There is a category of crimes, known as hybrid or dual-procedure offenses. As the names suggest, these offenses can be prosecuted as either summary conviction or indictable matters. The Crown decides which procedure will be followed, an example of the discretionary power wielded by prosecutors. An act of mischief that damages property or a computer database, for instance, can be prosecuted as a summary conviction offense but, if pursued by indictment, could bring a two-year prison term upon conviction. A prosecutor may opt to proceed by indictment if the accused has a serious criminal record or the damage caused warrants the more severe punishment.
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.