Facing an Assault Charge? A Calgary Defence Lawyer's Top Advice: Part 1

A dedicated Calgary defence lawyer gives her five top pieces of advice to those charged with assault.

If you've been charged with assault in Calgary, hopefully you realize how serious the charges against you are. A conviction could mean months or even years of your life in jail, not to mention the damage to your reputation and your future prospects. While the seriousness of your charges and the legal battle you're facing should be forefront in your mind, you should also remember that you have rights, and you can take action to protect them.

When you've been accused of assault, and especially if you've been arrested and/or formally charged with the crime, it can seem like very little is in your control. The Calgary Police and Crown prosecutors are supposed to remain within the confines of the law, but it can seem like they're using their positions of power to force you to give up your rights. If you remain calm, and adhere to the following advice from an experienced Calgary defence lawyer, you'll give yourself the best possible chance to minimize the impact of the assault charges against you and to move on with your life as quickly as possible.

1. Don't Argue with Law Enforcement Talk to Your Lawyer Before the Calgary Police
One of your most essential rights, that is vital to protect, is your Charter right to speak to a defence lawyer as soon as is practically possible after you are arrested and/or charged with a crime. You will need to provide the Calgary Police or RCMP with basic identifying information at the time of your arrest, but beyond that you can request to speak with a lawyer before you answer any questions.

Exercise this right. Staying silent can potentially help in your defence, and you have the right to refuse to speak with law enforcement until you've consulted your defence lawyer.

2. Be Honest With Your Calgary Defence Lawyer
In order to provide you with the best defence possible, your lawyer will need to know the real facts of the incident that led to your assault charge. Be honest about any prior relationship you have with the others involved and about the chain of events that led to the alleged assault. Trying to hide things from your lawyer will only hurt your defence when the truth is revealed as a surprise later on in your case.

3. DON'T Contact the Accuser/Alleged Victim in Your Calgary Assault Case
Many who are accused of assault in Calgary attempt to resolve the criminal charges they are facing by contacting the alleged victim, the person they are accused of assaulting. There is not a defence lawyer or judge in Calgary who would ever recommend this course of action; representing yourself almost always puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

The only person you should be discussing the details of your case with is your defence lawyer, and they should be doing all of the work to resolve the charges against you.

FREE Initial Consultation with a Leading Calgary Defence Lawyer

If you or a family member has been charged with assault and needs legal representation, please contact my office today for a free initial consultation.