Murder is either first or second degree. First degree murder includes murders that are “planned and deliberate” or those that involve the murder of a peace officer. Murder can also be first degree if it is committed during the course of a sexual assault, kidnapping, hostage taking or hijacking. All other murders are second degree. Convictions for murder result in mandatory life imprisonment with no parole eligibility for 25 years (1st degree) or 10 years (2nd degree).
There is a wide range of punishment for the other types of homicide such as manslaughter or other offences causing death such as criminal negligence, dangerous driving, and impaired driving.
For a murder conviction, a prosecutor must go far beyond establishing that a death has been caused. Even if an Accused can be linked to a cause of death, issues of intent and state of mind, are focal points in any murder or manslaughter trial. There are also possible excuses and justifications, even for intentional homicides.
When facing murder or manslaughter charges, it is essential for the Accused to consult counsel immediately and for the Accused to avoid making statements about the allegations or the incident. This is where an experienced Toronto murder lawyer can step in to help you right away.
R v. C. G.  Superior Court and R v P. C.  Superior Court – BACK TO BACK BAIL HEARING WINS ON MURDER CASES
It is of vital importance for someone facing a serious allegation to be free on bail while awaiting trial. If a bail hearing is lost, defendants can wait for months or years in jail before even getting a chance to argue their case in court. The more serious the charge, the more difficult it can be for a lawyer to secure his client’s release on bail. It is important to hire competent counsel to secure a defendant’s freedom as soon as a charge is laid. In the summer of 2019 Robb won two back to back bail hearings for separate clients facing murder charges. In both cases, the crown prosecutors argued against the defendant’s release. Robb won both bail hearings just weeks apart from one another. His advocacy was on point in each case as he persuasively highlighted the frailties of the prosecution’s cases and the strengths of his clients’ bail supervision plans. In the case of P.C. the client reports: “Robb got me back home with my family while I wait for a trial that is almost a year away. I can now prepare for the fight of my life without being confined in jail. I owe Robb more than I can possibly express.
I would like to thank Mr. MacDonald because you worked really hard on this case, over months, and to achieve a really good outcome for your client, and you were professional and wonderful at every stage and I thank you for that.
I cannot leave this case without telling counsel that, as I’m entering a third decade as a judge on this bench, I can count on one hand the number of times I have said what I’m about to say to counsel. Gentlemen, your courtesy, your civility and your professionalism with one another and to the Court in these proceedings is, in my view, a testament to your considerable skills as advocates.
I Feel Like I Owe My Life to Robb. I lost my fiancé, my job, and almost my house when I was first charged with these crimes. It felt like no one stood by me. As soon as I met Robb I had the utmost confidence in him and I knew he was the man for the job. He spent countless hours preparing me for the trial. During the trial, he performed an outstanding cross examination on the man who’d accused me of these crimes. At the end of Robb’s cross examination I knew that no one in the court room believed his side of story. Robb was nothing short of a life-saver.
I had given up hope. I thought there was no way to beat my charges. I spoke to other lawyers before meeting with Robb MacDonald and I was strongly considering entering a guilty plea. When Robb looked at my case, he suggested that we bring a Charter Argument. I didn’t even know what that was. We spent a whole day in court and Robb and the Crown Attorney argued about whether or not my Charter Rights had been violated because I had to wait so long for my trial date. At the end of the day, Robb’s arguments convinced the judge to stay all the charges against me.