Caramanna, Friedberg LLP is a leading criminal defence law firm located in Toronto, Ontario. The firm provides comprehensive legal advice and vigorously protects the rights of clients facing criminal charges and regulatory offences.

Working in association with family lawyer, Diana Vasilescu, we now have a family law division. Please scroll down our home page to see more.

About our Criminal Law Firm

When choosing a Toronto criminal lawyer you want a criminal defence firm on your side that invests the effort, creativity and determination that is required to achieve exceptional results. Caramanna, Friedberg LLP has an established history of employing resourceful legal talent, exceeding expectations and leaving no stone unturned in the defence of all criminal cases.

When you are in trouble, we are here to help. A prominent criminal defence law firm, Caramanna, Friedberg LLP provides exhaustive legal advice and passionate advocacy for clients facing criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory offences in all Ontario courts. Located in Toronto, Ontario, Caramanna Friedberg's lawyers are innovators in the field of criminal law. Our firm has an outstanding track record defending clients with skillful representation from the earliest stages of the criminal process through to trial, with an emphasis on professionalism, client services and impassioned advocacy. We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive outstanding legal advice and representation. When we take on a case, exceptional results are our goal. If you or someone you care about is looking for a criminal lawyer, we encourage you to call us at (416) 924-5969 to schedule a consultation.

Criminal Law - Areas of Practice

Caramanna, Friedberg LLP employs remarkable criminal defence counsel. We have successfully defended cases including, but not limited to the following areas:

All Drug Offences

Drug-related offences are among some of the more serious charges prosecuted in Canada and more often than not, involve Charter litigation of some sort. Possession, trafficking, production and importing are all types of drug offences that can come with serious long term consequences if convicted.

All Weapons Offences

Weapons-related offences are also among some of the more serious charges prosecuted in Canada. The specific use of any item, depending on the context, can lead to allegations involving “weapons”.

Assault with a Weapon

Assault with a weapon is a more serious charge than “simple assault”, but is a very broadly defined type of offence. A person can be charged with assault with a weapon even if they did not actually strike the other person. Depending on the context in which it is used, any item can be considered a “weapon”.

Bail Hearings

The first step after a person is charged with any offence is determining how they will be released pending the outcome of their case. People who have criminal records or are facing serious charges are often held for a bail hearing.

Bail Reviews

If a person is denied bail, they may bring a Bail Review. Bail Reviews require a review of the bail hearing proceedings and the legal and factual issues involved at the bail hearing. They require the preparation of specific materials that must be filed with the reviewing Court.

Break & Enter

Breaking and entering is a very serious offence that has the potential to result in a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. “Home invasions” are a more serious category to this type of charge. A person can be charged with break & entering even if no items are stolen.

Charter Applications

Under Canadian laws, everyone is granted specific fundamental rights under The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If applicable to the case, potential Charter violations could result in the exclusion of important evidence or a stay of proceedings.

Coroner's Inquests

A Coroner’s Inquest is a public hearing that investigates the who, what, when, where and how of a person’s death. Depending on the circumstances of the person’s death, sometimes a Coroner’s inquest is mandatory.

Domestic Assault

Charges involving a “domestic” relationship are sometimes more complex and are often dealt with differently in the criminal Courts than an assault against a stranger or a bar fight, for example.

Environmental Prosecutions

Environmental laws seeking to prevent pollution and protect resources place a very strict and heavy onus on both individuals and businesses to comply with certain standards. Violations for these regulatory types of charges can result in very hefty fines and occasionally, jail time upon conviction,


If a person is alleged to have committed a crime in another country, extradition laws may demand that the person be “delivered” by Canada to that country to face the charges. Extradition hearings and appeals are a critical part of that process.

Fingerprint Destruction

When a person is charged with an offence, part of the arrest procedure involves the police taking your fingerprints and photographs. If you are found not guilty or your charges are withdrawn, or you receive a non-conviction result, you can apply to have your fingerprints and photographs taken upon arrest destroyed, sometimes after a specific period of time.


Fraud encompasses a very broad spectrum of criminal activity under Canadian criminal law and can carry severe penalties, depending on the type of fraud and level of sophistication alleged. Findings of guilt for these types of offences also have serious implications on a person’s future including employment.

Highway Traffic Act Offences

The Highway Traffic Act are regulatory offences that can come with severe penalties such as hefty fines or even jail time. Convictions for most of these offences will often also effect a person’s vehicle insurance and ability to drive.

Immigration Prosecutions

Offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act can have very serious consequences.

Impaired Driving (DUI)

Impaired driving offences in Ontario are a criminal category of driving offences that are very strictly prosecuted and are subject to mandatory minimum penalties. These offences can involve more than what people think of as “drunk driving”.


Importing is one of the most serious category of offences under Canadian criminal and regulatory laws. Importing drugs is a common category of this offence. However, a person can also be charged with other “contraband” substances or items without appropriate licences and compliance with Canadian importing regulations.

Internet Related Charges

The widespread use of the internet in our society has expanded the types of offences people can face under this category. From “cyber-bullying” to criminal harassment to possession or transmission of child pornography, crimes involving the investigation or use of the internet can turn simple matters into extremely complex cases involving Charter litigation and privacy laws.

Murder / Culpable Homicide

Murder is the most serious crime a person can be charged with in this country. The amount of proof regarding the “planning” and “deliberation” of the murder is a key consideration for whether a person will be charged with first degree, second degree or manslaughter.


If a person has been found guilty of any criminal offence, they may be eligible to apply for what is now called a Record Suspension after a certain period of time. The types of charges, the sentences the person received and the dates they were sentenced are all key factors in determining whether a person would qualify or not.


The law defines possession very broadly based on “knowledge, consent and control”. That is why a person can be charged with possession of illicit drugs or a weapon for simply being in the same place where the item was found.


Regardless of how large or small the quantity of drugs, you can face jail time and other penalties for growing marijuana or producing other controlled substances. The severity of the punishment will depend on many factors, including the Accused prior history, the type of drug and the amount of drugs involved.

Professional Disciplinary Proceedings

Doctors, nurses, teachers and lawyers are a few examples of professionals who are governed by regulatory bodies that impose rules and bylaws that must be followed by their profession. Any rule-breaking can result in the person facing disciplinary sanctions that could impact whether or not they are allowed to continue working in that field.

Professional Regulation

Doctors, nurses, teachers and lawyers are a few examples of professionals who are governed by regulatory bodies that impose rules and bylaws that must be followed by their profession. Any rule-breaking can result in the person facing disciplinary sanctions that could impact whether or not they are allowed to continue working in that field.

Quasi-Criminal Prosecutions

There are many federal and provincial laws in addition to the criminal offences under the Criminal Code and Controlled Substances Act that result in penalties that can be as severe as the ones found in criminal law. Convictions for these “quasi-criminal” offences can include hefty fines and even jail time.


Robbery often involves the use or threat of force while stealing or attempting to steal property. For example, a person can be charged with robbery for demanding another person’s phone or wallet, even if there is no weapon involved.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and other sex-related offences are among the most serious criminal charges a person can face. If convicted, these charges have serious penalties that include the potential for stigmatization and jeopardizing future job prospects.

Tax Prosecutions

Tax evasion and falsifying or filing misleading information in tax returns can result in criminal or quasi-criminal charges with severe penalties including hefty fines and sometimes even jail time. This is a complex category of offences involving overlapping areas of law and multiple statutes.


Theft is a broad category of property-related offences that can come with severe penalties depending on the circumstances. From a simple shop-lifting type of charge to large-scale “white-collar” fraud schemes, a conviction for theft can have serious long-term consequences for a person found guilty of this offence.


Drug Trafficking cases should be taken very seriously. In addition to imprisonment, a conviction for this offence can have significant consequences on one’s life and liberty. It is imperative to have an experienced defence lawyer to represent you if you are charged.

Youth Criminal Justice Act

The Canadian criminal justice system allows youth to be treated differently from adults in most situations when they are charged with a criminal offence. If a person is between the ages of 12 and 17 and are charged with a criminal offence, the prosecution of the case must follow the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Family Law - Areas of Practice


Adoption is the act of legally taking another’s child and bringing it up as one’s own. Essentially, adoption is the legal process of becoming a non-biological parent. Through the adoption process, the Court’s primary goal will be the best interests of the child. Court’s determine this by assessing the child’s emotional, physical and mental needs, cultural background, relationships with biological relatives and what the child wants.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

An integral part of Family Law is Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”). ADR is a method of resolving disputes out of court. Alternative Dispute Resolution has three main components, Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration.


Arbitration is the third stage in the process of Alternative Dispute Resolution. If parties are unable to achieve a resolution through mediation then arbitration would be the next step in attempting to resolve the dispute. Arbitration involves a specially trained third party who usually an expert in the area of family law. The parties or their lawyers present their case at a hearing and the arbitrator makes the decision based on the facts and supporting documentation.

Child Custody and Access

Custody and access have two separate legal meanings, yet often get confused for one another. Custody relates to the decision making authority over the child. Custody is defined by the Children’s Law Reform Act as ‘rights and responsibilities of a parent’. This may include which school the child attends, which religious institution the child may partake in, medical decisions and extracurricular activities. Access relates to where the child resides. This is achieved through an ‘access schedule’ and it determined on the child’s best interests.

Child Support

All parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children. This obligation exists whether the parents were legally married, cohabiting, separated, divorced or never residing together. Child support is dealt with under the Divorce Act as well as the Family Law Act.

Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation agreements are becoming more and more significant as unmarried couples who reside together do not benefit from property division provisions in the Family Law Act. A cohabitation agreement can determine the rights each party has in the others’ property interest. Cohabitation agreements can also deal dividing the estate upon death and spousal support obligations.

Collaborative Family Law

There has been a shift over recent years to encourage family matters to settle without going to court. This saves the effects parties’ time, money and stress as the litigation process can be extremely daunting and expensive. Collaborative family law is a non-adversarial model of resolving disputes. The parties work with lawyers whose focus is to settle matters co-operatively.

Division of Property

After a relationship breakdown, spouses have the right to divide their property. If the spouses are married, then the property division takes place in accordance to calculations in the Family Law Act. If the parties were not married, the property is divided on common law principles of property ownership and equitable principles of trust. Therefore, both married and unmarried couples have claims to property rights once the relationship breaks down.


Divorce creates a change in one’s legal status from married to single and it must be granted by the court. Married couples seeking a divorce must comply with the Divorce Act. While a separation does not legally end the marriage, a divorce ends the marriage once it has been granted by the court. Section 8(1) of the Divorce Act sets out divorce as the breakdown of a marriage; however there are three ways to establish a marriage break down. One way, which is most common is the no fault ground of separation. This is when spouses have been living separate and apart for over a year and at least one party does not intend to reconcile. There are two fault grounds for divorce: adultery and cruelty which can be used to by-pass the one year separation period.

Independent Legal Advice

If you are unsure if you have a family law claim or issue, you may benefit from seeking independent legal advice from our office. We can meet with you to discuss potential case and devise a plan as to what the next steps should be. Our consultations are completely confidential and we work to provide you with the best direction to make your next decision.


After a relationship breakdown, spouses have the right to divide their property. If the spouses are married, then the property division takes place in accordance to calculations in the Family Law Act. If the parties were not married, the property is divided on common law principles of property ownership and equitable principles of trust. Inheritances through third parties are an exception to the division of property after a marriage breakdown. Even though they are acquired during a marriage, they are not shared through the division or property.


In mediation, the parties meet with a neutral third party who will help them try to come to an agreement. The mediator’s role is to help the parties explore the situation to see whether there is a solution that can satisfy the needs of both parties (and, in child custody matters, the needs of the children). In mediation the parties must arrive at a settlement on a voluntary basis.


Often parties find that they are able to come to an agreement through counsel without having to go to court. This process certainly is encouraged not only by the judicial system, but also by counsel. Through successful negotiation parties can achieve a common ground more efficiently, as it takes less time and is more affordable.

Prenuptial Agreements

Marriage contracts (often known as ‘prenuptial agreements’), are often used by couples to set out terms in advance of the marriage. Cohabitation agreements are used for couples who are not married and are not contemplating marriage. Cohabitation agreements may deal with the division of property for unmarried couples to avoid potential litigation down the road. Marriage contracts often deal with how property is to be divided up upon separation of spouses. They can include terms that set out exclusive possession of the matrimonial home, or how to deal with particular property that is brought into the marriage.


Separation commences the day married couples begin to live apart and at least one of the spouses has an intention to remain separate and apart. Married couples may separate as an initial step in the divorce process to take time to gain insight into their marriage. Spouses are not considered to be legally separated if it is a mutually agreed upon break, with the intention of getting back together again.

Spousal Support

When spouses separate, there is a continued obligation to support a spouse financially in accordance with their need. The Family Law Act and the Divorce Act deal with spousal support and the court may order one spouse to pay support to another. Spousal support can be arranged through a separation agreement, and enforced through the courts. Section 15.2(1) of the Divorce Act states that the court has power to make an order ‘to secure or pay, or to secure and pay’. The court may therefore order a spouse to make support payments periodically and to post a form of security in the event that they default.

The Matrimonial Home

The matrimonial home is usually the most valuable asset the family owns at the time of separation. Regardless of who has legal ownership of the matrimonial home, both spouses have an equal right to continue residing there after the separation until such that time the parties or the Court decide otherwise. Spouses cannot borrow against the matrimonial home or sell it without the knowledge and consent of their other spouse. While the court can order the sale of the matrimonial home in certain situations, the court cannot order one party to purchase their spouse’s share of the matrimonial home – and only the parties themselves can make such arrangement. In dealing with the matrimonial home after separation, it is often necessary to involve other professionals, such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers, or appraisers.

Criminal Lawyers

Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Salvatore Caramanna Salvatore Caramanna B.Sc. (Hons), LL.B.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Matthew A. Friedberg Matthew A. Friedberg B.A., LL.B.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Anthony Bugo Anthony Bugo B.A., LL.B.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer John Fennel John Fennel B.A., J.D.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Lilit Izakelian Lilit Izakelian B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Melody Izadi Melody Izadi B.A. (Hons), LL.B.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Terrance Luscombe Terrance Luscombe B.A., M.E.S., LL.B.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Brittany Cohen Brittany Cohen B.A. (Hons.), M.A., J.D.
Criminal Lawyer Toronto | Successful Defence Lawyer Diana Vasilescu - Family Lawyer Diana Vasilescu - Family Lawyer LL.B/B.C.L.
Practicing in association, but not partnership with Caramanna, Friedberg

Associations & Memberships

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