Criminal lawyer Calgary have one of the hardest and most challenging jobs in Canada: convincing a jury that their defendant is innocent of a crime.


That can bring a lot of stigma towards criminal lawyers, affecting their reputation. Even if they are successful in their role, criminal lawyers suffer because of these preconceived notions.


Yet, regardless of their role, there is one thing that matters: their duty and responsibility to their client. It doesn’t matter what others say or do; a criminal lawyer must always commit to their clients, regardless of the charges laid on them.


To understand criminal defence lawyers better, let’s look at several of the key duties they have towards their clients.


What are Their Responsibilities to Their Clients? 


Privileged Communications

The relationship between the client and the criminal lawyer is considered a privilege, meaning that any communication between the two is private. Under no circumstances can lawyers distribute or release any information regarding conversations between the two unless it involves the possibility of death or bodily harm.


Try Not to Get Emotionally Involved

Lawyers are focused on the legal process and believe in respecting the defendant’s rights, regardless of the charges or circumstances surrounding them. They have a duty to remain impartial and only focus on ensuring that their client gets the defence possible for their cases. 

dui-lawyer-calgary


Honesty to the Courts

The lawyer is a representative of the court, and therefore, owes a duty of respect and commitment to it. They are obliged to never make false representations or statements for themselves or their clients while always being as honest as possible when communicating with the courts. If a defendant commits perjury, the lawyer must take reasonable steps to remedy it. 


Provide Expert Advice & Services

Criminal lawyers are duty-bound to service in their client’s best interest, meaning they must put all available resources on the line. Lawyers should only advise their clients what they can legally perform and what they are prohibited from doing, offering their advice on their best course of action. This could mean pleading guilty or accepting a lesser charge and includes using every necessary means available to them, including witness testimonies and forensic evidence. 


Avoid Conflicts of Interests 

Conflict of interest is very common in criminal cases. Whether that’s a previous incident involving the defendant and another charge or a relationship they have with a lawyer’s team, the criminal lawyer must avoid any conflicts that may cause damage to the case and the defendant’s integrity. In some cases, lawyers might reject cases if there is a conflict between the parties. 


Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer, is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

The legal system in Canada is extremely influential on the lives of all Canadians. However, if you’ve never been to court, you may be unaware of the differences in roles that legal professionals have. For instance, do you know the difference in roles between defence attorneys and prosecutors? If you get most of your legal knowledge from T.V. or movies (which is the case for many people), you probably don’t. But there’s no guarantee that you’ll never need to spend time in court, for any reason, in your lifetime, and it’s important to understand the roles that everyone plays in our legal system from best criminal defence lawyers to judges.

In today’s blog, the best criminal defence lawyers in Calgary (Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers) explain the difference between defence attorneys and prosecutors.

Defence Attorney/Criminal Lawyer In Calgary

A criminal defence lawyer is a lawyer who represents a person charged with a criminal offence. It is the defence lawyer’s job to ensure that the rights of the accused are protected throughout the criminal process. At trial, a defence lawyer must:

  • question the evidence put forward by the prosecution;
  • examine the importance or relevance of that evidence; and
  • explore other possible interpretations.

If you need help clearing your name from DUI charges, violent offences or drug offences, seeking the help of a defence attorney can make a big difference in court.

Prosecutors VS Criminal Lawyers in Calgary

Prosecutors are government lawyers who prosecute criminal cases. To prosecute means to lay a charge in a criminal matter and to prepare and conduct legal proceedings against a person charged with a crime. The prosecutor prepares the case by:

  • researching the law;
  • gathering and reviewing evidence, exhibits, and preparing paperwork for the Court; and
  • interviewing witnesses.

If you ever find yourself in court, the prosecutor is the person your defence attorneys need to outwit.


Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer, is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

Getting charged with a DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) is a serious matter that could change the course of your life in an instant. If you are charged with a DUI, you could face strong social stigmas, have your driving license suspended, be forced to pay a significant fine and have your job prospects put in jeopardy. A DUI charge isn’t guaranteed to ruin your career, but it’s certainly possible. If you are being charged with a DUI, speak to a DUI lawyer in Calgary.


In this important post, we discuss how a DUI can ruin your career.


Lessons From A DUI Lawyer In Calgary


Losing Your Current Job


As more and more data about driving under the influence emerges, and our society’s attitude towards drinking and driving continues to move in the negative direction, many employers have followed suit. It is now commonplace for employers to include mandatory firings codified in their rules and regulations. There may even be rules mandating you disclose the arrest immediately. Not only could being arrested for a DUI limit your future job prospects, but you could also lose your current job.

Still life on old wooden table top. Car keys, several glasses and a bottle of whiskey or alcohol. Suitable for drunk driving.

Limited Job Prospects


In addition to possibly losing your current employment, a DUI can prevent you from getting a new job. Canadian laws take DUI charges very seriously, and your criminal record will remain blemished for the rest of your life. Since many employers ask whether or not you have a criminal conviction before making a final hiring decision, your odds of landing your dream drop will never be the same. There is no legal requirement declaring people who have been convicted of a DUI are unemployable, but many employers will see the record as a major red flag.


Contact A DUI Lawyer In Calgary


The best way to stop a DUI from getting on your record is to immediately contact a DUI lawyer in Calgary. A good criminal defence lawyer with experience in impaired driving cases is your best option for reducing the consequences of an impaired driving charge. Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers can help your case by:


  • Questioning the reliability of the breathalyzer
  • Analyzing varying blood alcohol levels
  • Challenging observations of impairment


Using these methods is the best opportunity you have to build a solid case that could keep your criminal record clean and your career thriving.


Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

Domestic violence is a serious offence that can result in Court-appointed compulsory programs, jail time, and criminal records. Even uttering threats indirectly or was non-verbally (such as text, email, or social media) is considered “verbal abuse” and can be used against you in the Courts. 

 

And while there are situations of partners dropping charges against their partners, the decision does not belong to the victim. It is up to the Crown Prosecution to decide whether to continue with the charge or not, as they are considered “essentially another witness.”

 

Therefore, a lot of the responsibility falls on the defendant to prove their innocence in the Courts. While you can do it alone, it’s best to have an experienced domestic violence lawyer on your side. Here is what you can do to prove your innocence.

 

What You Can Do For Your Domestic Violence Lawyer

 

Explain to Your Domestic Violence Lawyer What Happened 

 

Always – and we mean always – tell your lawyer the truth about what happened. 

 

Even if you are guilty of the crime, it is best to be honest and transparent with what transpired and why it occurred. Only with the truth can the lawyer build a strong case for your defence. 

 

Unsuspected surprises or issues that arise can negatively affect your case and will be a detriment to you and your lawyer’s credibility. 

 

You should provide evidence as quickly as possible after the charge and in written form, as it helps ensure authenticity. 

 

(Should you hire a lawyer or work with a public defender? We explain the difference between the two

 

Collect Vital Information that Proves Your Side of the Story

 

You are going to need proof to prove your defence. It’s best to start collecting evidence that supports your case, such as text messages, emails, video calls and so forth. The more information you have on you, the more the lawyer can develop a case on your behalf. 

 

If there were witnesses present, or character witnesses can attest to your character, then you should contact them and ask them to be part of your case.

 

In some cases, the lawyer might suggest bringing in expert witnesses to support your claim, but it will cost out-of-pocket and has to be relevant to your situation. 

 

Notice if Your Rights Were Violated

 

Law enforcement might indirectly or purposely violate your rights in a bid to charge with domestic violence. 

 

Business people discussion advisor concept

Examples can include searching your car or house without permission, coercion or threats, or denying you access to contact your lawyer. 

 

If you experienced such events, it is important to notify your lawyer about them. As experts in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they can see if your rights were impeded by law enforcement, as these violations are arguable in the Courts in your defence.

 

How a Domestic Violence Lawyer Assist You 

 

Create & Represent a Solid Case for Your Defence 

 

If the case goes to trial, your domestic violence lawyer will create a solid defence in your favour while representing you in Court. Based on the information you have provided to them and the evidence collected by the Crown Prosecution, they will challenge the charge against you. 

 

Your lawyer will interpret the law and evidence in your favour and do their best to reduce your sentencing, avoiding jail time and a damaging criminal record. Furthermore, they will try to remove the stigma attached to domestic violence, which receives more scrutiny than other assault charges.

 

If you are guilty, the lawyer will try to reduce your sentence and find ways to serve punishment without going to jail. 

 

Apply for a Peace Bond 

 

One way for the prosecution to drop your charges is for you to apply for a Peace Bond. 
As stated by the Canada Department of Justice, a “peace bond is a protection order made by a Court” that “imposes specific conditions that are designed to prevent the defendant from committing harm to the person” again.

 

These conditions include the likes of recommendations or requirements for counselling, restraining orders, or no-contact provisions. They are valid for up to one year, but they can be continued if threats persist after the year. 

 

Getting approved for a Peace Bond means that all charges will be dropped, and you will not receive a criminal record.

 

Being proactive with your case can ensure that you have the best chance of proving your innocence against a domestic violence charge. 

 

Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

A DUI in Calgary is a serious offence, as it is deemed a Criminal Charge by the Canadian Criminal Code. 

 

If you are caught operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will face punishments that can impact your livelihood, including your job, insurance and international travel. 

 

Significantly, you will get a criminal record on your name. 

 

We take a look at the impact of a DUI record and how it impacts your life. 

 

What Can DUIs Impact?

 

Having a DUI on your record can impact several aspects of your life, including the following: 

 

  • Your employment might be affected. Although there is no law saying that you won’t get a job if you get a DUI, employers will less likely consider a person with a criminal charge to their name. You might also miss out on potential job opportunities. 
  • Insurance rates and accessibility. Insurance companies will charge a higher premium on you driving a vehicle if you have a DUI record. Since you’re already considered a danger, you might pay hundreds of dollars extra to be insured or be denied completely. 
  • You will most likely lose your licence and be forced to participate in Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program for 12 months or more, alongside attending the Planning Ahead and IMPACT educational programs.
  • It might impact your ability to travel overseas. Many countries, including the USA, also consider DUIs a criminal offence, so they might refuse your entrance. We have more information on entering countries with a DUI in our post here, “Entering The US With A DUI“. 

 

How Long Does a DUI Stay on My Record? 

 

According to Transportation Alberta, the Province keeps a “10-year record of these offences, the same period we use for tracking criminal impaired driving convictions and among the longest in Canada.” 

(Learn about “What Happens When You Get a DUI Charge in Calgary?” right here) 

 

How Do I Remove a DUI from My Record? 

 

Hire a DUI Lawyer 

 

If you get charged with a DUI, it’s best to seek legal counsel and support from a DUI lawyer, who can help you fight the charge. They can build a case around your defence, helping you avoid getting a record to your name. It’s better if you do this earlier than later. 

Police pulling over vehicle on the streets

If you do get a DUI on your record, your lawyer can advise you on the next steps to help mitigate the damage to your career and life. 

 

In some cases, you might get your DUI charged as a summary conviction rather than a criminal offence, so it will not impact your livelihood significantly. 

 

Get a Pardon 

The last thing you could do is seek a Pardon from the Canadian Government. This process involves submitting an application and proving to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) that you are no longer a danger to society. 

 

To do so, you will have to: 

  • Wait the requisite time period (between five to 10 years) after the record was imposed 
  • Have supporting documents from the RCMP, completed courses, and even professionals that highlight that you no longer carry a threat on the road 

 

Ideally, it’s best if you apply with the support of your DUI or criminal lawyer, as they can guide you on the best course of action and the documents required. 

 

It takes an average of 12-24 months for a pardon/record suspension application to be processed and granted. If you are approved, the pardon seals that portion of your criminal record but doesn’t remove it entirely. Therefore, employers and insurance companies won’t be able to see it. 

 

If you are unsuccessful, you will have to wait one year before submitting a second one. 

Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

It’s one of the most discussed and dissected criminal charges: sexual assault. 


In this blog post, we discuss sexual assault, the big question of consent, the penalties if convicted and possible defences to charges. 


What is Sexual Assault? 


Firstly, it is important to state that the victim of a sexual assault can be a man or a woman, and the attacker can be both the same and opposite sex. As long as you feel that you have been attacked, then you have grounds for assault. 


According to the Edmonton Police, sexual assault is “defined as an assault of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim.” 


They highlight several factors for assault, including “parts of the body touched; the nature of the contact; the situation in which the contact occurred; the words and gestures accompanying the act; all other circumstances surrounding the act and any threats that may or may not be accompanied by force.” 


The Calgary Police also offer similar descriptions, stating that the act “occurs if you have been kissed, fondled, groped or forced to engage in sexual activity without your permission or consent.” 


They do highlight one particular grey situation – consent. They state that “consent means you voluntarily agree to participate in the sexual activity in question.” 


As such, sexual assault can include penetration (anal, oral and sexual intercourse) – also known as rape – groping and kissing. 


(For more information on sexual assault laws, please click on these links to the Edmonton Police and Calgary Police websites)


The Big Question To Sexual Assault – Consent 


Perhaps the biggest question that surrounds sexual assault is that of consent. That means, according to the Calgary Legal Guide, that both parties give “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something” in a sexual nature. 


The following situations, however, highlight when consent is not considered: 


  • When someone uses a position of authority, trickery or fraud to force the person to have sexual relations
  • When the victim is threatened with violent or verbal abuse and is forced to have sexual relations 
  • When the victim is not mentally capable of consenting to the activity, such as if they are unconscious, mentally impaired, vulnerable due to age and extremely intoxicated from drinking or drugs. 
  • When the victim decides to withdraw their consent and no longer wants to participate in the sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, even if the person has initiated the activity. 


The Punishments For Sexual Assault 


As stated by the Government of Canada, the following sentences apply to those charged with sexual assault: 


(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years or, if the complainant is under the age of 16 years, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or


(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months or, if the complainant is under the age of 16 years, to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months.


Charges, though, will vary on the nature of the assault, if a weapon was used, if bodily harm was caused and the number of offences committed. 


Sexual harassment at work


The individual will also be placed in the National Sex Offender Registry, thereby denying them work at certain jobs, travel plans and being forced to inform the neighbourhood of their presence. The person will be on the Registry for 20 years.


The Case Against Sexual Assault 


Factual Innocence – This is usually the strongest defence because the facts and evidence prove that the individual did not commit the crime. It could be a case of mistaken identity, false accusation, or no sexual contact of any kind. 


Violation of Constitutional Rights –  The manner in which authorities handled a case and restricted a person’s rights can be used as a defence. If the police fail to abide by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the case could be denied. 

Mistaken Consent – The defendant might have grounds to raise the defence of “mistaken consent”, believing that the victim agreed to the sexual activity. The court must be convinced that the defendant did indeed act with consent, highlighting the necessary steps to ensure the victim was in agreement. 


Overall, it varies from case to case, and if you have been charged with sexual assault, and believe that you are innocent or have mistaken consent, your sexual assault lawyer, can guide you on the best course of action. 


Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

Unfortunately, it happens too often: partners bring up charges against their boyfriends, either in haste, anger or to generally harm them. The result is that their boyfriends now must hire a domestic violence lawyer in Calgary to defend their rights or risk suffering severe consequences, such as jail time. 


So can assault charges be dropped by the victim? It can happen, but it’s not as easy as merely subtracting the complaint. Here’s why: 


Is It Difficult To Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped? 


Firstly, you must understand that the police, or the Crown Prosecutor, are the ones that file the charges against the defendant. Your control is somewhat limited. 


Contrary to what many people believe, domestic violence charges will not automatically get dropped if the complaint changes her mind. Once the police have made charges, the Crown will continue the prosecution of the accused, resulting in the complaint losing control of the proceedings. In fact, they can continue with the case without the help of the complaint. 


If there is enough consistent evidence through eyewitnesses or other incidents in the past, and if indeed, the allegations are true, the Crown might not even require your statements regarding the charges. They might have enough information to continue with the court hearing.


How to Get your Domestic Violence Charges Dropped


There is a slight possibility that the charges are dropped or withdrawn if you act quickly by doing the following: 


Getting A Peace Bond 

A Peace Bond is a common and effective resolution to a domestic assault charge. Similar to a restraining order, a peace bond stipulates that certain conditions must be met by the defendant and the victim upon approval from the court. Some conditions can include limited or no contact, counselling and being of good behaviour. 

Lawyer in a Courtroom

If you can persuade the Crown Prosecutor to resolve your matter with a Peace Bond, the charges might be withdrawn. 


While domestic violence is a serious crime, a knowledgeable and experienced domestic violence lawyer in Calgary can help you and your partner apply for a Peace Bond.


Avoiding A Criminal Record 

You may also be able to persuade the Crown Prosecutor, with the help of your criminal defence lawyer, to apply for a discharge prior to trial. 


A discharge allows the defendant to avoid a criminal record if they plead guilty to the charges. The defendant will have to explain why they shouldn’t get a criminal record and why it would be beneficial to the public to avoid conviction. 


If successful, the defendant will be “discharged” from the offence instead of convicted and will not have to state that they’re a criminal record. 


Submitting a discharge application or a Peace Bond should be done with a domestic violence lawyer’s assistance. They can ensure the process is done correctly. 


Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

When an individual has been accused of a crime, particularly one where there is a chance that she or he could end up in jail, hiring a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary is critical. Leaving your future in your own hands or court-assigned attorneys is the wrong choice to make. 


You have the right to hire a criminal defence lawyer that will represent your interests while at court. It is imperative that you have the best lawyer by your side to fight against your criminal charges. Whether an expert sexual assault or DUI lawyer in Calgary, hiring a leading attorney is your best case for your defence. 


The downside of costs and fees that come with a lawyer are outweighed by the benefits they provide. When your future is at risk, a criminal lawyer may cost less than the life-altering expenses that will happen if your case fails. 


What A Criminal Lawyer in Calgary Can Offer You 


They Understand the Judicial System

  • The primary reason to hire a criminal lawyer is that they know the legal system. The legal process can be confusing, challenging and very stressful. Lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you through the intricacies and tests of the legal process. 

Insider Knowledge & Valuable Information of the Law 

  • Reputable criminal lawyers know the ins and outs of criminal law in their chosen field. They have the skills to assess your case on its merits and determine the best course of action, so you get a favorable outcome. Having an experienced professional who understands the law is one asset that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Conducts Investigations into Your Case

  • There are many situations where the defendant’s case has been rendered unusable because the prosecution has ripped through the defence. That is down to poor planning and investigations. Your criminal lawyer in Calgary, alongside his legal aids, will research your case so that they can build a strong defence. 

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Experience with Prior Cases 

  • Your case might be unique in some ways and similar in others. A criminal lawyer specialized in their chosen field can offer legal help and create better strategies to win the case as they have done it before for similar cases. 

Strong Relationships with Prosecutors & Judges

  • It pays to know people in the courts of law. Criminal lawyers in Calgary usually have a healthy relationship with their counterparts, the prosecution and the judges. This will prove pivotal in defending your case and trying to negotiate a plea that suits both parties. 

Access to Professionals 

  • Your lawyer will have tools at their disposal, including professional contacts that help make a convincing argument on your behalf. This can include experts in chosen fields (like therapists and psychologists) and witnesses. These testimonies will significantly help your case. 

Access to Law Enforcement Conduct 

  • There are plenty of loopholes and blind spots in the police procedures that might be difficult to recognize. An attorney can discover how much police are allowed to investigate upon a client and find any possibility when the officers may infringe upon the accused’s rights. They will also gain access to the evidence collected by the police. 

Guide You To Possible Outcomes 

  • In some cases, the attorney might tell you that your case is hopeless. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a silver lining. The attorney can provide you with outcomes that you can choose from when proceeding with your case. They can guide you with the possibilities and chances of entering a plea deal, going to court or admitting to the crime. 

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Emotional Support

  • Being charged with a serious offence can be a stressful period in your life. You might feel that your loved ones have abandoned you, you’re alone in the process, and the fear and anxiety of not knowing what happens with the case can be deafening. Your Calgary criminal lawyer can help you with emotional and mental support and is someone you can talk to about your case at any time. 

Click here if you are interested in more information about what a Calgary criminal lawyer does for you pre-trial, during the trial and post-trial


Hire Your Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Now


Time is of the essence when building your criminal case. You need to start immediately, so you have the best chance for your case. Do your research on who will be representing you, and hire a criminal lawyer in Calgary that is committed to offering you the best legal advice and service possible. 


When it comes to your future, there is no second chance. Hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.




Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.

Whether due to costs, circumstances or a lack of options, not everyone can access civil or criminal lawyers in Calgary and Edmonton. As such, those that struggle with accessing lawyers have an opportunity to enquire about pro bono options. 


What are pro bono lawyers? How do they work? And how do you access them in Alberta? This guide provides you with all the essential information regarding pro bono lawyers. 


Pro Bono & Criminal Lawyers in Calgary


What is Pro Bono? 

Firstly, pro bono comes from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, which translates to “for the public good.” In modern-day terms, it means for free and to the benefit of those that require specific services.  


How Do Pro Bono Legal Services Work? 

All provinces in Canada have pro bono services and committees where attorneys can volunteer their time to help people with their legal issues. The services work because lawyers provide their legal services, or specific services, free of charge. Individuals can access these lawyers through these committees and organizations. 


However, in many cases, Calgary criminal lawyers can also privately accept cases pro bono or offer a significantly lower fee. In these situations, the client and the lawyer will agree to a deal that sees them pay a lower fee or zero charges. You will be able to access attorneys that are dedicated leaders in their field, such as civil, family, or DUI lawyers in Calgary


Pro bono work doesn’t just include free services for individuals. In specific situations, lawyers might provide legal assistance to these committees and organizations to improve a community, or specific legal areas, such as domestic violence, drink driving or drug-related offences. 


criminal-lawyers-calgary

How Do I Access Pro Bono Services in Alberta? 

The primary association that deals with pro bono lawyers in Alberta is the Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA). They are a legal community that encourages, creates and promotes opportunities for lawyers to provide pro bono for low-income Albertans that need services. However, it should be noted that they are not a direct provider but can help you find services and committees that do. PBLA supports the following programs: 


Civil Claims Duty Counsel 

  • Which assists Albertans who are engaged in civil litigation. 

Queen’s Bench Court Assistance Program

  • This program is aimed at assisting self-represented litigants with civil (non-family) matters in Queen’s Bench proceedings.

Help for Non-Profits

  • Non-profit organizations and charities can now enquire about discrete legal issues in this unique program. Through the VLS Roster Program, PBLA tries to match non-profits and charitable organizations with volunteer lawyers.

Other clinics in Alberta can help you with your search for pro bono lawyers:


Calgary Legal Guidance (CLG)

  • If you do not qualify for Legal Aid, CLG staff and volunteers can assist you with connections to volunteer lawyers, who provide 30-minute appointments of free legal advice.   

Edmonton Community Legal Centre (ECLC)

  • The ECLC provides legal assistance and justice challenges for low and moderate-income people. They can assist with issues such as employment, human rights, debt, small claims, income support, and immigration matters. Similar to other clinics, pro bono lawyers provide free legal advice at evening clinics, and in some cases, will further assist clients with their cases. They also have a legal clinic in Grande Prairie.

Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic

  • Headquartered in Red Deer, this legal clinic offers evening clinics where volunteer lawyers give legal advice. This service is particularly aimed at individuals in smaller, rural areas in Alberta. 

Lethbridge Legal Guidance (LLG)

  • Pro bono lawyers provide free legal assistance, information, and advocacy for Lethbridge people who do not qualify for Legal Aid. Matters can include family, civil, employment, immigration and criminal law.

Key Takeaway for Pro Bono & Criminal Lawyers in Calgary


The key takeaway from this guide is that if you struggle with affording criminal lawyers, there are options available for you to access them for pro bono or at a reduced rate. The above organizations can help you find criminal defence lawyers in Calgary or Edmonton that offer pro bono legal advice or services. 




Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected]a for your free consultation.

Movies and television have created an image of criminal lawyers. They act a certain way and conduct specific jobs. 


But that’s the furthest thing from the truth. 


They fulfil many important roles during a criminal case, and having an in-depth understanding of the work involved can shed light on their exploits. 


This guide looks at the work a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary does in three stages: Pre-Trial, During The Trial and Post-Trial, and how they can assist the defendant. 


What A Calgary Criminal Lawyer Does Pre-Trial  


The Assignment of the Case

The criminal defence lawyer can be contacted directly by the defendant or assigned the case through the Alberta courts. In most cases, criminal lawyers are part of a larger firm that provides services for defendants. Other criminal lawyers are public defenders who are paid by the public defender’s office. It is best to hire a lawyer that is an expert in their field: such as a DUI lawyer or a sexual assault attorney


Individuals who struggle to hire a lawyer can contact Legal Aid for assistance or the Law Society of Alberta for more information. 


The Interview 

Once the lawyer has been appointed, they will have an opportunity to meet with the defendant directly. They will discuss, in detail, the situation and circumstances around the case. During this questioning period – which might be over a few sessions – the lawyer will learn about the case’s possible defences and strengths and weaknesses. It is best if the defendant is open about the case, thereby avoiding any issues during the trial. It may take up to 8 weeks or more to obtain full disclosure regarding a case.


Investigating the Case

Although an interview might be enough, criminal defence lawyers can conduct investigations into the case to build arguments, counter-evidence and a stronger defence against the prosecutor’s charges. 


Most significantly, they have the right to review the prosecution’s case before it is submitted to the jury, thus allowing them to have an opportunity to find any possible holes in the case. During this period, the attorney can study the case’s facts and theories and have evidence independently tested. 


The process might include the following: 

  • Questioning police about the procedures used for the case
  • Talking to witnesses who have information
  • Collecting evidence about the case 
  • Gathering information and using an expert witness to prove their point 

Jury Selection for the Trial 

The prosecutors and the criminal defence lawyers decide who is allowed to be a juror, removing anyone who may be biased against the defendant or have other contributing previous histories or beliefs. 


calgary-crimininal-defence-lawyer

How The Calgary Criminal Lawyer Assists The Client 


Offering Support & Guidance

This might be a difficult time for the defendant, so the attorney will do what they can to offer guidance and support to avoid further problems in the future. 


Present The Defendant With Options 

Upon reviewing all the evidence and the information, the lawyer will provide the defendant with options about whether they like to proceed. It can result in the prosecution dropping the case (after discussions), agreeing to a lesser plea bargain or, unfortunately, going to court for the trial.


Plea Bargaining

This process is known for talking about the case’s status and negotiating with the prosecutor regarding any particular plea bargain. The criminal lawyer will aim to secure a favourable deal for the defendant, resulting in a reduction of charges or the charges being dropped. 


What A Calgary Criminal Lawyer Does During A Trial 


Trial Participation

When the trial begins, the lawyer fights for their client. They examine witnesses and evidence, providing their own assessments of the evidence and try to convince the jury that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof. Rarely will the defendant be called up to testify (despite movies doing such a thing). 


What A Calgary Criminal Lawyer Does Post-Trial  


Sentencing

The criminal defence lawyer can represent the defendant during the sentencing phase, during which they can discuss factors that can help convince the judge or jury to limit the severity of the penalty. They can also negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the sentencing. 


Appealing The Decision 

The defendant has an opportunity to appeal their sentence if there are grounds to do so. The criminal defence lawyer will explain the appeals process’s validity and whether there is an opportunity for success. 


This in-depth blog explains the lengths and works that a Calgary criminal defence lawyer undergoes before, during and after a trial. We hope that it opens the eyes to the amount of work that a lawyer does regularly. 




Joel Chevrefils, Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call today on 403-830-1980 or email [email protected] for your free consultation.