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About us

Virginia Dolinska is a criminal defence lawyer specialising exclusively in criminal law. Virginia handles all criminal matters and represents clients in Ottawa and across Ontario. Virginia received a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa where she also obtained her undergraduate degree; an Honours Bachelor of Social Science in Criminology with a double major in History. Virginia planned to start her own law practice as early as in law school. To prepare herself, she learned and gained experience from various criminal defence lawyers. Virginia articled at a well-established criminal law firm in the Greater Toronto Area where she also did a short stint as an associate lawyer following her call to the Ontario Bar. She gained extensive experience in criminal law with a focus on drinking and driving offences. Upon her return to Ottawa, Virginia opened her own practice. At Dolinska Criminal Defence we take chances, we are bold, and most importantly we like to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.


  • Every artist with a heart for his art will deliver fine craftsmanship. For us, this is criminal defence.


An informed client is our client. We take pride in doing the simple things, such as returning your phone calls promptly. We aim to set goals and define objectives from the very start. We offer a personalized service; Virginia will be your first, your last and your single point of contact. Our approach in defending you is strategic. We love the risk but we also make sure to have a clear cut plan of action. We custom craft defences and provide tailored solutions as we believe every client is different and every case is unique. We strive to offer efficient representation with the highest quality of service. We are not your friend, nor are we a magician; our prime job is to defend you. We deliver strong and fearless representation. Our clients are confident knowing that this we do with outmost commitment. We have the skill, talent and dedication to make an impact.


Drinking and Driving and Other Driving Related Offences

One of our specialty areas is drinking and driving including drinking and boating and impaired by drug offences. We specialize in impaired driving, driving while over 80, refusal/fail to provide a breath sample and driving while impaired by drugs. Impaired driving offences are punished very severely even for first time offenders. Penalties carry mandatory minimum driving prohibitions, fines and even jail. This is why it is important that the accused person does not plead guilty lightly. At Dolinska Criminal Defence we are trained and well experienced in this area of law and we will either help you win your case or at the very least achieve the best possible results by way of a resolution. Impaired driving law is a highly technical and specialized area of criminal law which means that an accused person needs to work with a criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in this area of law. What an accused person needs to know is that a good lawyer may not always be a good DUI lawyer but the opposite tends to be correct.

At Dolinska Criminal Defence we also represent persons accused of other driving related offences including dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and fleeing police.

Sexual Assault and Sexual Offences

Sex crimes can involve a wide range of conduct, from a simple touch for a sexual purpose to more complex allegations such as historic sexual abuse. Being accused of a sexual offense alone can have drastic implications on one’s personal and professional life. Sexual assault and other allegations involving sex crimes are burdensome not only on the accused person but also on their families. A conviction for an offence in this category can have lifelong and serious consequences. You may be required to register as a sex offender which can severely impact the quality of your life. We understand the potential damage and will do our best to defend your reputation in a crucially difficult time.

At Dolinska Criminal Defence we represent clients accused of all types of sex crimes including sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual exploitation, child pornography and internet sex offences. It is important that a person charged with an offence in this category seeks legal representation early in the process to build a defence case and have all avenues of resolution explored.

Assaults and Domestic Assaults

The offence of assault is the intentional application of force to another person without consent. However, an assault does not need to cause physical harm. The offence encompasses an attempt or a threat to apply force. The severity of the offence is largely determined by factors surrounding the offence such as whether there was a weapon involved, whether any injury was sustained and if so the gravity of the injury.

Domestic assaults occur between family members and romantic partners. This category of assaults are treated differently from general assaults as there is a sense of vulnerability involved and power imbalances. It is not uncommon for a person to be also charged with other offences such as criminal harassment or forcible confinement on top of the domestic assault. Once a charge is filed, only the Crown can withdraw it. Even if your accuser decides not to move forward with the case, the Crown is likely to prosecute. Being convicted of this offence or even charged with domestic assault can bring significant personal consequences including the inability to enter your home, have access to your children and contact your spouse. The bail conditions are as much of a concern as the charges themselves.

At Dolinska Criminal Defence we provide representation that is extremely well versed in penetrating the allegations and getting at the facts which is essential in defending you against assault charges.

Drug Charges

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act groups drug offences in different schedules. The penalties for drug offences can vary according to amount and the nature of the drug. Enumerated aggravating factors attract mandatory minimum sentences. The prosecution can also bring forfeiture applications with respect to offence related property. Even a minor drug charge conviction can have serious, long-lasting consequences on one’s life. Crown prosecutors vigorously pursue drug related cases which means that it is vital for an accused person to retain counsel.

Successful representation may largely depend on the knowledge and understanding of Charter rights. In addition to constitutional defences, defences involving knowledge and control of the drug are often applied. Virginia Dolinska defends Possession, Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, Trafficking, Importing, Producing and Cultivation of all controlled substances including Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl and MDMA.

Property Crimes

Some of the most common offences that come before the court are property related offences. At Dolinska Criminal Defence we represent persons accused of all property crimes. These offences include mischief, theft, fraud, break and enter and robbery amongst others. The consequences for such offences on conviction can vary dramatically. In some cases charges can be withdrawn resulting in no criminal record while in others, particulary in cases of large scale white collar fraud crimes or armed robbery, a jail sentence can be imminent. Different considerations play a role depending on the particular offence with which a person is charged. The determining factor in a fraud charge may be the amount and he frequency of a transaction. Break and enter may turn on whether the home was occupied and any allegations of violence or the threat to use violence. What is also important is whether the Crown proceeds summarily or by indictment. The former attracts lesser penalties and the latter attracts more severe penalties. Property offences may seem straightforward at the outset but can become more complex and challenging to defend. We want your case to remain simple and focused so that we achieve the best possible outcome.

Bail Hearings and Bail Variations

When a person is charged with a criminal offence, they are generally released by police while their case goes through the court system. However, in some cases, the accused person may be required to remain in custody pending the conclusion of their case. If the not released after arrest, the accused person has a right to have one bail hearing.

At a bail hearing, the accused person has a chance to argue their case for release. A Justice of the Peace can have the accused released subject to certain binding conditions or detained in custody awaiting the completion of their case.

During a bail hearing the Crown will present the allegations made by the police. The accused person or the accused person’s potential sureties may take the witness stand to assist the Court in making a decision.

Once we receive a call from you our first step is to find out if we can negotiate with the Crown for release on consent. If a contested bail hearing is anticipated, we will move quickly to put together a comprehensive release plan. Time can be of essence and as such we make sure we work quickly and efficiently.

We can also assist you in bail variation. Sometimes bail conditions can have an onerous impact on the accused person’s day to day life. We will apply our negotiation skills to persuade the Crown and agree to a proposed variation so that your bail conditions are less rigorous.

Contact us

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190 O'Connor Street, Suite 200, Ottawa, ON K2P 1T6