Criminal Lawyers With Over 50+ Years of Experience Between Our Partners


In the firm of Bytensky Shikhman Barristers, our team of criminal lawyers has decades of experience almost exclusively in the practice of criminal law, conducting matters of various complexities in all levels of Court. Provincial Court Trials, Superior Court Trials before a Judge, Superior Court Trials before a Judge and Jury, Summary Conviction Appeals and Appeals to the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, are all part of our daily practice. We are litigation lawyers, and our experience comes from both our extensive legal knowledge and many years of regular attendance in Court.

In addition to experience, a successful criminal defence requires very detailed preparation and an extremely intimate knowledge of the facts of each case. Our Criminal lawyer Toronto spend an extensive amount of time preparing applications and strategies for each and every case.

A criminal case, however, starts with an arrest and a release. It is important to ensure that an accused person obtains bail on the most optimal conditions possible. Our firm has developed a practice of vigorous litigation in bail court and reviews of bail decisions where necessary.
We understand that bad things happen to good people and we are here to support you, understand you and defend you.


Bytensky Shikhman Criminal Lawyers in Toronto is focused on providing expert representation to individuals and corporations charged with criminal offences since 1975.

The criminal defence lawyers of BSB possess a wealth of experience in the criminal justice system conducting trials and appeals at every level of court in Ontario and at the Supreme Court of Canada. Our criminal lawyers have even been sought out by clients throughout Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, and the surrounding GTA, as well as outside of Ontario to represent them on cases of particular complexity or importance in other Provinces.

Our criminal law firm includes adults, youths, corporations and victims caught up in the justice system. We also represent clients at sentencing hearings and appeals, on regulatory and provincial offences, and at academic and occupational tribunals. We provide expert support and assistance to lawyers in other fields (such as commercial law, immigration law or family law) when their matters cross over into the criminal realm.

Our criminal lawyers share a passionate commitment to justice, unrivaled professionalism and an irrepressible desire to succeed on your behalf. We personally appear on behalf of our clients at each and every court appearance, allowing you to focus on your work and family, and not on your pending criminal case. We will provide you with regular and detailed updates on the status of your case and will always make ourselves available to answer your questions. The Toronto criminal lawyer of BSB maintain regular contact with our office throughout their busy court days and can often respond to your calls within hours. It is this unparalleled level of service coupled with our extensive legal experience that distinguishes Bytensky Shikhman from other criminal defence law practices.




    Our team of criminal lawyers at Bytensky Shikhman Barristers is made up of partners, associates, legal assistants and law students, all of whom play an integral part in our success. The practice of criminal law has evolved over the last two decades requiring an increased amount of upfront written applications and filings of various materials.To allow our lawyers to concentrate on each individual court proceeding, our law students assist in ensuring that all procedural requirements are strictly complied with. To assist our clients with their general inquiries, while our lawyers are in court, our support staff is always available and reachable.


    Partner at Bytensky Shikhman Criminal Law Firm

    Boris Bytensky received his LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and proceeded to summer, article and associate at a prestigious Bay Street firm before starting his private practice.

    Boris Bytensky received his LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and proceeded to summer, article and associate for a major Toronto law firm before starting his private practice. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1993 and is now a partner at Bytensky Shikhman criminal law firm.

    Mr. Bytensky is an Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, and a guest lecturer at Osgoode’s Intensive Programme in Criminal Law, and has delivered its annual lecture on bail. He is a former member of the Provincial Justice on Target Expert Advisory Committee on Bail. A long-time member of the Ontario Criminal Lawyers’ Association, Mr. Bytensky is currently serving his sixth term as a member of the organization’s governing body, and is currently the Treasurer and a member of its executive.

    Mr. Bytensky is currently the Media Analyst for CTV News and the Chief Legal Analyst for 1010 Newstalk radio in Toronto.


    Partner at Bytensky Shikhman Criminal Law Firm

    Sonya Shikhman holds an Hon B.A. in both History and Law & Society from York University and received her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School.

    Sonya Shikhman received her LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School. Ms. Shikhman’s commitment to criminal law started in 1st year of university when she started working for a prominent criminal defence lawyer in Toronto. She then proceeding to summer an article at other criminal law firms. She was called to the bar in 2007  and is now a partner at Bytensky Shikhman Barristers.

    Ms. Shikhman is a past Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Law program at Ukraine’s University of Shevchenko and a past instructor in the International Criminal Appellate Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School. Currently she is an instructor at Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School.

    Ms. Shikhman travels annually to different countries such as England, Russia, Ukraine, and Indonesia to judge the Jessup Competition where participants present arguments on issues of International Public Law, and judges the International Rounds of the same competition in Washington, D.C.


    Associate at Bytensky Shikhman Criminal Law Firm

    Brittany Smith graduated from the University of Guelph in 2013 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Public Policy.


    The partners and lawyers at Bytensky Shikhman Barristers are regularly called upon by the media to provide commentary and legal opinion. Mr. Bytensky and Ms. Shikhman are the official legal analysts for CTV News and Newstalk 1010.


    The lawyers of Bytensky Shikhman Barristers have successfully conducted hundreds of trials. We have extensive experience defending many clients facing a very wide range of criminal charges from allegations as minor as shoplifting to charges as serious as murder. Included within this broad category are various property offences, frauds, drug offences, assaults, domestic assaults, sexual assaults, impaired driving, along with many other types of offences.

    In Canada, every charge in the Criminal Code will be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment. Depending on the charge, the prosecution will have discretion about the mode of trial. If the Crown elects to proceed by indictment, the defence then has an option of a mode of trial (trial in the Ontario of Justice, trial in the Superior Court of Justice before a Judge or before a Judge and Jury).

    Which mode of trial we recommend for each case will depend on many complex and competing interests. The lawyers at Bytensky  Shikhman Barristers have extensive experience with all modes of trial at both levels of court and we will discuss the pros and cons of each choice in great detail with our clients before settling on the particular strategy that is most appropriate for their unique set of circumstances.

    What are criminal cases?

    A crime is considered to be an offence against society as a whole, so it is usually the state that starts a criminal prosecution.

    Criminal offences are set out in the Criminal Code or in other federal laws. There are two types:

    1. Summary conviction offences, which are the most minor cases, for example causing a disturbance; and
    2. Indictable offences, which are more serious and include theft, break and enter, and murder.

    The person charged with a criminal offence is called the accused. The accused is always presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Department of Justice Canada


    If you have been found guilty of a criminal offence, Bytensky Shikhman Barristers can help you appeal that decision and to attempt to get your conviction overturned. Our team of lawyers have experience with applications for bail pending appeal, summary conviction appeals to the Superior Court of Justice, indictable appeals to the Ontario Court of Appeal, and appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada. Bytensky Shikhman criminal lawyers are often sought out by other counsel who feel that their clients have been unjustly convicted at the trial level. Our lawyers can also assist you in appeals to reduce your sentence. At the same time, it should be noted that mounting an appeal is a complicated task as the law affords great deference to a decision of a Trial Judge. As such, we will realistically and dispassionately advise our clients of the likely chances of success so that the client can make a fully informed decision if they wish to engage in a significant legal expense of an appeal. IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT TIMING: The law places strict time limits on the filing of most types of appeals (often 30 days or less) so you are urged to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible after a conviction.

    Courts of Appeal

    If either party disagrees with a judge’s decision, they can ask the Provincial/Territorial Courts of Appeal or the Federal Court of Appeal to review it.

    If the appeal court allows the appeal, it can reverse or change the judge’s decision, or order a new trial or hearing. Otherwise the decision stands. The person who appeals must show that the judge’s interpretation of the law or the facts affected the result.

    If the parties reach an agreement, this usually ends the judicial process.

    Department of Justice Canada


    In our Justice System a person can be charged pursuant to any offence in the Criminal Code of Canada. The Criminal Code provides definitions of the types of conduct that constitutes a criminal offence. It also sets out the range of punishment that may be imposed for an offence if found guilty. In addition, the Criminal Code sets out the specific procedures to be followed by the prosecution and the permissible Orders that can be made by a Judge. 

    The Canadian Justice system is based around British “common law” traditions. However, it is a combination of both common law and civil law. The common law portion means that the laws are not written down in statute, but rather exist through legal precedents – referred to as case law.

    Toronto criminal law blog

    Below are notable cases of 2019 and 2020 that inform the Canadian legal landscape.

    R. v. Jarvis 2019 SCC 10

    What is voyeurism?

    In R. v. Jarvis, the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with the offence voyeurism under section 162(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code.

    Read More »

    R. v. Le 2019 SCC 34

    R. v. Le: What are you rights when it comes to interaction with the police?

    The Canadian Charter of rights and Freedoms guarantees protection from arbitrary detention and unreasonable search and seizure.

    Read More »

    R. v. K.J.M. 2019 SCC 55

    What is an 11(b) defence?

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is meant to guarantee that the person’s criminal charges are dealt with expeditiously thus limiting the time that the person’s liberty is interfered with through bail conditions etc.

    Read More »

    R. v. K.G.K 2020 SCC 7

    What is an 11(b) defence?

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is meant to guarantee that the person’s criminal charges are dealt with expeditiously thus limiting the time that the person’s liberty is interfered with through bail conditions etc.

    Read More »

    R. v. Ahmad 2020 SCC 11

    What is a defence of entrapment?

    The Supreme Court of Canada, in a case called R. v. Mack settled the law of entrapment in Canada.

    Read More »



    Don’t delay – contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer with decades of experience to have the best chance of winning your case.

    Call Now ButtonCall Now to Discuss Your Case.