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Toronto Mischief Charges Lawyer

What a criminal mischief lawyer must do to prevent their clients from suffering devastating consequences just because they were charged

A mischief lawyer’s job is to do everything possible to protect their client’s freedom and future from the potentially devastating consequences of being criminally charged. Everyone who is charged with mischief under/over $5000 is subject to at least two years imprisonment, three years probation and a criminal record.

Depending on the client’s background and circumstances some individuals face greater risks than others. The two main areas that a mischief lawyer must focus on are the personal potential consequences to the accused just because they were charged and conducting a thorough and proper evidentiary analysis of their case.

The personal potential consequences to the accused

A mischief lawyer must carefully examine their client's personal circumstances and actively work in the following areas to avoid problems:

  1. The accused’s employment or future employment plans: Just simply being charged (given a Form 9 Appearance Notice, Form 10 Promise to Appear and/or a Form 11.1 Criminal Undertaking) for mischief can cause the charges to show up on various employment background checks. Some professions are governed by professional regulatory bodies that have different standards with regard to criminality. It is important that your lawyer proactively work to avoid potential current and future employment issues from the start. Once the case is complete it may be too late to ever fix problems that ultimately could have been avoided had the case been properly handled to begin with.

  2. The accused’s immigration status in Canada: Mischief is an offence punishable by indictment meaning it can cause those who are charged with it to be deported, deemed inadmissible to Canada, or have their future immigration applications rejected. Those who are here on student visas and work permits are at the greatest risk but even individuals with PR status can have their PR revoked and be deported depending on the circumstances of their case.

  3. The travel plans of the accused in the future: For individuals planning to travel to the United States in the future just being charged with criminal mischief is a very serious concern. The U.S. considers mischief (malicious destruction of property) to be a moral turpitude offence for which travellers can be denied entry and banned. Furthermore, U.S. law clearly states that simply admitting to the crime is enough to be denied entry regardless of conviction.

  4. Family law and CAS issues: Mischief cases can create problems with current and future family law cases (divorce, separation, access, custody, etc.). The accused may also find themselves the subject of a Children’s Aid Society (CAS) investigation. CAS involvement is serious because their social workers can apprehend the accused’s children or demand significant changes to their family life (such as that they move out of their house, break up with their partner, etc.) under the threat of apprehension.

Evidence based case specific factors a lawyer must carefully analyze

Mischief is the most broadly defined criminal offence in Canada. Any sort of “interference with property” can lead to charges or conviction. While some examples are obvious such as property damage (vandalism), others are much less so. This is because the Police will charge people for behaviour on public or private property they simply don’t like. People can find themselves charged with mischief for annoying their neighbours, taking pictures in public, acting up at sporting events, trespassing, or myriad other circumstances.

In clearer cut property damage cases a criminal mischief lawyer must examine the nature of the damage and identify what the aggravating and mitigating circumstances are along with analysing the strength of the evidence that the client actually committed the crime. In some circumstances the lawyer may be able to present other similar cases to the Crown Attorney where the charges were dropped despite the offending behaviour. While it may seem like a clear cut case to a defendant often it is not. It is their lawyer’s job to identify these areas and present them to the right people in an effective way.

Getting the charges dropped without a trial

In supposedly “improper behaviour” cases ultimately the final decision as to whether the behaviour is criminal mischief or not would be up to the trial judge hearing the case. The defence lawyer’s job is to analyse other cases across Canada and sometimes even abroad to see how other courts ruled. Case law is extremely important when the behaviour is not clearly defined by the law as mischief (i.e. vandalism). It is important to note that many of these cases get dropped prior to trial because the defence lawyer is able to convince the Crown that either there is no “reasonable prospect of conviction” or that it is “not in the public interest” to proceed. In the latter often some up front counselling on the part of the defendant to address the behaviour is extremely helpful in convincing the Crown Attorney to drop the charges.

To take a case through to a trial is a long (often years) and expensive process that may not work out in the defendant’s favour. For this reason many defendants choose to resolve their cases prior to trial. For this reason the law of mischief remains quite ambiguous as there are many cases that never made it to trial. This being said, some still do and there is quite a bit of case law for lawyers to access when defending their clients.

What steps should my lawyer take after my case is completed?

Handling the case properly is the first step but there remains a lot of work to be done even after the matter is completed. Depending on the outcome of the case your lawyer may be able to apply to have your fingerprints and mug shot destroyed and have your information removed from the RCMP CPIC database. Making sure this is completed is extremely important because it reduces the likelihood the charge will show up when getting an employment background check, submitting an immigration application, and travelling to the United States in the future. Eligibility periods depend on the case outcome and jurisdiction of the charges (Toronto, York, Peel, Durham, etc.).

In addition to fingerprint destruction clients out to be advised how to order the proper documentation that may now be needed for their immigration applications to be successful and to present to U.S. Customs when travelling if asked to do so.

In some circumstances there are options available with regard to background checks through other Police forces that can resolve any issues that come up with employment. This is particularly important if the accused is in the process of applying for a new job or will in the future. A lawyer ought to advise his clients of these available options.

Call us today

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with mischief in the Toronto area.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on mischief charges protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call us: 647-228-5969


  call us: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can take calls/emails relating to Ontario, Canada area cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a mischief under or over $5000 related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


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        More Information:

  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel