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Toronto Threats Charges Lawyer

First Offence Uttering Threats charges under Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code

The consequences and problems associated with being charged for the first time with uttering threats or any other criminal offence in Canada.

Since it is so easy to be accused of uttering threats against someone to cause death or bodily harm, many people find themselves charged who have never been in any sort of trouble with the law before in their lives. For uttering threats cases, the most common contexts in which first time offenders find themselves charged involve:

  1. Their wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or other partner (domestic cases)
  2. Alcohol related incidents at parties, nightclubs, bars, and other establishments
  3. Workplace related disputes involving coworkers, bosses, or customers
  4. Family disputes among siblings, parents/children, and extended family members
  5. Disputes among schoolmates, particularly in YCJA Youth cases
  6. Matters of dispute arising from political, religious, racial, or other cultural/group differences (often over social media)

The theats were not recorded and only the alleged "victim" heard it so there is no evidence right?

It is enough for one person to simply claim to the Police that they heard you verbally utter a threat. It does not need to be recorded nor does there need to be an independent third party witness who also heard it. The evidence of one person, often the alleged recipient, is enough for the Police to charge. They view the alleged recipient as the victim and as the Crown witness who could be called to testify at trial in support of what they heard.

Many first time accused do not realize that witness testimony about what they saw or heard is evidence in criminal cases even if it is coming from only the complainant/victim themselves. In fact, it is the most common form of evidence there is and people are routinely jailed in Canada based on nothing more than someone else claiming they said or did something illegal. This is particularly true in criminal cases involving what the Criminal Code deems “offences against the person”, such as uttering threats, assault, and sexual assault.

Couldn’t anyone just make a false claim and ruin someone else’s life by forcing them to go through the criminal justice system?

Yes and first time criminally accused offenders have the most to lose. This is because even if the accused is ultimately acquitted they still have suffered tremendous losses, such as:

  1. While awaiting trial (usually 6 months to a year or more) they were likely placed on bail/undertaking release conditions limiting their freedom (sometimes forcing them away from their family or employment), or had to await their trial in a Provincial Jail;
  2. They may have already lost their job, have had their name tarnished in media, have been abandoned by their family, etc. just because of the stigma of being charged;
  3. They would have spent many months or more worrying about possibly being convicted at trial;
  4. They may be suspended from or banned from attending at school while their case is pending;
  5. They would have spent thousands of dollars funding their defence which is not recoverable even if they are found not guilty;
  6. The charges can delay and create issues with citizenship and immigration applications;
  7. Even if acquitted the charge can still show up on certain employment background checks such as vulnerable sector screenings;
  8. Just being accused and charged can cause problems with their ability to travel to the United States in the future.

These are just a few of the consequences first time offenders face just for being accused of a crime. Even if a person is ultimately exonerated and found not guilty, all of the above noted consequences still exist. For someone charged for the first time, who has worked hard to get where they are in life, or who is in the process of building their future, the loss can be devastating as many of these things are unrecoverable. An innocent person can never be brought back to the place they were before the accusation occurred.

Of course, in the event that the Judge believes the testimony of the complainant and convicts the accused the consequences above are all magnified substantially. Furthermore, they may have to serve a jail or prison term, be placed on probation, and have a criminal record that will show up on all types of employment background checks in the future. It only gets much worse if the court finds the accused guilty.

Those charged with a criminal offence for the first time quickly learn that anyone's life can be ruined by the criminal justice system in Canada just by being accused.

Most Canadians walk around pretty secure in themselves as they falsely believe that their achievements in life are well protected in Canada. In reality, Canada’s justice system can cause a person can lose everything very quickly and fall into desperate times. Many people turn to drugs, more crime, and experience mental health issues in response to the disproportionate loss they have suffered after being charged for their first offence.

While the criminal justice system is filled with career criminals, the destitute/homeless, individuals with very serious mental health and addictions problems and other folks who have criminal records and nothing to lose, it is important to remember that none of these people started out in the position they are in now. All were first time offenders at some point in their lives. Many of these people were once themselves the unfortunate victims of the system itself and things only got worse for them.

Something so simple as an ex-girlfriend, a jealous family member, or someone else with an agenda against you saying you threatened them is all it takes to be brought into the dark world of Canada’s criminal justice system. Of course, those who have never been charged before have no idea of this risk until it is too late. Simultaneously, those who are already in the system are acutely aware of how easy it is to bring someone else down and often use this knowledge as a tool for revenge.

The Police Officer said it was no big deal and not to worry about it?

Police love to tell those they arrest that it is no big deal because it encourages them to talk about and confess to their crimes. It is part of police procedure to try to extract statements from those who are detained or arrested.

The Police also want the person to cooperate and comply as it makes their job a lot easier. Perhaps some officers also genuinely feel sorry for the person they are arresting and have a misunderstanding of how even a non-conviction record can impact a person’s life forever.

Of course, if the Police officer himself was charged with an offence, he would immediately be suspended from his job and face disiplinary proceedings. His name would likely be reported in the media as having been charged with a crime. His Union would provide him with an experienced criminal defence lawyer to represent him and protect his best interests. This is far from it being “no big deal”.

Do not believe people who work for the Government trying to tell you that it is “no big deal” that you were charged.

No big deal to them is a more appropriate way to put it.

While it may be “no big deal” to the Government paid employee who is trying to provide you with a false sense of comfort so you can be quickly pushed through the system without questioning what the actual totality of the potential consequences are, being charged for the first time is a big deal for you.

But of course, it is no big deal to them:

  1. When you encounter the question “have you ever been arrested before?” on a job or professional regulatory application
  2. When you are displaced from your family because of release conditions
  3. When the charge shows up on a background check preventing you from an employment opportunity
  4. When your name gets reported in the media, but not the outcome of your case
  5. When you can’t go on a field trip with your kids or coach soccer because your vulnerable sector screening check comes back not clear
  6. When you get denied entry when trying to travel to the United States

Those who try to convince you it is “no big deal” are never the ones taking the loss, you are.

For someone who is facing charges for the first time for any criminal offence (Uttering Threats, Theft Under $5000, Mischief Under $5000, Assault, etc.) it is extremely important that they hire a lawyer who has significant experience defending first time accused individuals as these cases come with many unique issues that need to be carefully managed.

While an accused individual will never be able to fully put themselves back in the position they were prior to being arrested and charged, there are many things they can do to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring. There are also ways to destroy certain types of police information and proactively avoid potential issues relating to employment background checks, immigration, and US travel.

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 uttering threats in the Toronto area.

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

    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 US 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 an utter threats 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
  • US 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