BOYNECLARKE LLP has acted for both individuals and companies in Nova Scotia and many jurisdictions in Canada.

Whereas mid-sized to large law firms don’t typically practice criminal law, BOYNECLARKE LLP stands out from the crowd. This translates into a significant advantage for our clients who have access to other practice areas within the firm, while enjoying a one-on-one relationship with one of our criminal defence lawyers.

Facing a criminal charge can be difficult and frightening. At BOYNECLARKE LLP in Halifax – Dartmouth, we have the relevant knowledge and experience to support your case. Tax lawyers in our Business Law Team advise on white-collar crime cases involving theft or fraud. If your case involves matrimonial issues, we simply walk down the hall and talk to one of our full-time Family Law practitioners.

Cases range from summary convictions such as drinking and driving, to indictable matters such as sexual assault and murder. We have defended prosecutions at all levels of courts, including the Appellate courts in Atlantic Canada, the Federal Court of Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

If you’ve been charged with a crime, seeking out early representation of a criminal defence lawyer is important so you know all your options before you decide to plead guilty or not guilty. Criminal charges can result in serious consequences that significantly affect a person’s future.

Our Experience

Experience within the Criminal Law Team includes:

  • Faculty member of the National Criminal Law Program, sponsored by the Federation of Law Societies
  • Member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice
  • Member of the Bar Admission Court Faculty for Criminal Law
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association National Criminal Re-codification Task Force

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Areas of Focus

Pardons and Record Suspensions

If you require a pardon/record suspension, Terry Sheppard is able to apply on your behalf for a flat fee.

To be eligible for a pardon/record suspension, you must complete the term of your sentence, including incarceration, parole and payment of any fines; and then complete the required “conviction-free” period.  For individuals with a summary conviction, the conviction free period is three years.  For most individuals with an indictable conviction, the conviction-free period is five years.  If you are not sure if your conviction is a summary conviction or an indictable conviction, we will assist you.

Having a criminal record can affect you in several ways:

  • Employment:  Many employers require a criminal record check and will not hire individuals with a conviction.  It is also impossible for individuals with criminal records to work in any level of government without first obtaining a pardon.
  • Child Custody:  Judges can consider the existence of a criminal record as a record of character.  A criminal record is a negative statement of character, but having a pardon will illustrate to a judge that the individual has made a real attempt to rehabilitate as a law-abiding citizen.  This may influence a decision when granting child custody and parenting time.
  • Education:  Education in fields such as medicine, nursing, security, the law and child care require a clean criminal record check.  A criminal conviction can create a real barrier in pursuing education in those fields.
  • Canadian Citizenship:  Many people are unaware that if they are applying for Canadian citizenship, and they have a Canadian criminal record, their application will be rejected.  If this occurs, they may risk deportation.  For this reason, it is extremely important that these individuals obtain a pardon for their convictions before making an application.
  • Volunteering:  Most volunteer organizations, especially those that provide programs for children, will require a clean criminal record check.  Individuals with convictions will find that volunteering for those organizations difficult, if not impossible.  This may even include, for example, volunteering at your child’s school.
  • Adoption:  Anyone looking to adopt a child must first pass a vulnerable sector search.  Although the existence of a criminal record will not automatically result in denial of any adoption request, once again, a pardon will provide a positive character reference.
  • Travel outside of Canada:  Various countries will deny entry to people with criminal records.  While having a pardon will not automatically guarantee your entry into these countries; again, it will provide a positive character reference.