Things to Consider When Choosing a Criminal Defence Lawyer

PUBLISHED ON August 5, 2021

Toronto criminal defence lawyer

When you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, the best thing to do to ensure a favourable outcome is to hire a criminal lawyer in Toronto. Hiring an attorney, however, is never an easy task. Below are some important things you need to consider when looking for a criminal defence lawyer:

1. Does the attorney really have experience in criminal law?

At times, a lawyer will take a case he or she does not have the skill or background to handle. When such cases become more complex than initially envisaged, that lawyer can quickly be out of his or her comfort zone. Unless that lawyer seeks the assistance of a colleague or refers you to a more experienced lawyer, you could bear the consequences of the lawyer’s inexperience. When selecting a lawyer, you must therefore ensure that the lawyer actually practices criminal law and has experience defending the type of case that you have.

2. Does the lawyer guarantee you a result?

A good criminal lawyer won’t promise you a result because she or he will know that the outcomes of criminal matters are difficult to predict and depend on several unknowns. Instead, the lawyer should make a genuine and realistic prediction of the likely outcome based on the case facts and the lawyer’s experience. And always remember though, results from previous cases cannot predict future outcomes.

3. Accessibility

Your lawyer should be easy to reach. You should not have to chase after your lawyer simply to have contact – your lawyer should return your calls within a reasonable period of time and should also keep you updated about your case. You should feel free to discuss any issues in your case.

4. Money

It’s important to know the exact amount the lawyer is charging for his/her services. Lawyers refer to this as the “retainer,” which simply means “fees”. Find out the nature of the fees. Questions you should ask include: Does the lawyer charge you an hourly fee or a flat fee for the case? What legal services are you getting for your money? Are payment plans available?

5. Accepting cases

A lawyer does not need to take your case and might not be able to take your case for a variety of reasons. If a lawyer is unwilling to work with you, consider other options until you find one who is ready to fight for you.


A criminal record can have lifelong ramifications. Don't take a chance with an inexperienced attorney. I will fight to get your life back as I have done with countless others before you.

(416) 658-5855

Brian Ross is a founding partner at Canada’s largest criminal Law firm, Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross & Angelini, LLP. Prior to founding this firm, Brian was a partner at Pinkofskys, a leading law firm famous for its vigorous defence of its clients.

Nominated in 2023 for the Best Lawyers Award in Criminal Law

Candidates who are nominated for consideration are voted on by currently recognized lawyers working in the same practice area and located in the same geographic region. Our awards and recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from these top lawyers.


Mr. Ross is a member of the Criminal Lawyer’s Association and Legal Aid Ontario’s “Extremely Serious Matters” Panel, consisting of criminal lawyers deemed to have the proven experience necessary to conduct trials in the most serious of criminal matters.


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