Frequently Asked Questions

If you suspect or know that you have a warrant for your arrest, then give us a call. You will need to turn yourself in at the police station but you can retain us beforehand to be available if you need to be represented at a bail hearing. We can also be available to give additional legal advice after your arrest.

Some people just want to get their charges dealt with quickly by pleading guilty at their first court appearance. When you enter a guilty plea, you are accepting the police's version of events, admitting to the elements of the offence, waiving your right to trial, and are subject to whatever sentence the judge deems appropriate. Most importantly, you will get a criminal record. A criminal record stays with you for the rest of your life unless you get a pardon. Even if you get a pardon in Canada, travel to other countries may be difficult because they may not recognize the pardon.

If you are concerned about the consequences of a guilty plea, then please give us a call. We can help identify possible defences that will give you a reason to plead not guilty and set your matter for trial. If we determine that there are no defences available to you, then at least you know that you are not passing up on a viable defence.

At your first appearance in court, the clerk will ask the prosecutor how they are proceeding. The prosecutor will say 'summarily' or 'by indictment'. For almost all criminal offences, the prosecutor has to make a choice on how to proceed. How the prosecutor proceeds will determine the maximum punishment you can face if found guilty as well as where you can hold your trial.

If the prosecutor proceeds summarily, then he is looking for a sentence in the lower range. This also means that if you want to go to trial, you can only have it in Provincial Court. If the prosecutor proceeds by indictment, then he is looking for a sentence in the upper range available for that offence. The range of punishment is different for every offence. When the prosecutor proceeds by indictment, then you can have a trial in Provincial Court or Queen's Bench. If you have a trial in Queen's Bench, then you have the option of being tried by a jury or by a judge alone. When you chose to have a trial in Queen's Bench, then you have to also decide whether you want to have a Preliminary Inquiry. This Inquiry determines whether there is some evidence for all the charges laid against you.

If you are wondering about the implications of the prosecutor's choice in your case, then please call us to arrange a consultation. 

Do you have the time to educate yourself on:

- the current state of criminal law and Charter rights (the government regularly makes amendments to the Criminal Code)?

- recent court decisions on how the law is interpreted?

- the laws of evidence?

- the rules of court and trial procedure?

We bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your case so that you can make informed decisions and be assured that you are not passing on a defence that could save you from a criminal conviction and loss of liberty.

Once you retain us, we will do the following for you:

1. Ordering and reviewing the disclosure (i.e. witness statements, police reports, etc)

2. Making preliminary court appearances on your behalf. This is significant if you would prefer to go to work rather than sit in a courtroom all day.

3. Speaking to the prosecutor on your behalf. Trying to speak to a prosecutor without legal representation at the courthouse can be frustrating and involve waiting all day for an opportunity to have your matter addressed.

4. Giving advice on your options.

5. Preparing for and conducting bail hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials. 

306-131 First Avenue
spruce grove alberta t7x 2z8

Phone: 780-948- 9186
Fax: 780-948-0970

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