Experienced counsel defends you against organized crime charges
The phrase “organized crime” often conjures up images of Al Capone, Tony Soprano, and the “mafia.” However, in Canada especially, “organized crime” encompasses a wide range of illegal activities. Law enforcement views organized crime as a blight on the country that needs to be eradicated. To accomplish this, the police impose severe charges on anyone accused of participating in organized crime. These cases attract a significant amount of media attention that inevitably results in reputation damage and the inability to participate in the banking system.
My name is Yoav Niv, and I am experienced in defending Canadians accused of organized crime. No matter if you are arrested for fraud, money laundering, drugs, firearms trafficking, or any other organized crime-related offence, I can help you build a solid defence that protects your rights and freedom.
What are organized crime offences in Alberta Law?
Section 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada explains that organized crime:
- is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and,
- has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group or by any one of the persons who constitute the group.
A serious offence is any crime punishable by five years or more.
Examples of organized crime offences include:
- Drugs — Illegal drugs are the lifeblood of organized crime in Canada. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 80% of crime groups identified in Canada are involved in the illicit drug market, particularly as street-level traffickers. Cocaine and heroin are some of the most common drugs trafficked. If you are arrested for a drug crime, you could face additional charges based on your affiliation and/or participation in organized crime.
- Money laundering — Money laundering is the crime of taking “dirty funds” acquired through illegal trade and “cleaning” them by converting them into untraceable assets. In many cases, the “dirty money” is obtained through criminal activities such as extortion, drug trafficking, human smuggling, and trafficking.
- Economic crime — There is a wide range of offences that fall under economic crime, including insurance fraud, stock market fraud, identity theft, telemarketing fraud, securities fraud, counterfeiting, and credit card fraud. Like the drug trade, economic crimes help fuel criminal organizations. These offences can occur both domestically and internationally.
- Human trafficking — Perhaps considered the most heinous organized crime, human trafficking is the transport, harbouring or recruitment of persons for the intent of exploitation — generally through forced labour or some form of sexual abuse. This crime may occur across borders or in-country.
- Motor vehicle theft — If you are involved in a prolonged and highly organized theft of many motor vehicles with three or more individuals, you could face organized crime charges.
- Street gangs — According to Canada Public Safety, there are “over 300 street gangs identified in Canada, with an estimated 11,000 gang members and associates operating across the country”.
If the police charge you with organized crime, you face life-changing penalties. A skilled defence lawyer may be able to have the charges dismissed or reduced.
Why contact an organized crime offences lawyer?
The Canadian criminal justice system has little tolerance for organized crime. As a result, you face an uphill battle without the help of a defence lawyer. Here are a few reasons you need to consult with an experienced criminal law counsel for an organized crime charge:
- Protect your rights — The first job of your defence lawyer is to ensure your rights are protected during the arrest and for the remainder of the criminal proceeding against you. If the police violated your rights, your defence lawyer might be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
- Help you understand the process —Your lawyer can explain the charges against you, the penalties you face, and the steps ahead.
- Appear with you in court — Appearing in court can be a nerve-wracking experience. Your Calgary defence lawyer can stand by your side, ensure you understand the proceeding, and answer any questions you might have.
- Tailor a strong defence — The most important reason you need a lawyer is to craft a defence strategy. Your lawyer can gather evidence, talk to witnesses, call on experts, and investigate the scene to help you build a formidable defence.
The Government does not want organized crime in its territories. Thus, it imposes strict penalties on anyone arrested for carrying out organized crime offences. No matter if you are accused of conspiracy, money laundering, or drugs, you need guidance from an experienced defence lawyer.
Contact a knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer in Calgary today
My name is Yoav Niv. As an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Alberta, I have represented many clients accused of organized crime offences. Whether you are arrested for extortion, fraud, murder, drugs, human trafficking, or any other organized criminal offence, I can fight to defend your rights and future. For more information or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with me, call 587-968-6721 or contact me online. Office located in Calgary for your convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does an organized crime lawyer do?
A lawyer experienced in defending organized crime charges is responsible for defending clients facing allegations of illicit activity, often involving gangs or powerful organizations. They will be required to possess a thorough understanding of the legal codes and precedents which apply in such cases and advocate earnestly on behalf of their clients to ensure that their rights are fully respected. Defence of organized crime charges will also need to collaborate with other specialized lawyers and experts when needed and remain current on changing laws and relevant information regarding their client’s cases. The lawyer may require specialized knowledge of subject matter such as white-collar crime or terrorism-related indictments, providing an invaluable service in legally safeguarding individuals facing potentially devastating charges.
What are the consequences of being convicted of organized crime?
The impact of a conviction for an organized criminal offence can be serious and long-lasting. Depending on the severity of the offence and the jurisdiction in which it occurred, people convicted of organized crime may face lengthy prison sentences. In addition to professional consequences such as loss of employment or difficulty finding new work, convictions may also result in reduced access to certain public benefits such as housing assistance and education grants. Ultimately, a conviction for an organized crime can have enduring consequences beyond those imposed by a court sentence.
How can an organized crime lawyer help me?
An organized crime lawyer can provide crucial assistance if you’re facing charges or criminal investigations related to organized crime. By possessing the knowledge and experience in that legal field, they are best suited to defend your interests and advocate on your behalf in court. They can work with prosecutors to ensure you receive a fair settlement and negotiate plea deals if necessary. More than that, they may be able to offer guidance regarding what steps should be taken during the legal process while also providing moral support throughout the entire ordeal. Ultimately, a lawyer with experience defending organized crime charges helps protect your best interests and arrive at a desirable outcome for all parties involved.
What should I do if I am accused of being involved in organized crime?
If you are accused of involvement in organized crime, it is important to take swift action and make sure your rights are protected. First and foremost, you should make every effort to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A lawyer can review your charges and advise you on the best action. Additionally, it is essential that you do not create any false statements while under investigation. Doing so could lead to further complications, including an obstruction of justice charge. Finally, it is important to remember that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Keeping a positive outlook and doing your best to prove this innocence will lead to the most favourable outcome for your case.
How often do organized crime cases go to trial?
Organized crime cases are complex and often influential, necessitating lengthy legal proceedings. Generally speaking, most organized crime cases do not ultimately result in trials. In many cases, the individuals who are at the bottom of the hierarchy of a criminal organization negotiate plea deals. While judges and prosecutors alike strive to litigate these cases efficiently and fairly, this typically takes longer to unfold due to the interweaving web of actors and complex evidence. This often includes information obtained by international actors and their respective agencies. A common example is when a criminal organization imports drugs into Canada. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations and Drug Enforcement Agency are often involved in such cases. In addition, numerous legitimate tactics to obtain the full particulars and details of the case result in delays or even prevent organized crime trials from taking place. At the same time, those committed to justice will use all possible resources and strategies to bring criminal organizations and alleged perpetrators to trial. By doing so, any suppositions that justice can be bought off may be abated, ensuring that all individuals receive equal treatment under the law.
What is the average sentence for an organized crime conviction in Canada?
In Canada, the average sentence for an organized crime conviction varies significantly depending on the severity of the offence. Sentences can range from jail to live in prison, with a possible fine as an additional penalty. The Criminal Code of Canada prescribes mandatory minimums for certain offences that involve organized crime, such as firearms trafficking, while provincial courts have more discretion to determine appropriate sentencing when considering other crimes associated with organized groups (e.g. conspiracy).