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When you are facing serious criminal charges and the consequences of a criminal record could change your life, you need the best criminal lawyer. A criminal lawyer who will defend your rights, who cares about your criminal matter and will get the best possible outcome for your case. The problem is how do you know who is the best criminal lawyer for you? There is no easy answer, but here are some things to consider.

There are hundreds of very good Toronto criminal lawyers. I would argue that Toronto by many measures has some of the hardest working and best criminal lawyers in Canada. First, consider the kind of lawyer you need. Not all lawyers specialize or practice criminal defence, so you’ll want to make sure you find someone who has experience defending cases like yours. Next, consider their reputation and experience. Finally, meet with several lawyers and ask questions about their approach to your case and find which lawyer fits best with you.

The best criminal lawyers are experienced, competent and genuinely care about their clients. They work hard on behalf of their clients in and out of the courtroom. The best lawyers listen to their clients and take time to explain the law and the difficulties with the evidence against them. As mentioned, there are a lot of really good Toronto criminal defence lawyers. The problem is finding the best lawyer for you.

Looking for the Best Lawyer in Toronto

A quick Google search will show results of many criminal lawyers in Toronto bragging about how aggressive they are in the courtroom or how they are the best lawyer in town. On social media they are always humble-bragging about how many criminal trials they win. They claim to always get the greatest results for their clients. They shamelessly tweet that they are the best lawyer in Toronto. Just because a lawyer is regularly posting on Twitter does not mean they are great lawyers. It often means they have too much time on their hands.

The best lawyers are respectful and understanding of your situation. They know that you are not your charges. They have the specialty and experience to protect your interests with confidence.


1. Exclusively a Criminal Lawyer – not multiple different practice areas

Beware of lawyers that practice in many areas of the law and offering varied legal services. Canadian criminal law changes very rapidly and is becoming more and more complex every year. It’s difficult to stay current on the latest legislative developments in one practice area, let alone in three or four different practice areas of the law. You want a lawyer that understands the current state of the law and is aware of the evidentiary trends and issues in criminal law. There is nothing worse for your case to get legal advice at the beginning of your case that is ten years old. For example, the laws surrounding sexual assault have quickly changed a number of times in the past five years that even judges need refreshers every few months. The Supreme Court of Canada over the past few years dramatically changed how sexual assault cases are handled in court. The laws surrounding drug trafficking, especially around search warrants, changes frequently. Toronto criminal lawyers often only practice criminal defecne and practice in quasi criminal related areas as regulatory and provincial offences.

2. Experience is King – An Experienced Criminal Lawyer will have 10-15 yrs experience

Look for an experienced defence lawyer that has been exclusively practicing criminal defence law for over ten years. This is long enough that they have earned the experience to help you navigate the complex criminal justice system. They will be experienced enough at this point to explain all your options and devising the best possible defence strategy. Defence Lawyers Toronto that specialize in criminal defence tend to have gained the experience you can rely on in 10 years of practice. Senior criminal lawyers have all been practicing criminal law exclusively for more than fifteen years and will handle a wide range of criminal matters, from domestic assaults to high profile white collar cases.

A quick check of their Law Society of Ontario profile will also tell you if they have any Law Society complainants or judgments against them, and if they are a certified specialist in criminal law.

3. Solid Communication is Important for the Best Lawyers

You must be able to have an honest conversation with your criminal defence lawyer. If you feel that you can’t share something or can’t have particularly sensitive conversations with your lawyer, then they not be the best lawyer for you. The best lawyers want to be able to talk with their clients. They want their clients to trust them and have confidence in them. If a client does not want to discuss their case with their lawyer because they are uncomfortable with the lawyer then that relationship will never work.

4. Private Meetings – Not in the Courthouse hallways or always by phone

You must be able to meet with your experienced criminal defence lawyer and have private and confidential conversations. Your Toronto criminal defence lawyer should have an office where you can meet comfortably to discuss your case without distractions. Ideally they should also have a current copy of the criminal code handy. Be very wary of any lawyer that always insists on meeting at their local bar or in empty parking lots. However, the Covid Pandemic has forced many criminal defence lawyers to reconsider and assess if actual face-to-face client meetings are always necessary. Many of the best criminal lawyers are offer clients the ability to meet by Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.

5. Total Trust – Trust is key to finding the best lawyer for you!

The best lawyers make you feel comfortable and that you can trust. In some cases, you will be working with them for the next two to three years. You must be able to trust them. If you cannot trust them, or have no confidence in their ability to represent you, then they are not the best for you. Trust your gut instincts. You need the best lawyer for you.

6. Firm Teams – Many Top Criminal Lawyers Toronto

The best lawyer is one that only works and worries about you. You will want to hire a Toronto criminal lawyer that will be personally handling your case and not passing you off to other lawyers in their law firm. Also be cautious of a criminal law firm that promise to have a “team” of lawyers handling your case. You want lawyer that will be working for your best interests and not worrying about the firm’s financial interests.

Furthermore, you want to build a relationship with your defence lawyer. Not wasting time continuously introducing yourself to new defence lawyers. Too often, a law firm will assigned smaller cases on newer lawyers to allow them to learn.


As already mentioned there are many very good criminal lawyers in Toronto. Many of William Jaksa’s client’s would consider him among the top lawyers in Canada. There are many that honestly want to help their clients. But the best criminal defence lawyer is one you can trust, is someone genuinely concerned about your best interests and will help you every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offence contact William Jaksa today.

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