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Have you been arrested?
Are you facing criminal charges?

It is natural to feel anxious, scared and alone.

At Clarke Criminal Law, we want to ease your fears and help you navigate the system. By turning to an experienced criminal defence lawyer, you have the best chance of mounting a successful defence, fighting a criminal conviction and avoiding a criminal record.

Do not jeopardize your name, reputation or future.

Call Clarke Criminal Law and set up an initial case consultation. Services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Joshua A. Clarke, Clarke Criminal Law

criminal lawyer in ottawa - joshua clarke

Champions of Your Rights

Clarke Criminal Law regards itself as a leader in client service. It champions the cause of the underdog. It seeks to humanize people who have been charged with criminal offences. The firm prides itself on ensuring that clients fully understand the case against them and the best strategy to obtain the best legal result.

Ottawa Criminal Defence Lawyer Joshua Clarke

Joshua Clarke is a respected and experienced criminal defence lawyer with over 7 years of trial experience. In 2008, he graduated from law school at the University of Ottawa and articled for two prominent lawyers in Ottawa before being called to the bar in 2009. Mr. Clarke immediately opened his own practice in association with another lawyer. He practiced criminal law and family law for a few years. In 2011 the firm was rebranded to Clarke Criminal Law, a practice devoted 100% to criminal defence work.

Today, Mr. Clarke practices primarily in Ottawa, Ontario but also serves clients in the East Region of Ontario (Cornwall, Kemptville, L’Orignal, Pembroke, Perth, Renfrew, and Smith’s Falls).

Joshua Clarke is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper CanadaCounty of Carleton Law Association, and the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa. He regularly appears in both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice. READ MORE »

Recent Cases


  • 26Oct

    Can I Plead Guilty After My Trial Date Is Set?


    Yes, you can give up your right to a having trial and plead guilty at any time – even after your trial date is set. That said, you should always talk to your lawyer or duty counsel (who advise you before a court hearing) about pleading guilty before you make this decision. You need to...

    Read more
  • 16Oct

    Can I Get a Trial in French in Ontario?


    Absolutely. If French is your language of choice, and you have been charged with breaking a federal statute, Section 530 of the Criminal Code states that the accused in a criminal trial has the right to be tried in French. That section states, “On application by an accused whose language is one of the official...

    Read more
  • 11Sep

    How Do I Apply For a Pardon?


    How Do I Apply For a Pardon? A pardon is formally known in Canada as a record suspension. It is offered to those who were convicted of a criminal offense, but have completed their sentence and can demonstrate they are now law-abiding citizens.   A pardon will keep your criminal record separate from other criminal...

    Read more
  • 28Aug

    Is There a Benefit to Post-Charge Diversion?


    Is There a Benefit to Post-Charge Diversion? Yes. A post-charge diversion is a process where Crown prosecutors decide to put those who have committed a minor criminal offence into a diversion program where, upon successful completion, the charge will be withdrawn, stayed or avoided altogether. This allows those charged with minor offensives to prevent having...

    Read more

How much will my case cost?

At the very first few meetings, it is always impossible to put a final price on legal services. The reason is that there are far too many unknowns right at the beginning of a case (witnesses, evidence to be called etc). It is common for a lawyer to seek a retainer to cover the initial costs of processing your case.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is an amount of money entrusted to a lawyer in anticipation of legal fees owing. It is provided before work is actually performed. The money remains the client’s until the lawyer performs the requisite services and provides a bill.

How much is the retainer?

Please contact us to discuss your particular situation.

What is our hourly rate?

Please contact Clarke Criminal Law to confirm our hourly rate.

What if I cannot afford the retainer?

For low income individuals, there is a program in Ontario to subsidise legal fees. It is called Legal Aid Ontario. If you think you might qualify contact them at 1-800-668-8258 or

Alternatively, if you do not qualify for Legal Aid or cannot afford the entire retainer all at once, please contact Clarke Criminal Law to see if arrangements can be made.

Does Clarke Criminal Law accept Legal Aid?

For the right client, Clarke Criminal Law will accept Legal Aid certificates.

How long will my case take?

Sadly, it is impossible to predict the likely duration of your case. What can be said with some certainty is that pleading guilty can be achieved more rapidly than a date for trial. Many factors influence the duration of a case. It is not uncommon for a case to take a year or more before a trial is conducted.

I have been given a Promise to Appear to attend court on a certain date. What’s going to happen on the first appearance?

First Appearances happen in a scheduling court (known as a remand court). There are many procedural steps that need to happen before an individual can make an informed decision about how to proceed with their case. Usually the first thing that happens on the first appearance is determine whether the accused person is going to be hiring a lawyer. If the lawyer is already retained, he or she will ask the Court if disclosure is available. The matter is then adjourned for a number of weeks so that disclosure can be reviewed and the client can be advised.

What is disclosure?

Disclosure is now typically provided on a compact disc. It contains all witness statements, police officer investigative actions, records of previous police involvement, criminal records, police officer handwritten notes, or any other relevant piece of evidence. The Crown is required to provide this information to the accused or his or her counsel.

What other steps are involved in my case?

Typically, there are pre-trial meetings conducted with the Crown (government lawyers) and sometimes with the Crown and a judge. These meetings are intended to canvass positions, flush out settlement possibilities (if any), narrow issues for trial, and estimate the length of trial or pre-trial motions (if any).

When will we know exactly how much my case will cost?

Usually after the pre-trial meetings are conducted. That is typically within a month or two of the first appearance in court. Clarke Criminal Law will then be able to advise what applications or pre-trial motions would be pertinent and the timing and costs of the proceeding.

A lawyer that I called got me out of jail, do I need to use him or her?

No, but you might consider it. The lawyer who helped you get out of jail might not have been a private lawyer. They may have been acting as duty counsel. However, if your lawyer was a private lawyer, they may be willing or expect to continue acting for you. If you received good service, you should seriously consider continuing with that other lawyer.

My previous lawyer was a duty counsel lawyer. Should I use him or her?

Duty counsel do not generally do trials or offer extensive legal services. They are generally available to provide cursory legal advice. Depending on your qualification for Legal Aid, duty counsel might not be able to assist with your case.

My case isn’t in Ottawa. Do Clarke Criminal Lawyers travel beyond the City limits?

Clarke Criminal Law accepts criminal cases in the Ottawa region including Pembroke, Renfrew, Brockville, Perth, L’Orignal, and Cornwall.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, Please contact Clarke Criminal Law directly by telephone or email Joshua.