Organized Crime Lawyer in Winnipeg

Organized crime is punished severely throughout the world, and Canada is no exception. There are several organized crime provisions in the Criminal Code designed to disincentivize organized crime through harsher punishments.

A highly skilled criminal lawyer can help you if you’re ever charged with an offence related to organized crime in Canada.

What Are Organized Crime Offences?

Organized crime is clearly defined in the Canadian Criminal Code (Section 467). A criminal organization is:

“a group, however organized, that:

It does not include a group of persons that forms randomly for the immediate commission of a single offence.”

There are many serious offences that are typically linked to criminal organizations. According to a 2006 report by Public Safety Canada, the main crimes associated with organized crime are:

  • Drug trafficking(about 80% of criminal organizations are involved in the illegal drug trade)
  • Money laundering
  • Economic crime (insurance fraud and other white-collar crimes)
  • Human trafficking
  • Motor vehicle theft

A wide variety of other crimes are associated with criminal organizations, including protection rackets, illegal gambling, and more. Street gangs are another common facet of Canada’s organized crime landscape. Violence is often used by criminal organizations to enforce deals, control territory, and more.

When a person is prosecuted for participating in criminal activities, they can be charged for the activities they partook in (drug trafficking, money laundering, assault, etc.), as well as charges specific to organized crime. These charges are:

  • Participation in activities of criminal organization, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Providing material support, acting as a lookout, and other activities that benefit a criminal organization (without necessarily being crimes themselves) can fall under this category./li>
  • Recruitment of members by a criminal organization is punishable by up to 5 years in jail, with a minimum of 6 months imprisonment if “the person recruited, solicited, encouraged or invited is under 18 years of age.”
  • Commission of offence for criminal organization is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. When a person commits a crime in association with a criminal organization, they can be charged with this offence (drug dealing, money laundering, etc.)
  • Instructing commission of offence for criminal organization is punishable by up to life in prison. This charge allows prosecutors to go after the heads of criminal organizations, who are rarely directly involved in the crimes being committed (beyond instructing others to commit them).

To best appreciate how criminal offences related to organized crime are used by prosecutors, you need to know that:

  • Criminal offences related to organized crime can be stacked on top of other criminal offences to increase the amount of jail time the accused may face
  • Recruitment, commission, and instructing commission are all considered indictable offences — the most serious offence. Participation may be considered a summary conviction offence or an indictable offence.

Why Should I Hire a Lawyer Who Specializes in Criminal Organization Defence?

Organized crime law is incredibly complicated—and the consequences for conviction can be severe.

Participation in organized crime is a perfect example of this complexity—an individual may be charged with an indictable offence or an offence punishable by summary conviction. The Government of Canada offers the following notes on prosecution and factors when it comes to the charge of participation in a criminal organization:

Prosecution

In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (1), it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that

Factors

In determining whether an accused participates in or contributes to any activity of a criminal organization, the Court may consider, among other factors, whether the accused

Without being able to prove that an accused helped a criminal organization in any way or even that they knew they were helping a criminal organization, a prosecutor could press charges based on factors like flashing gang signs and hanging out with criminals.

An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you understand the charges that have been laid against you. More importantly, they can help you beat those charges. Though the charges surrounding organized crime seem neatly laid out in the criminal code, the reality is far more nuanced.

A criminal lawyer specializing in organized crime law can use those nuances and a precedent to help you get the best possible results. This may be a deal with prosecution or it may be going to trial. The right criminal defence lawyer will pursue all possible avenues to secure the best outcome.

Need a criminal lawyer who has proven results in organized crime cases? Call Brodsky Amy & Gould.

To learn more about your charges and your options, please contact our office at
(204) 940-4433
or 24-hours a day at
(204) 771-4278.