Criminal Organization Charges
Experienced Criminal Organization Defence
Gangs and Crimes Committed for the Benefit of a Criminal Organization
In the past decade, there appears to be a rise in the number of Criminal organization charges laid by police in Ontario. Southern Ontario and Toronto have seen a real spike in the volume of criminal organization charges.
Criminal organization charges are most commonly laid where police perceive “gang activity.” To be clear, these kinds of charges are not solely reserved for what a person might perceive as a gang, like motorcycle clubs, street gangs, and the “mafia.” Criminal organization charges are laid in the context of frauds, drug importation, and drug dealing charges.
These are three types of possible criminal organization charges:
- An individual can be charged with participation (being a member of the “organization”).
- An individual can be accused of committing an offence(s) on behalf of the criminal organization.
- An individual can also be charged with instructing the commission of an offence for a criminal organization.
There are cases in which criminal organization charges are laid yet the evidence appears thin and eventually turns out to be not strong enough to mount a successful prosecution. Police and prosecutors have several advantages when criminal organization charges are laid. Bail is harder to obtain, the charge can lead to lengthier prison sentences, and finally, upon conviction, lengthier parole ineligibility occurs. All of these factors make it more likely that accused persons will “cut deals” or negotiate plea bargains to avoid the possibility of being convicted of a criminal organization offence. Being faced with a criminal organization charge is a serious matter. It is important to hire an experienced lawyer that will not be intimidated by criminal organization charges.