take on. Your breakdown may lead to investigations and even charges against you.

Private Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Ottawa

I defend people who are charged with offences. I also represent victims and witnesses who want someone with my background on their side. Like my defense representation, this is a private service - it is not associated with government at all. I offer it as an alternative to, or in addition to, the various government or government-funded agencies that provide similar services. My program is different in these respects:

No conflict of interest
You may feel that your interests are in opposition to government or government-funded agencies. Since I am a private lawyer whom you retain (hire) directly, there is no conflict of interest.

How Mediation Applies to Criminal Law

Mediation is most often seen in civil cases, such as family law. The common practise in criminal law is to hold pre-trial settlement discussions between defense counsel and the prosecutor, sometimes with the input of a judge. Neither the accused nor the alleged victim(s) are present.

Being Thrown Out

People often express to me their mortification and indignation at having been barred or banished or told to leave from somewhere by another person. It was prompted by their behaviour that was not criminal, but broke someone's rules or boundaries in a work, residential, domestic, or leisure setting. Being figuratively tossed is just a normal part of societal friction. Nonetheless, being told to leave can be an emotional event – sometimes for both the one asking and for the one asked. It may result in assaultive or threatening behaviour on either or both sides. Criminal charges or civil actions may follow – again, on either or both sides.

Four Essentials to Consider When Charged with an Offence

1. Do you know all the ramifications to pleading guilty? They may include jail, a license suspension, a criminal record, and much more. Don't be caught by surprise on sentencing day, as are many self-represented people.

Representation by Ottawa lawyer Lisa Christian - Sample Cases

If you are not sure if your matter is something with which I could help you, please feel free to call me to discuss it (no legal fees for this chat). Typical cases I handle include:

Breaking the Law in Canada

Breaking the law - you may be doing it right now. There are a number of reasons for this, most of which are out of your control. Allow me to explain.

Taxation Issues - Private Legal Advice

Unlawful Tax Avoidance, Audits, and the Canada Revenue Agency

Below are some common tax issues that can affect everyone.

Tax Avoidance
Taxpayers are entitled to arrange their affairs to minimize tax by lawful means; this is lawful tax avoidance. Of course if there is an element of fraud, this is tax evasion and can lead to criminal charges. But there is a huge grey area in between lawful tax avoidance and tax evasion. It is called 'abusive tax avoidance'.

Checklist: Do You Need a Lawyer?

1. Your head is spinning just thinking about the problem. You can't get an intellectual grasp on it. When this happens, it is usually because you are missing some underlying premise about your situation. I can explain to you what is missing, and then you will be clearer about the problem before making decisions on next steps.

2. Your stomach feels queasy when you think of the problem. This is your intuition speaking to you.

Seniors with Criminal Law Problems in Ottawa

My criminal law practise frequently involves seniors as clients, and I have therefore developed a formal Seniors' Program to respond to their interests. As seniors, we may have special challenges that can land us in hot water with the law. This applies even to people who have lived long lives without attracting any criminal record.

Are You in Ottawa Criminal Court or Under Investigation?

If you are charged or under investigation by the government or police, you may be having some of the thoughts below. You can speak to me about your worries, and I'll let you know which of these anxieties are justified, and what I can do to get you the best possible result for your situation:

Consultation Process for Criminal Cases in Ottawa

As a new client, when you book a consultation I may ask you to send me documents prior to the appointment, such as the paper you may have received from the police or court telling you of your criminal charge and next court date.

Witnesses in Ottawa Criminal Courts

Each individual is unique. As a result, the usual indicators of a witness' credibility cannot always be relied upon by lawyers and judges.

Referrals to Lisa Christian, Ottawa Lawyer

It can be awkward suggesting that your friend, family member, customer, patient, or client seek the help of a lawyer, especially if their legal issue involves criminal charges or a police investigation. But sometimes it is the right thing to do, and you will have the comfort of knowing that their legal matter will be appropriately addressed.