FAQs*

Being investigated, arrested and/or charged with a criminal offence is a very stressful and scary situation. It does NOT have to be. Equipped with the knowledge of what to do and what not to say, can greatly assist a Client – not only at the time of arrest, but also when it comes time to your defense. The purpose of these FAQ’s is to assist a Client when dealing with the Police, the Court process, and selecting the right experienced Criminal Lawyer.

Criminal Law Experience

Q: My life is on the line, what kind of criminal law experience do you have?

A: Before becoming a Vancouver Criminal Lawyer, I was a Prosecutor for 5 1/2 years. I prosecuted in Traffic Court, Youth Court and Adult Court in both Vancouver and North Vancouver at the Provincial Court level and I also spent over a year in the Supreme Court of British Columbia prosecuting crimes from drunk driving / DUI to sexual assault and 1st degree murder. I also continue to be hired at times by the Prosecutor’s office to conduct prosecutions in both Vancouver and North Vancouver. I use the valuable knowledge and trial experience that I gained while a Prosecutor, when defending YOUR case; because I know the law from BOTH sides.

Q: Why should I hire you - there are so many lawyers to choose from?

A: I am an experienced Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a proven track record of success (see recent cases), and I pride myself on being respected amongst my peers – both in the Defense bar and the Prosecutor’s office. As a former Prosecutor, I know the law from both sides and I use that to YOUR advantage when defending your case; whether in negotiation with Crown or during Trial. I pride myself on providing high quality, hands-on, confidential service, and I work diligently on behalf of my Client while attempting to obtain the best possible result within the framework of the law. I have a 24 hour answering service – I am always available to you. My Retainer and Fee Agreements are in writing – providing confidence and certainly to the Client that there are no hidden costs or additional fees other than what is agreed upon. My staff are friendly, knowledgable and will assist your needs. My office is conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, there is plenty of parking and I accept all major forms of payment. The bottom line is that I take care of YOU, because I know what is at stake; because for you, losing is not an option. Having an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer on your side will ensure that the Police and the Prosecutor are put to the strict test of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and can make the difference between winning and losing – be it at Bail, Trial or sentencing. As a former Prosecutor, I know what to look for. I know what needs to be challenged. I know what has to be proven. If there is a viable legal defence available, a breach of your rights, a challenge to the evidence, and/or an argument to be made (technical or otherwise), I will do everything possible to find it. As a well trained Criminal Lawyer, I have the background, experience and legal prowess to challenge the Prosecutor’s case, and/or put forth a defense, and/or make appropriate submissions in attempts to obtain a winning result. While true there is no guarantee of any result, why deny yourself that opportunity at success? Let me show you what I can do for you!

Criminal Charges

Q: What type of criminal charges do you defend?

A: I practice exclusively in the field of criminal law and the defense of ALL criminal law charges. The bulk of my practice involves drunk driving / DUI, driving while prohibited / driving while suspended, drug offences (possession, trafficking, marijuana grow operations), and crimes of violence (assault, sexual assault, domestic assault, threatening, and criminal harassment). However, I also deal with weapon offences, fraud, unlawful confinement, kidnapping, return of seized monies and property, fraud and all other criminal code offences.

Drunk Driving / DUI

Q: I blew over the legal limit (over .08), do I have a chance of winning?

A: YES. I have successfully defended Client’s with blood alcohol readings of over 250 mg. The criminal charge of drunk driving, DUI, impaired driving or refusal are all very technical and thus require the Police to adhere to strict procedures and they also must not breach your rights as protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Having an experienced drunk driving lawyer is vital in reviewing the Police reports to determine whether any breaches, errors or omissions were made by Police. If procedure has not been followed and/or if your rights have been breached (technical or otherwise), the breath readings may be challenged and successfully excluded.

Q: When I was released, I was given a 90 day Administrative Driving Prohibition - I can't lose my license, can I challenge the prohibition?

A: YES. You have 7 days from the date you receive the Notice to file for a review of the prohibition. You should contact my office immediately for a free consultation to discuss whether there are grounds available to challenge the prohibition.

Q: If I get arrested in a drunk driving case and I am taken to the Police Detachment, when can I call a lawyer?

A: By law you have the RIGHT to contact any Criminal Defense Lawyer of your choice BEFORE providing samples of your breath at the Police Detachment.

Arrested

Q: If I get arrested in the middle of the night, will you be there for me?

A:YES. I have a 24 hour answering service who call me immediately upon a Client being arrested. As soon as I am contacted I work diligently in order to secure your release. Depending on the seriousness of the allegation against you and depending on your background (criminal record, etc.), I can sometimes negotiate your release over the phone; other times, it will require that you be brought before a Justice of the Peace or Provincial or Supreme Court Judge.

Q: While I am in custody, should I talk to Police?

A: NO. You are under no legal obligation to talk to the Police. Upon arrest you are entitled to retain and instruct legal counsel without delay.

You should ALWAYS invoke your right to Counsel and seek instructions. Call me immediately and I will instruct you on whether you should or should not talk to Police.

Under Investigation

Q: What should I do if I am being investigated by Police?

A: Call me immediately to discuss the matter for which you are under investigation. If retained, I act as your “security blanket” and the buffer between yourself and the Police. I work diligently on your behalf in order to attempt to ensure that charges do not get laid; if they do, then I act as your Criminal Lawyer, and defend your case in attempts to obtain the possible result within the framework of the law.

Q: What do I do if the Police come to my home or place of work and question me?

A: If you are under arrest then other than providing basic information (such as your name and date of birth), you are under NO legal obligation to talk to the Police and should contact me immediately.

Driving While Prohibited

Q: If I get a Notice of Prohibition in the mail, what should I do?

A: Unless you want to accept the prohibition, a letter must be written to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles within 21 days of the date of receipt of the Notice to explain why the prohibition should not be imposed, or why the prohibition should be reduced. If you do not write within the 21 day period, a Notice of Prohibition will be sent confirming the prohibition against you.

Q: Can I write the letter myself?

A: Yes; however, it is best to retain a lawyer who is skilled in writing these type of letters and knows what is required to address the Superintendent’s concerns. While there is no guarantee, I am often able to convince the Superintendent to either cancel or reduce the prohibition.

Free Consultation

Q: Is the consultation with you or someone else from your office?

A: The consultation is always with me, in person, and is confidential.

Q: How long does the consultation take?

A: There is no time constraint. I appreciate that you are scared, stressed and are looking for answers. As such, I provide a comfortable atmosphere and non-rushed legal advice. If possible, I will take the time to read through your materials and provide you with an opinion as to the issues, strengths and weaknesses of your case. I will do everything I can to answer your questions effectively, efficiently and in the strictest of confidence.

Q: What should I bring with me to my consultation with you?

A: Any documents that the Police and/or the Court has given you – this allows me to sit down with you and take the time to review and explain these materials to you in plain, everyday language. I review the materials with the view of what, if any, defenses are available to you.

Legal Fees

Q: I have heard of hidden fees or lawyers charging additional costs after a fee has been quoted - does that happen with you?

A: NO. I have a written Retainer and Fixed Fee Agreement which outline exactly what my services cover and what it will cost. Once signed, it affords the Client with the protection and confidence in knowing exactly how much the defense will cost and not a penny more.

Q: Do I have to pay the full fee up front?

A: No. There is an option of entering into a payment plan. The payment dates and amounts are agreed upon in consultation with the Client.

Q: What payment methods are available?

A: My office accepts Visa, Mastercard, Interac (debit), Certified Cheque, Bank draft or Cash.

Court Appearances

Q: If I retain your services, do I have to go to Court?

A: NO. As part of my services, I make ALL Court appearances on your behalf.

Fingerprints and Photographs

Q: The Police took my fingerprints and photographs - can I get them destroyed?

A: YES. Upon successfully beating the criminal charges, I can make a request to the Police to have your fingerprints and photographs destroyed. Written confirmation of the destruction is available should the Client request it.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

Q: Should I just plead guilty and get on with my life?

A: Absolutely not. Our criminal justice system requires that the Prosecution prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Having an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer on your side will ensure that the Police and the Prosecutor are put to this strict test and obey the letter of the law. If you plead guilty without the assistance of an experienced Criminal Lawyer, then you risk accepting responsibility for a crime which may have a defence – technical or otherwise. In other words, why accept responsiblity for something the Police and Prosecutor may not be able to prove? This is where having an experienced and well trained Criminal Defense Lawyer on your side can make the difference between winning and losing. I know what to look for. I know what needs to be challenged. I know what has to be proven. If there is a viable legal defence available, a breach of your rights, a challenge to the evidence, and/or an argument to be made (technical or otherwise), I will find it – why should the Client not afford himself of it, instead of pleading guilty? Simply put, if you plead guilty on your own, you risk (amongst other things) the possibility of a criminal record; which can carry with it negative and potential life altering ramifications from denial of entry to certain countries (such as the United States), to being denied employment, not to mention embarrasment and shame. As a skilled and experienced Criminal Lawyer, I work hard on your behalf to make every effort in ensuring that a criminal record is avoided. As a well trained Criminal Lawyer, I have the background, experience and legal prowess to challenge the Prosecutor’s case, and/or put forth a defense, and/or make appropriate submissions in attempts to get you a great result that either leads to a great result – be that an acquittal, the avoidance of a criminal record or even keeping someone out of jail. While true there is no guarantee of any result, why deny yourself that opportunity at success? Let me show you what I can do for you!

*Please be advised that the preceding “FAQ’s” (corresponding questions and answers) are not comprehensive legal explanations. Rather, the questions and answers are designed to provide a brief, general, and basic description / understanding of some of the most common questions and answers regarding criminal proceedings and related topics. The answers may vary depending on the particular criminal issue and circumstance; as such, the content of this FAQ section is not actual legal advice. Do not use or otherwise rely on, any of the content contained within the FAQ section without first seeking proper legal advice.