I have been in business since I graduated from law school in 1993. My husband and I started our own tiny little law firm and we practiced law for eight years before entering the world of real estate development in 2001. Real estate went well for a dozen years, until I made the mistake of partnering with the wrong guy. That partnership has given me tremendous insights into what makes a bad business partner.

Sign # 1: An Unsavory Past

The first sign that you have a bad business partner is if you find out that your partner has an unsavory past. He associates with criminals and shady characters. He evades tax. He prefers the criminal element. He is comfortable with illegality.

My ex-partner was charged with conspiracy to commit murder along with two accomplices in the early 1990’s. He allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill a former business partner of his with whom he had a falling out. He was arrested with $16,000 in cash in his sock. Soon thereafter, he was also charged with possession of $2 million of stolen property, including Rolex watches straight from the factory, paintings, and jewelry.

Sign # 2: Loves to Litigate

The second sign that you have a bad business partner is if he loves to litigate. It appears that your partner has sued every person with whom he previously went into business. He believes the courts are the place to resolve disputes.

My ex-partner launched ten lawsuits in the decade before I partnered with him. He sued his employees; he sued his lawyers; he sued his former business partners; he sued his competitors; he sued his wife.

Sign # 3: An Unethical Business

The third sign that you have a bad business partner is if he makes his money offering unethical services. His business provides no lasting value to its clients and customers. He makes money off a service that doesn’t work. He takes advantage of desperate people. He permits unethical behaviour in his business. He sells goods and services that are ineffective.

My ex-partner runs a business that does not work in the long run for the vast majority of his customers. The product has been called dangerous by many in his industry. He had to pay approximately $800,000 to a customer who died using his product.

Sign # 4: Denigrates Those Closest to Them

The fourth sign that you have a bad business partner is if he is prepared to denigrate the people that are closest to him. Rather than treasure his spouse, he puts her down and belittles her. Rather than be loyal to his friends, he talks ill of them behind their backs. Rather than give credit to others, he takes all the credit himself. If someone is prepared to do that to the people he “loves and respects”, imagine what he will do to you.

My ex-partner made derogatory statements about his wife even though he was still with her. He was unable to keep friends because he kept betraying them. He would end a long standing friendship over a few dollars. He didn’t value the people closest to him.

Sign # 5: A Vengeful Personality

The fifth sign that you have a bad business partner is if he demonstrates an overriding desire for retribution. Everything is personal. He doesn’t consider the sensible move or the logical solution. He must punish you for what he perceives you have done to him. And he will lie to accomplish his malign objectives.

My ex-partner refused to sell his half of the business back to me despite an offer that he would receive all of his money back plus a significant profit. He also refused to sell the business privately to maximize its value and ensure everyone was paid back and made a handsome profit. He preferred instead to destroy the value of the business to punish me and to ensure he got his revenge. And he lied to accomplish his objectives.

Sign # 6: No Remorse

The sixth sign that you have a bad business partner is if he shows no remorse. He is never wrong. He is prepared to spend whatever it takes for someone to say that he was right. He will manipulate the process through his high priced advisers for whatever the cost so long as it fulfills his malign objectives. He never wants to have to apologize. He never wants to be wrong. He will pay any price to not have to admit he was mistaken.

My ex-partner hired lawyers, receivers, accountants and private detectives all to try to show the world that he was right and I was wrong. He showed no remorse for destroying our business. He was happy to cause personal damage. He seemed happy to destroy the financial lives of anyone who crossed him. He manipulated the facts with the sole objective of trying to show he was right.


Due diligence about your proposed business partner is critically important. Ask his peers about him. Check out his past behaviour. Had I known beforehand about my ex-partner’s past and personality traits, I would like to think I would have chosen differently.

If you are thinking of partnering with someone who demonstrates the above characteristics, RUN AWAY…don’t walk, run! No matter how good the partnership sounds now, it will end badly. If you are already in business with one of them, plan your exit now, and quickly. People like I have described make very bad partners. They will destroy you if you partner with them.

Family Finance

Building an Emergency Fund: How to Get Started

The hot water heater breaks, the roof is leaking and your car just broke down. Home emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye, and with all of life’s other problems, coming up with the money to take care of these repairs can be a challenge.

Having an emergency fund to fall back on can help ease the burden and reduce the stress of unexpected repairs.

What is a Home Repair Emergency Fund, and Why Do You Need One?

A home repair emergency fund is exactly what it sounds like – money set aside for emergency home repairs. The fund ensures that you have money on hand at a moment’s notice to take care of a broken water heater, plumbing issues or any other unexpected repair.

An emergency fund will prevent you from having to put the repair on a credit card or a high-interest loan.

How Much Should You Save?

How much money should you put into your home repair emergency fund? Experts recommend setting aside three to six months of living expenses. Aim to save 1%-3% of your home value.

The amount you save will depend on the home and your lifestyle. If your home is newly built, you may not need to tap into your emergency fund for quite some time, but if you have a fixer-upper, you will likely need to tap into your savings more quickly. In the latter case, you may need to save more aggressively.

Where Should You Put Your Emergency Fund?

Because an emergency fund needs to be accessible at a moment’s notice, it’s important to avoid putting the money in a long-term savings portfolio to avoid massive fees for taking out the money early.

Ideally, the money should be placed in a separate bank account. Putting the funds in a separate account will help you avoid temptation to tap into those reserves.

Consider a high-yielding savings account. These accounts are federally insured up to $250,000, and the money will earn interest. Funds can be withdrawn at any time through a funds transfer or withdrawal.

How to Start Building a Home Repair Emergency Fund

The prospect of building a home repair emergency fund can seem daunting. Here are some tips to get started:

Set a Goal for Monthly Savings

Set a monthly savings goal to get into the habit of saving. One way to reach your goal is to automatically transfer funds to your savings account from each paycheck.

Cut Expenses

If you have no money left at the end of the month, cut back on your expenses. Go over your expenses with a fine-tooth comb to find areas where you can cut back. Try cooking more meals at home, eliminating your daily takeout coffee or lowering/eliminating your cable bill.

Earn Side Income

If you’re determined and motivated, you can take on a second job or find a way to earn some additional income on the side.

Save Your Tax Refund

If you receive a tax refund each year, try saving it instead of spending it. Consider having your refund deposited into your emergency account.




The Growing Popularity of Trading

There’s no doubt that trading has become more popular over the past decade or more. For some investors, working from home, where ever home might be, and earning consistent profits through trading stocks, options, futures, or currencies, is both appealing and lucrative.

On top of that, markets are more accessible than ever, information is readily available and internet access has become widespread. Perhaps even more importantly, experts are willing to share their knowledge, so mentoring and coaching help are accessible.

However, no one is saying that trading to earn money is easy. You need market knowledge, a willingness to dig deep on technical patterns and an understanding that all trading requires some level of risk.

Successful trading also requires a specialized mindset, an idea explored in my 2014 co-authored book, The Winning Way.

3 Traits Every Trader Needs

In The Winning Way book, we look at three psychological mindsets that are necessary for a trader, regardless of experience, to be successful. Those mindsets are: one, accept market uncertainty; two, focus on the “now”; and three, think probability.

I thought it would be useful to outline these qualities in a little more detail here.

Accept Market Uncertainty

You have to believe that each trade is a random event and the outcome is out of your control and beyond any kind of analysis. Unless you know what each of the millions and millions of investors and other market participants are betting on each day, it’s impossible to predict what the markets will do.

I began making a trading profit when I started to believe in my own tools and systems for trading. I accepted that markets are uncertain and that leads to randomly distributed winners and losers, at least in the short term. However, in the long run, I trust that my edge gives me a higher probability of winning than losing.

Focus on Now

We’ve all been conditioned to learn from past experience. That works, mostly, since a change in behaviour usually leads to a different outcome. But in trading, it is detrimental to associate current trading decisions with past results. As every mutual fund prospectus tell us: Past results are not indicative of future performance. Professional traders understand that each trade is random, operating independently of previous trades.

Great traders focus only on opportunities that are happening right now.

Think Probability

The focus on uncertain markets can be difficult for some traders as they wonder how to achieve consistent and profitable results in such an environment. Although markets are uncertain in the short run, long-term predictable results are achievable. Your own trading strategies and systems give you an edge. You will have both winning and losing trades in the short run, and in the long run your edge will give you a higher probability of winning than losing. Being able to understand probability also helps you become a more disciplined trader. You will be able to trade with less emotion, allowing you to think more clearly and ultimately make better trading decisions.

My Story

I started trading in 2001. By 2003, my initial success had disappeared. I was spending thousands of dollars on complex trading systems that just didn’t work. In short, I was struggling to find a new path that would suit my goals.

At that time, I was fortunate enough to meet the late George Fontanills, one of most respected options traders in the world. I needed George to help me understand my trading personality and what type of trading would be most suitable for me. More importantly, I needed a mentor to send me on the path of developing a winning mindset.

George mentored me on trading strategies and techniques, but most importantly, he guided me to my own trading personality. He knew I wasn’t suited to day trading, because I hated the idea of staring at a screen all day. He also knew I didn’t have the patience for long-term trading. So he came up with the idea of short-term or swing trading.

Swing Trading

The timeframe of my trades is anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the stock and market volatility. And because swing patterns are highly repetitive and happen over and over again, stock movements can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy.

George was able to pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses as a trader. He taught me valuable risk management skills and how to protect my trading capital. He also taught me how to trade small but win big, and how to scale up. Under George, I learned to focus on mastering one or two markets before expanding into other areas of trading.

In conclusion, I believe that you must apply the three psychological mindsets mentioned above at all times to keep trading simple. If you can do all that, you will see a breakthrough in your trading, and very soon you will become a consistent and profitable trader well on your way to achieving success.

8 Mistakes Drivers Make When Shopping For Used Vehicles

Purchasing a used vehicle is a great way to buy a car at a reduced price, but buyer beware. Purchasing vehicles that are used mean that they may have problems that the dealership or the person you’re purchasing the car from may try to hide. Make sure that you do your homework and check out the entirety of the vehicle before purchasing. Avoid these 8 mistakes so that you purchase the best possible vehicle for your needs.


  1. Not being realistic about what you can afford

When you go to a dealership or have a meeting with a private seller, have a very clear price range. Most of the time, you’ll be able to negotiate with the dealership or private seller, but you’ll still want to have a clear picture of what you’d be willing to spend based on how the vehicle is in person, and don’t forget taxes!


  1. Not having a clear idea of what you want

Don’t go into a dealership without a clear idea of the kind of car that will fit your needs. It’s okay not to know exactly what make and model, but things like size, gas mileage, and price range should be something you decide on beforehand. Make sure that you take a look at the insurance rates so that you know how much your car insurance will cost you before you buy.


  1. Blindly trusting the dealer

Just because a vehicle looks good on the outside, doesn’t mean that it drives well or works the way the dealership advertised. Check the reputation of dealers in your area and choose one that has positive reviews.


  1. Buying without an inspection

If the dealership or private seller refuses to let you have the vehicle inspected, there’s probably something wrong with the car. Any reputable dealership will allow you to check the car from head to toe, and a private seller should be able to provide details on the vehicle and the most recent inspection.


  1. Not test driving the car

It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of a new car, and used car dealerships may not offer a test drive. Test drives are standard practice, so make sure to ask to take the vehicle for a drive before purchasing.


  1. Not asking for a vehicle report

Vehicle reports are an important part of the used car shopping process. They have valuable information such as whether or not it has been in major accidents, had flood damage, or carries a salvage title.


  1. Shopping at just one dealership

Shopping at multiple dealerships gives you a great frame of reference for the going price of a vehicle you’re looking to purchase, and it also gives you an idea of how much to negotiate when you’re ready to buy.


To save extra money when purchasing your used vehicle, check with your automobile insurance and find out which models will save you money on your premiums. If you’re not satisfied with your current policy, compare your policy with other insurance companies to ensure you receive the best rate possible.

10 DIY Fixes For Minor Automobile Repairs

When it comes to major repairs, you always want to go to a professional to make sure that repairs are done correctly. However, with more minor or superficial problems, you don’t necessarily have to go to an auto shop to get your vehicle fixed. You should only attempt to repair a vehicle yourself if you have some experience handling cars, and when in doubt, always seek out the opinion of a professional.


  1. Air Filter Replacement

When your air filters are clogged, it can affect the performance of your vehicle all around. Changing your filter is a simple and easy way to increase power and gas mileage. Air filter replacements are simple to DIY if you have some knowledge of your vehicle, and replacing them improperly will not cause irreparable damage.


  1. Oil Changes

Doing an oil change for most cars is fairly straightforward, as long as you don’t attempt to change the oil right after driving. Many automobile companies will throw this kind of thing in for free during routine maintenance, but if you want to do it yourself, you can find instructions in your vehicles manual.


  1. Headlight Bulbs

If you have a headlight that’s been burnt out, you can change it yourself as long as you don’t have sealed beam headlights. Check and make sure that you get the right bulb for your vehicle.


  1. Brake Pads

Brakes are obviously very important for the safety of your vehicle, so don’t attempt to DIY if you haven’t learned how to change brake pads first. Improperly installed brake pads could cause permanent damage to your vehicle and make it unsafe to drive, but if you know what you’re doing, they are fairly easy to replace.


  1. Paint Scratches

Filling in paint scratches is something you can DIY even if you have no experience repairing cars. Many hardware stores sell specific pens to cover up imperfections without having to get an entirely new paint job.


  1. Small Dents

If you have a minor cosmetic dent in your vehicle, you may be able to remove the damaged panel and bang it out from behind yourself with a hammer or other blunt device.


  1. Car Batteries

Cat batteries are one of the main things that make allow your vehicle to start and for powering auxiliary components. They are easy to locate and identify, and changing the battery is very simple. Make sure you check with your owners manual to make sure you’re purchasing the right battery for your vehicle and be sure to install the leads in the correct polarity! Black is usually negative, and Red is usually positive.


  1. Seat Belts and Buckles

A sticking or slow retracting seat belt can easily be fixed with silicone lubricant, but consult online forums for your car before applying this fix to restore old and worn out seat belts.


  1. Changing A Tire

Wheel replacement is a simple fix for your vehicle, and it should be something that every driver knows how to do, especially in the case of a flat tire on the road, but be sure to use a torque wrench to properly torque the bolts onto your car so you don’t risk losing a wheel while driving!


  1. Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Windshield wiper rubber can deteriorate over time, especially in the hot sun or during the freezing winter months. If your wipers are not cleaning effectively, easily replacing them so you can safely see out of your windshield in bad conditions.


When it comes to your vehicle, learning to DIY repairs could save you quite a bit year over year. However, your insurance policy may already cover regular maintenance, so check with your provider before attempting to do it yourself. If your policy doesn’t cover repairs, compare your current auto insurance policy to others on the market, you may find more complete coverage for your vehicle at a cheaper rate.

7 Things That Could Reduce Your Car Insurance Premium

Are you thinking about purchasing a new car or need a new insurance policy? When it comes to insurance, car insurance is the most expensive to purchase.  Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to reduce your premiums. Here are 10 ways to reduce your car insurance costs while still getting the coverage you need.


  1. Owning your car

When you lease a car, it’s likely that you’ll be paying a higher price for your car insurance. Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot of money purchasing a brand new car. Many used vehicles work just as well as new models, and may make owning a vehicle easier.


  1. Having a dashboard camera

Having a dashboard camera won’t reduce your car insurance specifically, but it will give you record of any collision that you get into, and that means that it will be easier to make a claim and will protect you from unfair premium increases.


  1. Paying as you drive

If you have a car but find that you don’t drive much, pay as you go insurance is a great option. According to The Toronto Star, “Pay as you go insurance uses a device plugged into a vehicle that connects to a mobile app or web portal used to track data on kilometres driven, time and distance of the trip.”


  1. Having winter tires

You can reduce your insurance premiums by installing winter tires on your car. Winter tires lower your risk of getting into an accident, and insurers reward that accordingly.


  1. Choose a low-risk model

All car models are not insured equally. Vehicles that have a higher propensity for reckless driving are much more expensive to insure. When purchasing your vehicle, check out typical insurance rates to make sure that the cost of driving makes sense for your budget.


  1. An anti-theft system

Installing an anti-theft mechanism in your car makes it less likely to get stolen, and therefore lowers your insurance premiums.


  1.  Hybrid vehicles

Not every insurance company gives you a discount for driving a hybrid vehicle, but some do. Compare insurance policies if your planning on purchasing a hybrid car, and find out which provider will give you a reduced rate.


  1. Low repair costs

Even if a vehicle is cheap to purchase, the parts for repairs may be extremely expensive. For example, purchasing a luxury vehicle used may cost you less than a brand new car that’s less expensive, but your car may still cost more to repair, and insurance companies factor this in to your premium.


  1. Paying per year instead of per month

Insurance companies love when you pay upfront, and they reward you for it. If it’s an option for you, pay upfront instead of per month to save on your premium.


  1. CAA membership

Check with your insurance provider if you’re eligible for a discount on your premium if you have a CAA membership.

You’re all set! All that’s left to do is pick the plan that’s right for you and hit the road

3 Tips for Giving The Perfect Wedding Gifts Without Breaking The Bank

Weddings in general are pretty expensive. Both for those getting married and those going to the wedding festivities, everyone’s going to be shelling out at least some money for the affair. But while the couple knows that they’ll be spending money on things like wedding rings and a reception, those attending the events often have a hard time knowing how much money they should be spending on each wedding they’re involved with. So to help with this dilemma, here are three tips for giving the perfect wedding gifts without breaking the bank.

Know How Much You Should Or Can Spend

Before you even begin thinking about the exact gifts you’re wanting to give, you should first determine how much money you can spend or how much money you feel obligated to spend. According to Jaimie Mackey, a contributor to, there are some guidelines that can help you determine what you might want to spend for a wedding. Some traditions say that you should give a gift equal to what the couple is spending per person for the event, while others that you should subtract what you’re spending to actually make it to the wedding. Naturally, you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford, and it’s a good rule of thumb to consider how well you know or how long you’ve known the couple to help determine the type or quality of gift you’d be comfortable giving.

Give Yourself Time

Once you’ve decided what type of gift you want to give to the couple, you might find that it’s more than you can afford right now. Luckily, Amy Beal, a contributor to Real Simple, reminds us that you technically have a year from the wedding date to give the couple their wedding gift. For those who need more time to scrape together the necessary funds, this gives you the perfect chance to create a budget and start saving. However, don’t give yourself too much freedom that you forget about their gift completely and end up spending that money on something else instead.

Follow the 20-20-60 Rule

Especially if you’re being invited to multiple parties as part of the wedding celebrations, you may not be sure about how to space out your gift giving. To help with this, Colleen Barrett, a contributor to, recommends that you follow the 20-20-60 rule. This rule means that you set a budget for gifts for the entire wedding and you spend 20 percent on the engagement gift, 20 percent on the bridal or grooms gift, and 60 percent on the wedding gift. This can help ensure you don’t go overboard with your spending at each event.

If you’re concerned about giving gifts for the upcoming weddings you’re invited to, consider using the tips mentioned above to help make this a little easier on your wallet.

How Social Payments Are Transforming Financial Transactions As We Know Them

In honor of arrival of the Year of the Dog in February, I sent my nephew in China a gift of money through a chat app on my phone. He pocketed it happily, using the same app to express his appreciation, thanks and best wishes back at me for the new year.

It was another day, another dollar, as they say, or the everyday sort of transaction that people in some countries like China don’t think twice about. For people in most Western nations, though, this sort of payment system is still something of a curiosity.

That’s changing fast, though. And as the social sharing economy continues to evolve, look for such peer-to-peer transactions over people’s social feeds to become the norm. It quite possibly may disrupt the traditional banking system as we know it.

Venmo, PayPal’s free digital wallet, was an early player in Western economies, launched in 2009, but really taking off in 2014 as Android Pay and Apple Pay made their much vaunted debuts. Other entries since – Facebook Pay, Google Wallet, Square Cash – speak to a concept whose time has come. Case in point: Venmo handled $17.6 billion in transactions in 2016; that almost doubled to $34.2 billion last year.

If there’s a model for the rest of the world to follow, it’s China’s. Its system was a response in a country that had no credit card use, and whose banks were inefficient and underused. In less than 10 years, two rival payment services, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s Alipay, have transformed China’s financial ecosystem by making mobile payments – especially social mobile payments – an easy and accessible option.

As social payments continue to catch on in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and other nations, it’s moving us ever closer to becoming cashless economies. In fact, Sweden may be an example today of how we’ll all be operating in the not-to-distant future. A mere 1 percent of the value of all payments made in Sweden are in coins or notes. Its citizens live for their bank cards, but over half Sweden’s population depends on the leading social payment smartphone app, Swish.

It’s not just the world’s more privileged societies that stand to benefit from this evolving financial ecosystem. Social payments stand to bring much needed financial services to countries with significant populations of unbanked or underbanked people. Financial inclusion, of course, is key to lifting them from poverty.

Even if traditional banking services aren’t available to such populations, mobile phones increasingly are. Their pace of adoption is on a positive trendline, at 37 percent of the populations of underdeveloped economies.

Not surprisingly, both Tencent and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial (formerly known as Alipay) see an opportunity to make inroads in countries where people may be unbanked, but not unphoned. Both are moving aggressively in Southeast Asia as part of that quest; at the end of last year, the Alipay service reportedly had 280 million users of its four local payment platforms in Thailand, India, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The sharing economy is real and expanding rapidly. By 2025, a PricewaterhouseCoopers study found, spending in the five components that comprise it (travel, car sharing, staffing, streaming and, no surprise, finance) may hit $335 billion – or half of total spending in those areas.

It’s not just social payments that will help to reshape the financial sector. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will be another facet, a means for settling payments directly and without much hassle or effort.

Either way, though, if this new social order we’re developing can advance those who currently have no access to things the rest of us take for granted like financial services, then it’s all to the good.

How You Can Learn to Trade on Rules-Based Trading

We are creatures of habit. Habits form patterns that become rules of a sort for how we live our lives in a dependable way.

One of the most compelling illustrations of this is Danish photographer Peter Funch’s “42nd and Vanderbilt” project. He stood at that corner in New York City and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. between 2007 and 2016 took photos of commuters on their daily pilgrimage. Many of them were the same people, day in and day out, just more grey and grizzled over time. Their faces always had the same expressions, mostly grim. Many wore the exact same shirts in 2016 that they wore in 2007, or shirts in a similar color and style. They also consistently did the same things, like holding a to-go coffee cup the same way.

That sort of habitual consistency is also frequently seen in the stock market. People who figure out how to read the patterns and act accordingly can make a lot of money, and because of that consistency, they can do so in a way that mitigates a lot of the risks of playing the market.

It’s called rules-based trading, and I should know because it’s a strategy I’ve used and share.

Rules-based trading is really a dependable approach for beginners and those with a low appetite for risk. It’s quite simple, actually, for those who do their homework and who are mindful of and keep to schedules.

It’s a way to piggy-back off the seasonal buying and selling that marks the activities of the institutional investment community, and reflects both bullish and bearish environments. Here are some examples.

On the bull side, take a look at Rockwell Automation. Between Nov. 13 and Dec. 26 in 21 of the last 23 years, the stock has gone up, with an average return of 5.76 percent. The return on options plays: 50 percent to 100 percent.

On the bear side, there’s Skecher, whose stock has declined between Sept. 14 and 27 in 17 of the last years, showing an average 6.82 percent decline. Putting options on that play will get a return of 50 percent to 100 percent.

Here’s why this system is a good one to put in place. You know what you’re getting. It’s designed to “set and forget.” You place your trade and don’t do anything more with it until it’s stopped out, the target is reached or you hit a trailing stop loss. You’re set as long as you keep it all within the precisely defined windows.

You avoid the psychological pressures of trading, but still get the fun of watching how it’s going without having to constantly be monitoring and analyzing new information. However, you do have to do your homework to identify likely targets (through data available on platforms like Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg) and apply the option strategy that fits.

Rules-based trading is an excellent way to build market knowledge and discipline that, over time, you’ll be able to take to the proverbial bank.

Certus Trading makes it easier to get into rules-based trading with our Profit Scheduler Club for options. We do the data analysis and show what options strategies will apply best, equipping you to comfortably make the trade.

What Should You Do If You Are Arrested For Drug Trafficking In Winnipeg?

Drug trafficking is a very serious offense in the City of Winnipeg. Those who are charged with trafficking can face severe and swift consequences if they are found guilty. Drug offenses are outlined in the criminal code separately from other types of crimes in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

There are specific things that someone who is facing drug trafficking charges in Winnipeg should do – and others that they definitely must not do – in order to protect themselves from prosecution and to prevent their punishment from being greater if they are found guilty. The first thing that you must do is to hire a Winnipeg lawyer who specializes in handling drug trafficking charges.

Hiring a lawyer

There are some crimes where you can defend yourself, but since drug trafficking is a major offense that can leave you facing some serious jail time and has the potential to ruin your future, finding a lawyer who knows how to handle a drug case is imperative to securing your freedom.

It isn’t enough just to hire a criminal lawyer; you need someone who understands the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act from cover to cover and who has experience specifically with drug trafficking cases. There are ways to beat trafficking charges, but building a defense takes expertise and knowing which defenses to use to poke holes in the prosecution’s case.

Don’t say anything to anyone

It might be tempting to talk with people about the charges you are facing, but that is a serious mistake. Not only do you want to keep silent when talking to law enforcement officials – but you  want to keep your mouth quiet when talking to anyone.

Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. If you think that your private conversations will remain private, that isn’t always the case. If other people are involved in the charges, like accomplices, stop contact with them and don’t say another word until you have the advisement of your drug trafficking attorney.

Being released pending your trial

Unlike other criminal charges, when you are being accused of drug trafficking in Winnipeg, you have what’s called the “reverse onus.” That means that you have the obligation to make a case that you should be released pending your trial, not that the prosecutor has to make a case why you shouldn’t. To be released, you have to prove why you should be let go on your own recognizance.

Surety is one way to find your way out

Surety is a process where you ask someone to be responsible for you and to ensure that you will show up for your court date. The person who becomes your surety – usually a family member – promises the court that they will ensure that you make it to court.

Often, you will have to live with them until your trial date, so be prepared to move in with whoever serves as your surety. If you are denied a surety, then your Winnipeg criminal lawyer might ask for the Superior Court to review the ruling and plead a case for it to be overturned. Your lawyer would have to show that the lower court made a judgment error, which is not always easy to do.

If your case was mishandled, then you might be able to have your charges dismissed

There are very specific rules related to search and seizure of your home or property. If those specific guidelines have not been followed or any breach of them has been made, then any evidence collected would not be admissible in court – which could leave the prosecution without a case. That is why talking over the specifics of how things were handled with your lawyer is imperative to help them to build a defense that might get your charges released.

If you are arrested on drug trafficking charges, it is very serious. The only way to save yourself from the consequences of being found guilty is to hire an expert drug criminal lawyer who knows the ins and outs of criminal drug cases in Winnipeg.