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Nothing is more stressful than being charged with a criminal offence.  It can happen to anyone.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need expert guidance and advice to help you navigate the intricacies of the legal system.

For the past twenty years James Zegers has successfully defended clients in London and Southwestern Ontario for offences ranges from shoplifting to assault and murder.

As your lawyer, James Zegers fights for the best possible outcome – so that you can get back to living your life.
Bail Hearings

If you have been taken into custody, the bail hearing is a crucial stage that can set the tone for the rest of your proceedings. The sooner you are released, the better your chances become for a successful resolution.

Time spent behind bars reduces your negotiation options and weakens your defence. It’s best to have a skilled lawyer on your side from the start.

James will examine the court's position and the charges against you, ensuring that the Crown's case is fully disclosed. After careful examination of the allegations, he works to craft a release plan that satisfies the concerns of the court. His knowledge of the local judicial system, gained through two decades of practice, serves clients well during these negotiations: simply put, he’ll get you out of jail.  If you or a family member is in custody, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Agency Matters

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, James Zegers can ensure that you do not have to attend court until absolutely necessary.  As a result you save time and money, and avoid the embarrassment of appearing in court on criminal charges.

Negotiation and Mediation

Negotiation and mediation is a key part of James Zegers approach to criminal law.  Depending on the case, skillful negotiation can result in the withdrawal of charges, the reduction of charges, or the avoidance of jail.  By resolving matters without going to trial, James Zegers helps his client save money by way of cost effective resolution of criminal charges.

Trials

Sometimes charges can’t be resolved and have to go to trial.  When that happens you want a lawyer with a proven track record in the court room.  James Zegers has twenty years experience as a trial lawyer at all levels of court, including the Provincial Offences Court, the Ontario Court of Justice, and the Superior Court of Justice.

Appeals

Sometimes the court makes a mistake: they convict someone they shouldn’t have or impose a sentence that is too harsh.  When that happens you have the right to appeal the judge’s decision.  James Zegers has represented appellants in the Superior Court of Justice and at the Ontario Court of Appeal.  Recently James was successful in obtaining conditional discharges for students convicted of participating in an unlawful assembly on St. Patrick’s day near Fanshawe College.

Aboriginal or First Nations Offenders

For too long aboriginal and First Nations offenders have been over-represented in the Canadian prison system.  That is changing with the institution of a special court in London to deal with the issues that affect Aboriginal Canadians.

Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code directs the Courts to consider all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.  In R. v. Gladue 133 C.C.C. (3d) 385, the Supreme Court of Canada held that this section of the Criminal Code directed the Courts to sentence aboriginal offenders differently, because the circumstances of aboriginal people are unique.  The judge must consider the unique systemic or background factors that may have played a part in bringing the offender before the court and the types of sentencing procedures that may be appropriate in the circumstances because of the offender’s heritage or connection to his culture.

James Zegers has represented aboriginal clients for over twenty years and is familiar to the cultural and systemic factors addressed by the Supreme Court of Canada.