Toronto criminal lawyer Craig Penney prepares you for your first, important defence strategy meeting

Contact — Craig Penney, Toronto Criminal Lawyer

Telephone: 416 410 2266 — Mobile: 416 768 3810 — Fax: 416 410 8978 — Email:

Free Consultation:  If you are recently charged with a criminal offence and do not have a lawyer, I offer a free half-hour consultation.

About Fees:  The fees will depend upon the complexity, our objective, and the time involved. I usually discuss fees at the end of our first meeting. My fees and services are set out in writing. Where feasible, I bill on a block-fee basis, not hourly. Once we determine the cost, we will arrange a payment plan. I accept debit, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and email interac. If you are paying fees for my client, you cannot provide instructions, nor will you have any control over the case.

Your Role:  Our first meeting is critical. You need to understand where you are, the paths before you, and where you might land. Your case might even require immediate action. This meeting is also your opportunity to assess me as a lawyer. To make the most of it, and to protect yourself, review below my top ten things for our first meeting.

Craig Penney, Toronto Defence Lawyer
120 Carlton Street, Suite 205, Toronto, Ontario M5A 4K2

How to prepare for your first Toronto criminal defence lawyer meeting:

1) Remember that you are entering your safe zone — I'm here to help, not judge.

2) Bring identification — it's a Law Society requirement.

3) Write a detailed account of the allegations, the history behind them, and your dealings with the police. Every legal problem starts with the facts. I need to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. While you may feel reluctant to tell me all, take comfort in knowing that I will never judge you, what you have to say, or what you have done.

4) Protect our solicitor-client communications by writing "to my lawyer" on every page. Subject to narrow exceptions, what we say and write to one another is held in strict confidence. Without your consent, no police officer or Crown, not even a Judge, can make either of us divulge what was said or written.

5) Do not share our communications — not even with your spouse. Our communications are protected by solicitor-client privilege only if conducted in private and not shared.

6) Bring relevant documents. This includes documents provided by the Court, the police, and the Crown.

7) Write your questions and concerns. Put everything in an envelope entitled "communications with my lawyer."

8) Do not speak about your case to anyone — not your spouse, not your surety, and especially not potential witnesses. Telling a witness "don't speak to the police" can lead to a charge of obstructing justice.

9) Bring witness names and contact info. If they want to give statements, inform them that "I can't talk about the case, but my lawyer will be in touch." Say no more.

10) If you want to lay a counter charge, make a complaint against the police, or feel that you are under an obligation to make a statement (e.g., to an insurance adjuster), obtain legal advice before taking action.