In some circumstances due to the nature of the evidence against you, proceeding to trial may not be your best option because there is a high likelihood that you will be convicted. Yet even then, depending on the nature of your firearms offence, there is still a possibility that you can get your charges dropped without winning at trial. Specifically, if you have been charged with a registration or licensing offence for an unrestricted and non-prohibited firearm, we may be able to resolve your charges through the Alternative Measures Program (AMP). If accepted to AMP you will have to complete a short and manageable program, and once you have finished, the charges against you will be withdrawn and you will be able to avoid a criminal record.
If you have been charged with an offence that is not eligible for AMP, you might still be able to avoid a criminal record with a discharge. A discharge is an in-court application that we can make on your behalf where we will essentially argue that you should not receive a criminal record for your offence. A discharge will require that you plead guilty, however, if the application is successful you will be ‘discharged’ from your offence, not convicted. If you receive a conditional discharge, you will be required to comply with terms specified by the court for a set period of time, after which you will be absolutely discharged of your offence. If you are granted a conditional discharge, your record will show that you received a conditional discharge for a period of three years. If you receive an absolute discharge, you will not be required to comply with any conditions and will be immediately discharged from the offence. If you receive an absolute discharge, your record will state as such for a period of one year.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to resolve your matter in a manner that will allow you to avoid a criminal record, particularly when your offence is very serious. If you are facing the possibility of jail time in the event of conviction, depending on the nature of your charges we may be able to help you to secure a sentence that will allow you to avoid any time spent in prison. For example, for certain serious firearms offences, you still have the possibility of receiving a conditional sentence order or a suspended sentence. Both of these sentencing measures will allow you to remain in the community, so long as you comply with the terms of the order that will be set in place by the court.
Given that firearms offences are taken very seriously in Canadian law, if you have been charged with a firearms offence contact one of our criminal defence lawyers immediately. We have ample experience dealing with a variety of firearms offences, and we have been able to consistently secure our clients excellent resolutions for their offences. Once retained, we will present you will all viable defences to your charges, as well as all potential routes of resolution so that you are fully informed and able to deal with your charges in the most effective manner possible.