Weapons and Firearms Offences Lawyers in Toronto

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Weapon Offences Lawyer in Toronto

Weapon-related offences range from trafficking, possession to the use of a weapon in perpetrating a crime. In Canada, weapon-related crimes are among the most severely prosecuted and punished criminal charges. The laws guiding the prosecution and sentencing of weapon offences in Ontario keep changing with time. For example, a number of minimum sentences were stripped from the Criminal Code by the Supreme Court of Canada for violating the Charter. On the other hand, some amendments have increased penalties on weapons and related offences upon conviction.

If you’re charged with a weapons-related offence, such as a firearm or gun charge, reach out to Zamani Law. An experienced lawyer will help you navigate the justice process, protect your rights, and fight for a favourable outcome.

What Is a Weapon?

Anything can be perceived as a weapon as long as it’s used to or intended to cause harm or death to another person. Therefore, even a book can be termed as a weapon if used in an assault.

To understand the breadth of weapon offences, let’s take a look at the definition offered by the Criminal Code of Canada:

A weapon is:

  • Anything used, designed to be used or intended for use
    1. in causing death or injury to any person, or
    2. for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person and, without restricting the foregoing, includes a firearm…, or
    3. anything used or intended for use in binding or tying up a person against their will.

The definition offered by the Criminal Code leaves it to the prosecution to determine if an item is a weapon, depending on how the accused used it or intended to use it.

What is a firearm?

Firearms are among the most dangerous weapons. To prevent their illegal use, such as in a robbery or an assault, the Criminal Code provides severe consequences even for minor offences.

According to the Criminal Code, a firearm is:

  • A barreled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectiles can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person, and includes any frame or receiver of such a barreled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm.

The Criminal Code has several categories of firearms, including restricted firearms and prohibited firearms, each with a slightly varying meaning and different penalties upon conviction. If you’re found guilty of a firearm allegation, even without facing incarceration, the court will certainly prohibit you from owning, possessing or using a firearm, ammo, and other weapons for a period of one year or more, depending on charges.

If you or your loved one are facing such charges, contact our firearms and gun offence lawyers in Toronto for expert legal counsel.

Type of Firearm Offences

There are several types of firearm offences, as detailed by sections 84 to 117 of the Criminal Code. These allegations can be mainly categorized into two groups, i.e., “possession offences” and “use offences.”

  • Use offences:
  • Careless use of a weapon
  • Pointing a firearm
  • Use of a firearm to commit an offence
  • Possession offences:
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition
  • Possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle

The above are just a few of the many firearm offences that one can be charged with in Canada. No matter the gun offence you’re facing, it’s vital to retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Toronto for legal advice.

Call us today at 416-627-1318 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.

Don’t Plead Guilty!

Are you facing firearm allegations in Toronto? Don’t plead guilty! No matter how minor the charge appears, pleading guilty can destroy the rest of your life. There are many defence strategies that our firearm and gun offences lawyers in Toronto can utilize to defend you and obtain a favourable outcome, including a significant reduction of charges or a withdrawal of the allegations.

We have successfully defended many clients and negotiated to have them allowed to carry firearms, particularly when they’re vital to their work, for example, security work. We can use our experience, expertise, and resources to attain the same for you.

Call us today for a free evaluation of your case. Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty, and you’re entitled to due process.

FAQ

What is the sentence for possession of a firearm?

Possession of a firearm is a broad category of charges, each with different sentences depending on your case’s details. Some possession charges include possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm, and unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle. Each possession charge has different sentences, some of which include:

Indictable possession offences:

  • A jail term of up to 10 years for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • A maximum of 5 years in jail for unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon
  • A jail term of up to 10 years for unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle

Some possession charges can also be prosecuted as offences punishable on a summary conviction. In this case, a conviction might lead to a jail sentence of between 6 months to 2 years.

Apart from lengthy jail terms, possession charge convictions have other consequences, such as prohibition from owning a firearm and a permanent criminal record.

If you or someone you know are facing firearm possession allegations, contact Zamani Law for exceptional representation.

What is trafficking a firearm or conspiracy to traffic a firearm?

In Canada, trafficking offences are taken very seriously by the police, Crown Attorneys, and the Courts. Trafficking firearms or conspiring to traffic firearms entails the manufacture or transfer of a firearm, restricted firearm, a prohibited device, or any ammunition without authorization to do so under the Firearms Act.

Also, if you offer to manufacture or transfer any firearms, ammunition, or prohibited devices, you can be charged with trafficking or conspiracy to traffic firearms.

What is the sentence for trafficking a firearm or conspiracy to traffic a firearm?

If you are charged with trafficking firearms, be it transfer, manufacture, or an offer to do any of the two, you may face a jail sentence of up to 10 years if found guilty of an indictable offence.

Although some mandatory minimum sentences have been removed, some trafficking charges still carry mandatory minimum sentences. These include a mandatory minimum 3-year sentence for the first offence and a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence for a second or any subsequent trafficking offence.

With such lengthy jail terms upon conviction, it’s crucial to retain an experienced firearm and gun offence lawyer to fight for the best possible results in your case.

What is “weapons dangerous”?

This phrase refers to an offence of carrying a weapon, such as a firearm, for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing a crime.

To understand what “weapons dangerous” offences entail, let’s take a look at section 88 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which states that:

  • Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device, or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.

What is the sentence for “weapons dangerous?”

Possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous is a hybrid offence. That means that the Crown can prosecute it as an indictable offence or as an offence punishable by a summary conviction. As an indictable offence, possession of a “weapon dangerous” carries a jail term of not more than 10 years.

Note that for a successful conviction, the Crown must prove that the accused:

  • Possessed the weapon – the accused carried the weapon, had it on his/her person, or had the weapon in a place they had control over.
  • Knowledge – The accused knew that what they possessed was a deadly weapon
  • The accused had the weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace

Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose is a very serious and complex criminal charge in Canada, with long-term consequences. If you find yourself facing such or related firearm allegations, reach out to Zamani Law for legal counsel.

What is a prohibited weapon?

According to section 84 of the Criminal Code, a prohibited weapon is:

  1. a handgun that
    1. has a barrel equal to or less than 105 mm in length, or
    2. is designed or adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 calibre cartridge, but does not include any such handgun that is prescribed, where the handgun is for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union,
  2. a firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, and that, as so adapted,
    1. is less than 660 mm in length, or
    2. is 660 mm or greater in length and has a barrel less than 457 mm in length,
  3. an automatic firearm, whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger, or
  4. any firearm that is prescribed to be a prohibited firearm.

Facing prohibited firearm charges in Ontario can lead to devastating consequences, including a long jail term and a criminal record. Therefore, hire an attorney with the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. Schedule your free consultation today.

Does a prior conviction lead to a higher sentence?

Several factors play a significant role when a sentence is being imposed. One of these factors is having a prior conviction, which might either aggravate the case or not. If your prior conviction aggravates your case, it might increase the severity of the sentence issued by the Judge, especially if the previous conviction was for the same or similar offence.

In some cases, a prior conviction only makes you ineligible to first-time offender mitigation without aggravating your case.

If you’re facing firearm-related charges and you have a prior conviction, retain an experienced lawyer. They can defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

What are my Charter rights?

In Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain fundamental rights to every individual, including persons suspected of committing criminal offences. Some of your rights as an accused person include:

  • The right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure
  • The right not to be arbitrarily arrested
  • Right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
  • The right to a trial within a reasonable time
  • The right to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence you’re charged with
  • The right to reasonable bail, unless there’s a good reason to deny it
  • The right to get an attorney

These are just a few of the rights provided by the Charter for persons charged with criminal offences.

Can the Charter help my defence?

One of the best defence strategies involves challenging the investigation and evidence that led to the criminal charges against you and subsequent arrest. If the police breach any of the rights guaranteed by the Charter during their investigations, collection of evidence, or during your arrest, our lawyers will ask the court to exclude any evidence obtained illegally, including witness statements. The exclusion of evidence often leads to the finding of not guilty, considering the remaining evidence might be insufficient for the Crown to prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Zamani Law has the necessary analytical skills to review the disclosure documents provided by the Crown and the experience and advocacy skills to argue before a court to have any evidence obtained illegally excluded.

Contact us for a free evaluation of your case.

Can I get assistance from Legal Aid Ontario for my case?

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is an independent, non-profit corporation that assists people with a low income receive legal guidance and representation. Although the main factor that determines whether or not you’re eligible is your financial situation, several other factors play a vital role.

Here are some individuals who benefit from Legal Aid Ontario:

  • Financially disadvantaged – if you have little or no money after paying for your basic necessities
  • Persons facing criminal offences with a high possibility of going to jail
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Persons with mental health issues
  • Refugees seeking Canadian immigration status
  • Parents seeking support or custody of their children
  • Single parents seeking financial support from their ex-partners
  • Persons with addiction issues

Depending on your financial situation, the legal assistance you require and other factors, LAO may cover some or all of your legal costs. To know whether you can benefit from Legal Aid Ontario, click here.

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