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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.