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Murder/Wrongful Death

Murder is the most serious charge in the Criminal Code and those convicted of murder face life sentences.

Not all wrongful death cases result in murder charges.  In Goderich a woman was charged with abandoning a child who tragically drowned at the beach while under her care.  James Zegers took this matter to trial, where she was found not guilty.

Serious charges require serious lawyers.  With twenty years of experience taking on difficult cases, James Zegers can mean the difference between being found not guilty or facing a lengthy jail sentence.

If you are charged with a serious criminal offence, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Domestic Assault

Domestic assault is a serious social problem. If you are charged with domestic assault, James Zegers can negotiate a solution to keep you from getting a criminal record.

More and more people are being charged with offences arising from domestic disputes, including assault, criminal harassment, and mischief.

James Zegers has an excellent record for resolving domestic charges.  Often a careful review of the allegations with the prosecutor results in the withdrawal of criminal charges against an accused when there is no reasonable prospect of conviction.

In other cases the Crown can be persuaded to withdraw charges after the accused agrees to undergo counseling to address issues underlying the domestic conflict.

 Peace bonds, where one party agrees not to communicate with another, are also used to resolve domestic charges.

Clients can also be referred to the early intervention program, where charges that might ordinarily result in criminal convictions or even jail sentences can be resolved by way of a conditional discharge – a finding of guilt without the registering of a criminal conviction.

Call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation on how best to deal with your domestic matters.

Assault

Why is fighting ok in the NHL but not on Richmond Row?  It comes down to consent.  Hockey players who consent to fight are not guilty of assault.

Assault is the intentional application of force without consent.  But consent only goes so far.  No one can consent to having bodily harm inflicted.

If you have been charged with assault there are a number of defences to help you beat the charges, including self-defence and consent.

Assault charges are often resolved by way of a peace bond, especially if the alleged assault is not serious and the accused does not have a criminal record.   A peace bond requires the accused to agree to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a particular period of time.  In addition a peace bond usually requires the accused to agree to not cmmunicate or associate with the complainant in the matter for the same period of time.  In exchange for agreeing to this, the prosecutor is withdraws the criminal charges.

If you have been charged with assault, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Motor Vehicle Offences

Impaired Driving

Every year thousands of people find themselves charged with drinking and driving offences.

The law in this area is extremely complex.  James Zegers successfully defends drivers charged with impaired driving and can help you keep your licence.

Defending drinking and driving offences requires a careful review of the facts and a thorough knowledge of the law.  Issues that arise include the timing of the breath tests and the constitutionality of the initial police stop.  Too often people plead guilty to a drinking and driving offence without carefully considering all possible defences.

With twenty years of experience, James Zegers can help you keep your license and your livelihood.

If you have been charged with a drinking and driving offence, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Driving While Suspended

The courts take a dim view of people who are convicted of driving while suspended.  Even a first offender for driving while suspended is often sentenced to 30 days in custody.

If you are charged with driving while suspended you need a lawyer who can explain to the court why jail is not an appropriate sentence for you.

If you have been charged with driving while suspended, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

 

Highway Traffic Act 

Offences such as speeding, driving while suspended or careless driving fall under the Highway Traffic Act.  While not criminal offences, convictions for Highway Traffic Act offences can result in fines, increased insurance premiums, and in exceptional cases, jail.

James Zegers paralegal staff can be relied upon to provide economical solutions for clients facing Highway Traffic Act charges.  Charges of speeding and careless driving are often reduced to lesser offences.

If you have been charged with a Highway Traffic Act offence, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Sexual Assault

Allegations of committing a sexual offence are devastating.  The mere fact of being charged is often enough to permanently damage a person’s reputation.

James Zegers handles this kind of case with the discretion required to keep the matter out of the public eye and keep your reputation intact.

Thorough preparation, research and attention to detail is essential.

In one case James Zegers was able to have charges of sexual assault withdrawn prior to trial after a careful review of text messages and other documents revealed serious concerns with the reliability and credibility of the complainant.

If you have been charged with sexual assault, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Property Offences

Shoplifting/Theft Under

The offence of theft under refers to theft of goods worth less than $5,000.00.  Shoplifting usually falls in this category.

For first offenders, theft charges are usually dealt with by way of the Direct Accountability Program, sometimes known as Alternative Measures.  Through this program the accused accepts responsibility for the criminal act without having to suffer the consequences of a criminal record.

Call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 to find out how your theft charge can be resolved without a criminal record.

Mischief

The offence of mischief usually refers to the intentional damage of property.  Mischief charges, particularly for first time offenders, can usually be dealt with by way of the Direct Accountability Program, also known as Alternative Measures. Through this program, the accused accepts responsibility for the criminal act without having to suffer the consequences of a criminal record.

Call James Zegers at 519-63-0440 to find out how your mischief charge can be resolved without a criminal record.

Break and Enter

The offence of break and enter involves the entering of a home or business and committing an offence, such as assault or theft.  Break and enter is a serious offence and the maximum penalty is life in prison.

If you are charged with break and enter you need expert advise.  With twenty years of experience, James Zegers can help you get the best possible result.

If you have been charged with break and enter, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Fraud

To defraud is to deprive by deceit.  Taking cash from the till, intentionally writing cheques that won’t be honoured, or obtaining benefits based on dishonest representations are all examples of fraud.

Fraud cases are often complex and require careful review and investigation.  With twenty years of experience James Zegers can help you through the complexities of fraud allegations.

If you have been charged with fraud, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Young Offenders

Kids get into trouble.  And sometimes that means criminal charges.  It’s a nightmare for parents, but James Zegers has extensive experience dealing with young offenders and can get your son or daughter out of serious trouble while making sure they appreciate the potential consequences of criminal misconduct and a criminal record.

James Zegers understands what it is like to be a parent of a child in trouble and will handle your family problem with the utmost sensitivity and discretion.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act recognizes that people under the age of 18 should be treated differently than adults and emphasizes rehabilitation over punishment.  James can help make sure your son or daughter does not get a criminal record.

Call James Zegers at 519-073-0440 for a free initial consultation if your child is charged with a criminal offence.

Drug Offences

Possession of Controlled Substance

A conviction for possession of marijuana or cocaine will prevent you from crossing the border, and can have a negative impact on employment.  James Zegers can help you keep your right to travel from being compromised and your employment prospects from being affected. 

First time offenders can often be dealt with in a way that does not require a plea of guilty or the imposition of a criminal record.

Don’t let a simple mistake compromise your ability to travel or be employed.

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, or any other controlled substance, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Marijuana Production 

Despite the liberal views many people hold with respect to marijuana possession, marijuana production is a serious offence, and subject to serious penalties, including jail.

Depending on the number of plants produced, the minimum penalty for production of marijuana is six months imprisonment if it can be shown that the production was for the purpose of trafficking.

James Zegers’ experience with defending people charged with marijuana production can make the difference between staying out of custody or going to jail.

Don’t take a chance.

If you have been charged with marijuana production, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Trafficking

Trafficking is the most serious drug offence of all.

Sadly, many of those caught up in the trafficking of drugs are often victims of the drug trade themselves, addicts who sell to keep themselves supplied.

In cases like these James Zegers can help provide the court with a full account of the individual before the court and work for an outcome that emphasizes rehabilitation over punishment.

It’s in everybody’s interest to help the victims of drug addiction and James Zegers can help the community by getting his clients the help to overcome their addictions.

If you have been charged with trafficking, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

In trafficking cases you need to make sure your constitutional rights to counsel, freedom from arbitrary detention, and freedom from unreasonable search are respected.

With his thorough knowledge of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, James Zegers can identify potential search and seizure in your case.

Contact James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation and assessment of the defences available to you, including those based on your constitutional rights as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Breach of Probation

One of the sentencing options for judges is to suspend the passing of sentence and place a person on a probation for a period of time, usually one year, but never more than three.

The terms of probation are usually to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, and to report to a probation officer as directed.  Often the courts order the performance of community services, which is involves working as a volunteer for non-profit or community organizations. The idea behind probation is to assist the offender with issues that may have lead to his criminal conduct and try to resolve them in a way that prevents the offender from committing further crimes.

It is a criminal offence to breach the terms of the probation order and quite often breaches of probation are punished by jail sentences.

If you are charged with breach of probation you need a lawyer who can advise you on the best way to solve your problem and keep you out of jail.  If the issue is the non-completion of community service, James can help you by getting you back on track with your community service.

If you have been charged with breach of probation, call James Zegers at 519-673-0440 for a free initial consultation.