Defending a Gang by Any Other Name

Everyone deserves justice, and the full protection of their rights no matter what crimes they've been accused of. When it comes to Calgary citizens accused of gang-related crimes, this is more true than ever.

It's easy to make gang members look frightening or downright evil in the press. Few people realize how young and vulnerable most future gang members are when they first start to see gang life as an attractive option; having worked on numerous gang-related cases in my capacity as a Calgary defence lawyer, I am acutely aware that clients accused of gang affiliations want a secure and happy life as much as anyone in Calgary.

The classification of certain people as "gang members" hurts their chances for achieving the same level of freedom and opportunity enjoyed by other Calgarians. It is a stain that is hard to wash off, and a stigma that can prevent employment and educational opportunities for years to come.

Just the accusation or suspicion of gang involvement is enough to warrant increased scrutiny by Calgary Police, according to the law. There is the potential of having charges laid against you, simply for being associated with others accused of committing crimes.

Gang-related crimes are treated somewhat differently under the law, and I wouldn't be an effective defence lawyer if I didn't understand that an approach such cases making the necessary adjustments. But those accused of gang-related crimes want the same justice as everybody else, and they deserve it, too.

I do my best to provide it.