R. v. J.O.

(403) 452-8018

R. v. J.O.

(Cochrane P.C. - Uttering Threats). Uttering threats is perhaps one of the most commonly charged offences under the Criminal Code. Ordinary people are susceptible to uttering words in the heat of moment that they do not mean. In the opinion of this Cochrane criminal defence lawyer, almost every Canadian has at some point in their lives been "chargeable" for uttering threats, but since the threat is not taken seriously, the police are not involved and charges did not arise.

The problem with uttering threats is that it is a ubiquitous utterance offence, often used against the declarant by parties who may have other motives.  In the opinion of this Calgary based criminal lawyer, uttering threats is one where considerable discretion must exist both at the investigative and prosecution stage. This is so because in my view, there are many uttering threats charges for which there may be a reasonable prospect of conviction, but little or no public interest in prosecuting.

Prosecutors are to assess cases for both reasonable prospect of conviction and public interest, but in my experience, the latter is often ignored or overlooked.  "What is public interest in a prosecution" is effectively rhetorical. Specifically, if there is no public interest in ensuring a person has a public record, what is the purpose of prosecuting?  A prosecutor's personal interest is not relevant to that which is public -- such as criminal law.

JO was charged with uttering a threat during a heated verbal domestic argument. The complainant called police and as a result of the charges, succeeded in having JO removed from the family home.  Though JO had a reasonable prospect of successfully defending the allegation at trial, the case was resolved by way of a peace bond and the withdrawal of the charge.

Peace bond is often a bitter resolution accepted by persons charged with criminal offences to avoid the risk of condition and higher legal fees. Looking for a criminal lawyer in Cochrane, Alberta? David Chow is a Calgary based Cochrane criminal defence lawyer.