I cannot thank you enough for getting me out of my driving predicament. I am truly grateful and have learned a lesson.
I would like to thank you for all your help during such a difficult time for our family. Your efforts exceeded my expectations. I could not have asked for a better outcome. I have no hesitation in referring anyone who might need legal representation to you.
It’s the call that no parent wants: a late-night call from the police. Your teen has been arrested.
Talk to a lawyer before talking to the police
One of the biggest mistakes people who’ve been arrested make is believing that if they just tell their side of the story, everything will be okay. If your teen is arrested, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defence lawyer before talking to the police or making a statement.
Be ready if the police call
You can help your teen today by doing some advance homework yourself. Know who you would call if the police told you they have your child in custody. The stakes are high. You need an experienced criminal defence lawyer in your teen’s corner protecting their rights now and in the days ahead.
An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help alleviate your fears about the unknown and answer your questions at a time when what’s happening may seem overwhelming. He or she will:
- Answer your questions about the process in the days ahead
- Gather facts
- Develop a plan for moving forward
Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Do your research now and decide who you would contact if the call comes in. And hope that it never does.
Call us; we can help you. We are criminal defence lawyers with decades of specialized experience in criminal law.
In December the Supreme Court of Canada released it’s much anticipated decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford 2013 SCC 72 in which it found three Canadian prostitution offences unconstitutional. The three Criminal Code offences involve keeping a brothel, pimping and communicating in public about sex for sale. The high court gave the government a year to make changes. It it doesn’t, those activities will no longer be illegal in Canada.
A number of people have asked me if this means prostitution is now legal in Canada. They’ve all been surprised to learn that prostitution – the sale of sex for money – wasn’t an offence before the Bedford case, so the decision hasn’t changed anything in that regard.
The Bedford case actually concerned the prostitution-related offences regarding brothels, pimping and communicating in public about sex for sale. The nine appeal judges unanimously found each of the three offences unconstitutional because they violate a prostitute’s Charter right to security of the person in a way that is contrary to the principles of fundamental justice. The federal government didn’t seriously attempt to justify the violation.
Basically, the court accepted the argument that these provisions put the safety and lives of prostitutes at risk, and are therefore unconstitutional.
The context within which the decision was made is obviously important. Prostitution, although legal, clearly poses significant danger to prostitutes. Indeed, the decision makes several references to the case of notorious serial killer Robert Pickton in support of this seemingly uncontentious proposition.
“Keeping a common bawdy-house”
This is the offence that prohibits keeping a brothel. It was found to prevent a prostitute’s ability to do in-calls – in which clients attend at prostitutes’ residences (regarded by prostitutes as the safest environment within to engage in prostitution); when more dangerous out-calls – in which prostitutes attend at clients’ residences, are permitted.
“Living on the avails of prostitution”
This is the offence that prohibits pimping. It was found to prevent a prostitute’s ability to hire services such as security for out-calls – things like a professional driver (although the decision notes the offence even prevents the hiring of business services such as accounting).
“Communicating in a public place”
This is the offence that prohibits prostitutes and their customers from communicating in a public place about the sale of sex for money. It was found to prevent a prostitute’s ability to screen for “bad dates”.
So what does it all mean?
The court gave the government a year to make changes to the offences. If the government declines to do so, these activities will no longer be criminalized. If it does make changes, it will be interesting to see what form they take.
In the meantime, prostitution remains legal. I don’t anticipate any police or prosecutorial enthusiasm for investigating or laying charges for these offences, and criminal defence lawyers who did a lot of these types of cases will need to consider broadening the scope of their practices.