Movement Defence Committee

Got charges? A few tips to help you decide what to do next...

Withdrawal

The Crown can withdraw the charges for a number of reasons, including the realization that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction, or that it isn’t in the public interest to pursue the charges. A withdrawal puts an end to the proceedings and means no criminal record for the person charged.

Diversion

What is diversion?

Diversion is a method of resolving a case by “diverting” the charges away from the regular trial stream, thereby taking less serious charges out of the courts. Diversion is typically done in exchange for a withdrawal of the charges.

Do I have to admit to anything to enter into diversion?

Normally a diversion program requires that the accused person “accept responsibility” in an informal (and often vague) way for their conduct. It does not in any way require an admission of criminal guilt.

What kinds of things can I be required to do?

Post-G20 Action Legal Guide

The Law Union of Ontario today released its Post-G20 Action Guide. This guide is a resource to help you understand your rights and the kinds of actions you can take in response to a violation of your rights during the G20 Summit in Toronto in June 2010.

During the G20 Summit in Toronto on June 26 and 27, 2010, police trampled on the legal rights and civil liberties of thousands of protestors, legal observers, media personnel, bystanders, and other members of the public. If you or someone you know were one of them, this guide is for you.

If you want to know what you can do to hold the police accountable for their wrongful actions and to get compensation and justice for any wrong done to you, this guide is for you.

Information for G20 Defendants: first appearances and beyond

The MDC's Summit Legal Support Project has gotten a lot of messages and calls from folks charged with criminal offences during the mobilizations against the G20 who are concerned about their first appearance. We hosted an information session for people facing criminal charges arising from the mobilizations against the G8/G20 on July 21st. Based on that session, we've collected some basic info on what to expect, at your first court date and beyond - click on 'read more' below.

We are also working with the 247 Support Committee on support for the August 23rd court date. The 247 Support Committee works to ensure that the political targeting of people for their involvement in the 2010 G20 People's Convergence end and that all charges against the hundreds of individuals facing prosecution be immediately dropped. The 247 Support Committee is part of the Toronto Community Solidarity Network that is organizing a broad political and legal defense in response to the Police violence of June 2010.

The immediate focus of the 247 Committee’s work is on providing support and logistics around the upcoming August 23rd court date. They are working to organize billeting, rides, media and general support (food, outreach, and resource referrals) for August 23rd. If you need billeting or help with transportation to court on August 23rd, or you or someone you know would like to access the support of the 247 Committee generally, please email them as soon as possible at 247.g20@gmail.com.

Your Options for Taking Post-G20 Legal Action: Resources and Videos

Thank you to everyone who attended the Public Info Session on post-G20 Legal Options held on August 8th. We were, as always, inspired by your energy and commitment! For those of you who weren't able to attend, or who missed some of the information, we've posted video links to the different presentations so that you can get some of the basics on bringing a human rights complaint, about the class action that's been launched, about bringing a small claims civil suits against the cops, and about the police complaints process. A short write-up on bringing criminal charges against the police, known in legalese as a private prosecution, is now available here. Please remember that this is all offered as legal information only - this is NOT legal advice and is not tailored to your individual situation. A handy summary of legal strategies is available as a PDF.

Read more for all the details and links...

The G20 Legal Defence Fund Needs Your Help!

The G20 Legal Defence Fund needs donations to support those arrested at the G20. You can support the detainees’ legal costs and help alleviate some of the other costs of navigating the court system, and help us keep organizing. The fund will be distributing the funds to those with the most need, prioritizing those still in custody on serious charges. The MDC is not organizing or administering this fund, but we hope that you will dig deep to support the continued fight against the criminalization of dissent!

Read more for details on how to contribute!