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There are only a small number of crimes that can net an accused a life sentence. Think: murder, home invasion, trafficking. However, for the repeat offender, there is an alternate way of finding oneself fighting off potential life imprisonment: the dangerous offender legislation. Put simply, if you have amassed a record of relatively serious offences and you are charged with one further serious personal injury offence, the Crown can apply to have you declared to be a dangerous offender and put you in jail indefinitely. While these applications are supposed to be rare, a recent trend has emerged where the Crown is thinking longer-term. They make an application for a dangerous offender status, only to fall short and obtain a long-term supervision order. These LT orders can keep an accused tied up for up to ten years, requiring the accused to answer to the parole board an account for their every action. When an accused breaches their long term supervision order, the Crown is then poised to strike with a second round of dangerous offender proceedings. Practically speaking, what Judge is going to err on the side of release after a new offence has been committed whilst already on a long-term supervision order? The problem is that this mechanism section 753 was meant to capture only a small group of dangerous offenders. What is actually occurring is that standard recidivists are being caught in this ever growing dangerous offender net. Most Ottawa criminal lawyers have been faced with this pro-detention trend. Too many rounders are falling victim to years of time served pleas. The accuseds criminal record has been built because at the penultimate moment, they were convinced to accept time served as their sentence, time and time again. Unfortunately, those charges stay on their record and when it comes time for the final predicate offence, it is too late the dangerous offender proceedings begin, and an accused is now fighting for their life on a relatively minor set of charges. Most people accused of a crime will not come even close to this level of hearing. However, it is merely another testament to how important it is to retain a skilled criminal defence lawyer to defence you properly, even on your first set of criminal offences.


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Paul Lewandowski Professional Corporation
200 Elgin St,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
K2P 1L5