There is a principle in criminal law sentencing that an accuseds first sentence of imprisonment should be no longer than is necessary to satisfy the provisions of the Criminal Code. Specifically, the sentencing provisions require the sentencing judge to consider general and specific deterrence and denunciation, but also rehabilitation. A first time offender who demonstrates remorse can be said to be on the path towards rehabilitation. In this way, a reduced sentence can be imposed. This principle is legislated, and has accepted by the Court at all levels. The Ottawa criminal courts are no exception. With a skilled and properly prepared lawyer, it is not unusual to see days, months or even years taken off of a sentence on account of an eloquently constructed sentencing argument. In fact, it is often possible to spare the client jail entirely, even if the Crown advocates otherwise. It is a far too common spectacle to see a self-represented accused to rush into a plea court alone, foolishly believing that the Judge will take care of them or act in their best interest. The seasoned lawyers in the court shake their heads woefully as the self-rep effectively talks himself out of a non-custodial disposition, and into jail.