A client of our firm was initially charged with sexual contact with a child under 14 years of age.
A minimum prison sentence would be imposed in the event of a conviction. There was therefore no possibility of avoiding a criminal record in that case.
After long negotiations with the Crown, they agreed to revise their charges against our client: endangering the morals of a child, in violation of Section 172(1) of the Criminal Code.
No minimum prison sentence would be imposed in this case in the event of a conviction. There was now a possibility of avoiding a criminal record.
Our client entered a guilty plea to the new charge, and we requested the creation of a pre-sentence report to show the Court our client’s positive development since his arrest as well as his profile.
We also asked an expert to conduct a sexological assessment to reassure the court.
During sentencing, we had our expert testify on the sexological assessment, which was in our client’s favour.
We also heard from our client and his biological mother at this time. We entered the following mitigating factors into evidence:
- Our client’s young age
- Absence of a criminal record
- His cooperation with the police
- Sincere regrets and empathy for the victim
- Closed therapy for drugs and alcohol
- Compliance with the conditions of his release
- Positive lifestyle
- Low risk of recidivism
- Positive pre-sentence and sexological reports
The prosecution requested a short prison sentence in proportion with the objective seriousness of the act, while we requested a conditional discharge for our client.
Our client was a military service member, and a criminal record could compromise his future career.
The stakes were therefore very high.
After the presentation of our evidence in defence as well as our arguments, the prosecution argued in a short statement that, after having heard the evidence from the defence, they were satisfied with respect to the conditions outlined in Section 730 of the Criminal Code.
The Crown therefore agreed to grant a conditional discharge, and the court ultimately imposed a conditional discharge with the obligation to make a significant donation to a charitable organization and to perform 240 hours of community service, plus probation.
Our client avoided a criminal record.