Being charged with a criminal offence can be a frightening and confusing experience.  Below you will find answers to  frequently asked questions regarding potential defences to criminal offences, the legal elements or ingredients required to prove a criminal offence, the potential sentences for many criminal offences, and the procedures in criminal court in Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket and Whitby.  There is, however, no substitute for the opinion of an experienced criminal defence lawyer.  Contact Toronto criminal lawyer, Nathan Gorham, at (416) 410-4814 to book a free consultation.


Murder First and Second Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, Accessory to Murder.

Drinking and Driving DUI, DWI, Impaired Operation, Refuse to Blow.

Assault Domestic Assault, Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon.

Sexual Assault Sexual Touch, Sexual Interference, Luring, Sexual Assault.


Drugs Possession, Trafficking, Production, Importing.

Guns Careless Storage, Possession of Loaded Restricted/Prohibited Firearms.

Theft/Fraud Theft, Fraud, Possession of Stolen Property.

Appeals Murder, Domestic Assault, Guns, Drugs, Impaired Driving.

Bails Murder, Robbery, Guns, Drugs, Domestic Assault, Impaired Driving.

Defences to Criminal Offences 

In every criminal prosecution there are potentially three types of defences.  First the Crown must prove the elements of elements of each criminal offence.  Failure to prove any element will result in a verdict of ‘not guilty’. For example, in any Assault prosecution (including Domestic Assault) the Crown must prove an intentional application of force.  Failure to prove intent results in an acquittal.  Second, the law provides for several types of positive defences, justifications and excuses. For example self defence is a complete defence to Murder and many other criminal offences.  Finally, in cases where the government has violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms a defendant can apply to have the evidence excluded. (read more)  

Elements of Criminal Offences

The principles and defences outlined above applies to all criminal offences including First Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, Manslaughter, Second Degree Murder, Drinking and Driving, Impaired Driving, Over 0.08, Refuse to Blow, Domestic Assault, Assault, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Firearms Offences, Possession, Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, and Trafficking drugs. (read more)

Sentences for Criminal Offences in Canada

The Criminal Code provides for sentences that range from absolute discharges for less serious offences including some Assaults, right up to life in prison for Murder and other criminal offences.  In most cases sentencing is a very individualized process that depends on a wide range of factors.  The maximum sentence for an offence may be very different from what the defendant can actually expect in the circumstances of their case. (read more)

Procedures at Toronto and GTA courthouses

Court procedure can be one of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of facing a criminal charge.  Knowing the procedures at the bail hearing, set date, judicial pre-trial, preliminary inquiry, trial, and sentencing stages is important.  Many procedures vary between Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, and Whitby courts. (read more)


cell: 416.410.4814

fax: 416.598.3384

office: 416.598.1811

36 Lombard Street, Suite 100

Toronto, ON, M5C 2X3


Toronto Criminal Lawyer | Nathan Gorham | Home
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Nathan Gorham is a criminal lawyer in Toronto, and a founding partner at Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham & Angelini. LLP -  the largest firm of criminal lawyers in Canada, with offices in Toronto, Ontario and Saint John, New Brunswick. Mr. Gorham has appeared at all levels of criminal court including the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, and defends all types of criminal cases ranging from Murder, Impaired/Over 0.08, Domestic Assaults, Theft, Robbery, Guns and Weapons, Controlled Drugs and Substances and others at both the trial and appeal level.          

He is doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, researching miscarriages of justice in the Toronto area bail system.  He also holds  a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Queens.  At Queen’s, he received several academic awards including the highest overall award in criminal law as well as Canadian Inter-University Sport Academic All-Canadian . 

After graduation he articled and then continued on as an associate at Pinkofskys Criminal Trial and Appeal Lawyers. He was made a partner in 2005 and remained with the firm until June 2010 when he and several of his partners formed Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham & Angelini LLP.  The firm is well known for its vigorous and innovative approach to the defence of all criminal trials and appeals ranging from Murder down to Impaired Driving or Domestic Assault, at both the trial and appeal level. Retaining one of its lawyers means you’re retaining the resources, creativity, and experience of the whole firm.   

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Nathan Gorham is one of the founding partners of Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham & Angelini LLP (formerly Pinkofskys), which is the largest criminal defence law firm in Toronto.  The firm is well known for its vigorous and innovative approach to the defence of all criminal charges including Murder, Manslaughter,  Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Sexual Assault, Domestic Assault, Theft, Fraud, Cocaine/Marijuana/Heroin/MDMA (Possession for the Purpose, Trafficking, Importing, Production), DUI/DWI, Impaired Operation, Over 0.08, Robbery, Kidnapping, and Forcible Confinement at both the trial and appeal level. Retaining one of its lawyers means you’re retaining the resources, creativity, and experience of the whole firm. 

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  1. Nov/14 Drinking and Driving withdrawn (read more)

  2. Nov/14 Dangerous Driving withdrawn. (read more)

  3. Oct/14 Domestic Assault withdrawn. (read more)

  4. Oct/14 Drinking and Driving withdrawn (read more)

  5. June/14 “Not guilty” of Murder (read more)

  6. Feb/14 “Not guilty” of Importing cocaine. (read more)

  7. Feb/14 “Not guilty” of Robbery. (read more)

  8. Jan/14 “Not guilty” PPT Ecstacy/Marijuana. (read more)

  9. Jan/14 “Not guilty” of Firearms, Drugs. (read more)

  10. Nov/13 “Not guilty” of Aggravated Assault. (read more)

Although courtroom experience, and success in defending certain types of cases might be an important factor in choosing a lawyer, it is important to note that past success is not necessarily a predictor of future success. The chances of success are dependant on the factual circumstances of a case.  

Murder charges   |   Assault charges   |   Firearms charges   |   Drug charges

Victims/Complainants   |   Drinking and Driving   |   Sexual Assault Charges



Toronto criminal lawyer speaking following a first court appearance of a murder charge.

Toronto criminal trial and appeal lawyer, Nathan Gorham discussing police powers during a Highway Traffic Act stop

Visit the links below to view Toronto Criminal Trial and Appeal Lawyer Nathan Gorham’s courtroom successes defending Murder, Assault, Driving offences, Theft, Sexual Assault, Firearms/Guns, and Drug cases at the trial and appeal court  level in Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, and Whitby.  Past success does not guarantee success in future cases.  Every case must be assessed based on its unique circumstances.  In criminal proceedings, including Murder, Assault, Drinking and Driving, Sexual Assault, Drugs, and Firearms, a lawyer must assess the  circumstances of the case before giving an opinion concerning potential success.

Toronto criminal trial and appeal discussing recent news events.