Regulatory offences, or "quasi-criminal" offences, are offences charged pursuant to legislation other than the Criminal Code of Canada. However, the prosecutions ordinarily take place in courtrooms with the same judges that ordinarily preside over criminal matters.
Regulatory offences are an area of law where many general practitioners* and large corporate firms often dabble. However, most criminal defence lawyers have more in-court experience than most civil litigators and they more regularly deal with the judges that decide these cases. Furthermore, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms remains engaged throughout regulatory prosecutions – an area into which most civil litigators never venture.
Many quasi-criminal offences involve significant professional, financial, and possibly penal repercussions. Ensure that you have a capable criminal defence attorney, like those at Sitar & Milczarek, working on your regulatory offence case. Our lawyers have argued charges under many regulatory statutes, including the following:
- Aeronautics Act
- Animal Protection Act
- Fair Trading Act
- Securities Act
- Wildlife Act
An example of success in this area includes:
- R. v. G.M. - obtained an acquittal in a case involving equine dentistry
- R. v. J.V. - on appeal successfully overturned convictions for various Fair Trading Act infractions involving a home renovation general contractor
- R. v. M.L - achieved an acquittal following a trial where the client, a sales professional, was alleged to have made a false representation to the purchaser of a motor vehicle
*General practitioners are lawyers whose practices envelop a variety of areas of law. By analogy, general practitioners are akin to family doctors while lawyers who practice in only one area of law (i.e. family lawyers, criminal lawyers, etc.) are akin to medical specialists.