Essential information for criminal lawyers whose clients are non‑Canadians

Criminal lawyers have a duty to advise clients who are not Canadian citizens and are contemplating guilty pleas or being sentenced that:

  • there may be immigration consequences and
  • they should seek the advice of an immigration lawyer before entering a plea/sentencing.

LAO has prepared a presentation for roster members who take certificates from clients who are refugee claimants and immigrants to help the bar respond appropriately about the potential for collateral consequences.

Legal precedents

Among the legal precedents discussed in the presentation:

  • August, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Shiwprashad, 2015 ONCA 577

  • R.  v. Quick, 2016 ONCA 95——the Court of Appeal indicated that “[a]n informed plea requires that the accused pleading guilty be aware of the significant collateral consequences.” These include legally relevant, non-criminal consequences such as HTA and immigration consequences

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