Criminal Defence

  • 10 Dos and Don’ts for Your Criminal Case

    Individuals facing criminal charges in Calgary often do not know where to turn next. TheCriminal Code of Canada establishes the elements of proof for criminal charges, and the Crown prosecutor has the burden of proving you guilty of a criminal charge.

  • Alberta’s DUI Laws are Changing Soon

    Changes are coming to drunk driving laws in Alberta. The new law, set to take effect in July, would largely decriminalize drunk driving for first-time offenders in Alberta.

  • Arrest Warrants are a Powerful Law-Enforcement Tool

    An arrest warrant is a powerful tool. It gives police the ability to arresta suspect and bring that person before the court that issued the warrant.

  • Calgarians Facing 94 Criminal Charges Each

    Rural crime busts are becoming increasingly more common. Such was the case earlier this summer when prosecutors charged two individuals from Calgary and one individual from Edmonton with a combined total of 282 charges.

  • Calgary Assault Convictions Have Serious Repercussions

    Calgary assault charges are fact-specific. If youwere charged with an assault crime, time may be of the essence, and you need experienced legal counsel on your side who can safeguard all your legal rights.

  • Calgary Public Intoxication

    Under both provincial and federal law, you can be criminally charged for being intoxicated while in public. Specifically, under Section 175 of the Criminal Code, it is a criminal offence for an individual not in a private home to cause a “disturbance” – either by being drunk in public or while in close proximity to a public place.

  • Can a Minor File a Police Report Without a Parent Present?

    Generally speaking, anyone who knows that a crime has been committed can report it by filing a police report. However, the Crown prosecutor ultimately makes the decision about whether to bring criminal charges.

  • Can I Avoid Jail Time for a First Offence of Credit Card Fraud?

    Fraud is a serious criminal offence that may result in an equally serious penalty upon conviction. The law defines fraud as depriving a person of his or her property through the use of dishonesty or deceit.

  • Can I Be Arrested for Using My Ex’s Credit Cards?

    Spouses and others in a domestic relationship (that is, boyfriends and girlfriends who live together) commonly have joint accounts and may even use one another’s bank cards and credit cards under certain circumstances. However, when a relationship goes south and a spouse or domestic partner continues to do this, he or she may have gone beyond the scope of the permitted use.

  • Can I Go to Prison for Forgery?

    Forgery, a type of white collar crime under the Calgary Criminal Code, means imitating, falsifying, or attempting to pass off signatures or documents as genuine. In order to qualify as forgery, the document at issue must normally affect someone’s legal rights.

  • Can Police Charge You With Selling Drugs if the Informant Receives No Drugs?

    Law enforcement authorities sometimes use informants in connection with drug transactions in order to try and lure unknowing individuals into an illegal drug sale. In some instances, these informants are police officers, criminal investigators, and other law enforcement personnel.

  • Can the Police Stop You for No Reason?

    While police in Canada cannot make a traffic stop for no reason, the reasons for which they can stop a driver generally might seemto be slender justification. 

  • Cell Phone Privacy Rights: Can My Cell Phone Contents Be Searched if I’m Arrested?

    Many Calgarians are more or less totally dependent upon their cell phones and store large amounts of information on their phones. This information typically includes notes, telephone numbers, and other personal and private information.

  • Certain Crimes Increase in Calgary so Far in 2018

    Crimes targeting individuals, including robberies and assaults, have been steadily increasing in and around Calgary during the first part of 2018. Crimes against individuals can also include sex offences and home invasions.

  • Challenging Eyewitness Identifications in Criminal Cases

    Wrongful convictions can occur when an eyewitness misidentifies a suspect. These misidentifications can occur for any number of reasons.

  • Child Neglect Can Mean Jail Time

    Parents who are unable to take care of their children face the prospect of losing them. But as arecent case out of southern Alberta has shown, parents could also face potential imprisonment for neglect. If you’ve been accused of neglecting your child, you need an Alberta criminaldefence lawyerto begin building an immediatedefence.

  • Claiming Self-Defence Against Assault Charges Can Be a Murky Area of Law

    Whether defending your home, your business, your family, or yourself, Canadians often believe that the law does not favor their efforts to defend themselves.It is true that the law is a little grey on the matter in places.

  • Consequences of a Theft Conviction

    If you are found guilty or convicted of committing a theft offence in Calgary, there will likely be some serious ramifications. Theft crimes can range from minor shoplifting charges to major automobile theft or embezzlement of a large sum of money.

  • Conviction of Criminal Charges can Have a Dramatic Effect on Your Immigration Status

    Unless you already are a naturalized citizen of Canada,conviction of a crime often can result in your permanent deportation. This can happen regardless of the length of yourlegal residentstatus, and even if you havereceived permanent resident status.

  • Cyberbullying Charges in Calgary

    Teens and young children spend more and more of their time online, soit isn’t surprising that they fight online as well. Angry words that were once shouted in a school hallway are now likely to be expressed on social media pages like Facebook or Instagram.

  • Do You Need a Defence Lawyer For an Indictable Offence?

    If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Alberta—or anywhere in Canada, for that matter—there are two main categories into which that offence can fall. Criminal offences in Canada are either summary conviction offences or indictable offences.

  • During the Arrest Process, Stay Calm and Remember Your Rights

    Being arrested for a criminal offence can be a very scary experience. If you are arrested for a crime in Calgary, the first thing you should remember is to keep calm and refrain from becoming upset, yelling, or resisting arrest.

  • Embezzlement Charges Under Canadian Law

    Under Canadian law, embezzlement falls under the umbrella of theft offences. In a nutshell, embezzlement is a type of financial fraud that involves the unauthorized taking or use of another person’s property or money, with the intention of depriving that person of the property or money on either a temporary or permanent basis.

  • Excluding Evidence in a Criminal Case

    In many ways, theCanadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is analogous to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, when it comes to excluding evidence at criminal trials. If you have been charged with a crime in Calgary, Alberta, and there has been some indication that one or more of your rights under theCharter have been breached, you may be able to have the questionable evidence excluded at trial.

  • Fraud Charges and Convictions Under Canadian Law

    Under Canadian law, criminal fraud is broadly defined as taking money, property, or services, by means of falsehood, deceit, or dishonesty. Related criminal charges include theft and embezzlement.

  • Fraud Offences are Common in Calgary

    A surprising number of criminal cases fall under the category of “fraud offences.” Generally speaking, fraud refers to acting dishonestly to try to wrongfully obtain something.

  • Hire the Right Lawyer for Your Bail Hearing

    If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offence in Canada, you have a right to bail. The conditions of that bail, however, can be subject to interpretation.

  • Hiring the Right Criminal Defence Lawyer

    If you have been charged with or convicted of a crime in Calgary, hiring a good criminal defence lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to obtaining a favourable resolution for your case. Upon sustaining a guilty finding or criminal conviction, you may receive a harsh penalty or sentence. Moreover, a criminal conviction can make it extremely difficult for you to get (or keep) a good job, go to school, or find a decent place to live.

  • How Do I Beat a Gun Charge in Calgary?

    The Criminal Code of Canada establishes many criminal offences for unlawfully possessing and using firearms in Calgary. Moreover, when it comes to convictions and sentencing, Calgary courts typically treat these offences very seriously. If you are facing a gun charge in Calgary, you need an experienced lawyer on your side who will effectively defend you in court and fight for your legal rights.

  • How Do Police Get Search Warrants?

    Calgary search warrants allow a police officer or other investigator to preserve, examine, and locate evidence that may be related to a crime. Search warrants are issued both for purposes of investigation, as well as for collecting and gathering evidence that may be related to a crime.

  • How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

    Recent advancements in technology over the past several years have made social media websites more popular than ever. These popular sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have revolutionized how people communicate and share their lives with one another.

  • How to Beat an Indecent Exposure Charge

    The Criminal Code of Canada penalizes indecent exposure and other indecent acts in Calgary. A conviction for indecent exposure can result in fines and other serious penalties. It may also result in a criminal record, making it harder to find employment or a place to live in the future.

  • How to Fight Murder Charges

    Murder is probably the most serious charge that a criminal defendant can face in Calgary, and a conviction can result in some of the most serious criminal penalties available. If the government has charged you with committing first or second-degree murder in Calgary, you need a strong legal defence and an experienced lawyer representing you.

  • If You Are Charged With Theft, You Have Defences Available

    Theftchargesare serious accusations.Theft, which is taking something that does not belong to you without the permission of the rightful owner, is punishable byas many as 10 years in prison if the value of the property stolen is more than $5,000. Even if the property stolen is less than $5,000, the penaltymay still range to as many as two years in prison.

  • If You are Convicted of an Offence, Your Sentencing Hearing Is Critical

    Consider yourself in a worst-case scenario: you were charged with a criminal offence, you are facing potential jail time,and your sentencing hearing is approaching. If this is truly a worst-case scenario, in all likelihood you are looking at serious jail time if your lawyer doesn’t pull something out of his or her hat. Your lawyer must have the right approach to a sentencing hearing to achieve the best result for you.

  • Increased Law Enforcement for Victoria Day

    Both local police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police step up traffic-law enforcement efforts over Victoria Day. RCMP officers and local sheriff’s deputies are out in force.

  • Information About Reasonable Grounds

    In Canada, pursuant to both the common law and theCriminal Code, police officers are allowed to make arrests. To do so, however, the officer must normally have Reasonable Grounds and a warrant. In some instances, officers can make an arrest without having a warrant.

  • Is a Plea Bargain Right for You?

    If you are facing criminal charges in Canada, you have two choices: Fight the charges all the way through a verdict at trial, or accept a plea bargainwith the Crown’s prosecutor before the matter goes to trial.

  • Is It Always Best to Fight Your Criminal Charges at Trial?

    It is virtually impossible to say whether fighting criminal charges at trial is always better than a plea bargain. The answer depends upon the circumstances of each case.

  • Know Your Rights to a Lawyer in Alberta

    Under Canada’s Charter of Rights, if you have been arrested, you have a fundamental right to a lawyer. Anytime you are detained by police or arrested, you have the right to speak with a lawyer right away.

  • Penalties for Calgary Driving Offences

    Calgary driving offences, which can range from speeding tocareless driving to impaired driving, can have serious short- and long-term legal consequences. The experienced criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence understand these potential penalties and are ready to represent clients facing driving offences.

  • Police Body Cams—Do We Have Privacy Rights?

    There has been an ongoing debate in recent years about whether or not Calgary police officers should wear body cameras while they are on the beat. A police body camera is a small camera that an officer typically wears on his or her chest or head. The camera has a microphone attached to it that captures internal data and sound, storing the recorded footage for a later viewing if necessary.

  • Probation Violations Can Have Serious Consequences

    If you are on probation for a criminal conviction, you must be extremely careful not to violate the terms of your probation. Even a minor violation will result in revocation.

  • Should I Tell My Lawyer Everything? Solicitor-Client Privilege Explained

    Generally speaking, communications made between clients and their lawyers are privileged. The main purpose of this solicitor-client privilege is to ensure that when a client speaks to his or her lawyer, all communications will be completely honest and open.

  • Should You Ever Represent Yourself in Criminal Court?

    Any type of criminal charge is a serious matter. Even convictions for minor offences can result in serious legal penalties, including substantial fines and jail time.

  • Standards for Intoxication for Using Opioids When Driving

    There is no disputing that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs (including opioids) or alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Drunk and drugged driving can lead to serious accidents, personal injuries, and criminal charges for the offending driver.

  • Ten Dos and Don’ts for Your Criminal Case

    Facing criminal charges in Calgary can be a very scary prospect. You may be wondering what to do next and what you should do (or not do) while you are awaiting trial in your case. If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offence in Calgary, pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada, the legal team at Bourdon Defence can ensure that you have effective, result-oriented representation throughout your case, up through and including trial.

  • The Alberta Sex Offender Registry

    Sex offence convictions carry harsh penalties, and if you have been found guilty, you will likely be required to register with the Canada sex offender registry. You will also be required to regularly update your personal information with the registry on a regular basis.

  • The Criminal Appeal Process

    Sometimes, judges and magistrates make mistakes, and under Canadian law, there is a direct right ofappeal in criminal cases. Our lawyers have represented countless criminal defendants in appeal proceedings over the last15 years, and we may be able to represent you.

  • The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act Is Not a Blanket Protection

    Opioid overdoses pose a considerable problem throughoutCanada. In fact,every part of the country has suffered from what is now being called an epidemic. There were nearly3,000 deaths apparently related to opioids throughoutCanada in 2016.

  • The Penalties for Fraud Can Be Serious

    Fair and honest dealing is central toCanadiansociety. It is so important that anyone who defrauds the public or another person of property, money, valuable security, or service by falsehood, deceit or other fraudulent means maybe prosecuted pursuant tosection 380 of the Criminal Code.

  • The Pitfalls of Going Pro Se as Your Own Lawyer

    If you face charges of a crime in Calgary, it is not usually a good idea to go pro se—or to represent yourself at trial and other court proceedings. In fact, if you show up to court without a lawyer, a judge can make you proceed forward by yourself. If you are facing criminal charges, the experienced criminal defence legal team at Bourdon Defence can assist you with your case.

  • The Prosecutor Might Be Friendly—But Is Not Your Friend

    If you are facing criminal charges, you might already have come in contact with the prosecutor, or perhaps one of the prosecutor’s assistants. Often, the prosecutor will take a sympathetic approach, claiming that this is all just an unfortunate situation and if we work together we can work it all out.

  • What Are the Collateral Consequences of an Indictable Offence Conviction

    The maximum penalties for an indictable offence conviction under the Calgary Criminal Code may include some period of incarceration—typically, for more than one year. Penalties for these offences can also include monetary fines, as well as probation.

  • What Are the Consequences of Using Synthetic Urine?

    Using synthetic urine is becoming common practice for individuals hoping to cheat on Calgary drug tests. Synthetic urine products that are available on the market today include Quick Fix, Ultra Pure, UPass, Sub Solution, and Mangum.

  • What Are the Potential Consequences for Retail Theft?

    Retail theft, otherwise known as shoplifting, is a criminal offence in Calgary. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a person can sustain a charge or conviction for shoplifting by taking something from a retail store without properly paying for it. More specifically, retail theft involves taking someone else’s property with the specific intent of permanently or temporarily depriving the rightful owner of that property.

  • What Constitutes Child Endangerment?

    Child endangerment is a very serious criminal offence, and a conviction can land you (or a family member) behind bars for a long time. Moreover, a child endangerment conviction on your record can have personal and financial consequences for you—especially when it comes to finding a job, finding an apartment, or seeing your family (including your children).

  • What Does the “Reasonable Doubt” Standard Mean?

    When you are facing criminal charges, the Crown is required to prove that you are guiltybeyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, the Crown bears the entire burden of proof in criminal cases and the defendant does not have to testify, nor call any witnesses, nor prove anything at all. The burden of proof is on the Crownand it is a high burden.

  • What Happens if I’m Charged With Vandalism?

    A vandalism charge in Calgary falls under the umbrella of “criminal mischief.” A criminal mischief charge refers to interference with another person’s property. The potential penalties upon conviction depend upon the amount of damage caused to the property (that is, more than $5,000 or less than $5,000).

  • What Happens in a Battery Case?

    Criminal battery—or assault causing bodily harm—is a serious offence in Calgary. Battery differs slightly from the crime of assault. While a battery involves an unlawful harmful or offensive touching, an assault occurs when a person creates a reasonable apprehension of imminent contact upon another.

  • What is a Plea Bargain?

    In a nutshell, a plea bargain is a type of negotiation between a person who has been charged with a crime (usually represented by a lawyer) and a Crown prosecutor. Plea bargain agreements can take several forms.

  • What Is Probable Cause?

    Under the Criminal Code of Canada, in order for a judge to issue a warrant, including a search warrant, he or she must have probable cause. A police officer must also have probable cause to conduct a valid search.

  • What Qualifies as Stalking?

    Stalking is a common type of criminal harassment prosecuted under the Calgary Criminal Code. Stalking is a serious crime and a conviction can result in a court ordering a variety of criminal penalties, including time in jail. If someone is accusing you of stalking them, and you are arrested or charged, it is important that you seek out an experienced defence lawyer to represent you throughout your case.

  • What Sentence Will I Get for Prostitution Charges?

    The law defines prostitution as exchanging sexual services for money or some other form of compensation. Under the current version of the Criminal Code of Canada, prostitution is not explicitly prohibited. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are several criminal offences that relate to prostitution that can land you in hot water.
  • What to Do When You’ve Been Charged with a Crime

    Facing a criminal charge can be a frightening experience. Not only have you likely experienced the humiliation and degradation of an arrest the temporary loss of your freedom, but you are also likely extremely concerned about the future.

  • When Can a Confession Be Thrown out of Your Criminal Case?

    A confession is a written or oral statement in which the accused admits he or she is guilty of committing a crime that violates the Criminal Code of Canada. However, in some cases, you may be able to challenge the validity of a confession.

  • When Is a Search Illegal in Calgary?

    For a Calgary police officer or investigator to legally search your person, home, or motor vehicle, he or she must first meet certain requirements. In order to undertake the search, the officer must ordinarily have probable cause along with a warrant or a warrant exception.

  • When Is It Illegal to Have a Firearm in Alberta?

    Contrary to popular belief – particularly outside ofCanada – Canadian gun control laws do not make it impossible to own a firearm. In fact, they don’t even make itparticularly difficult.

  • When Someone Runs a Criminal Record, What Shows Up?

    Many employers and professional organizations in Calgary use the Calgary online criminal records check system when they do background checks on prospective applicants and employees. These businesses and agencies often set up their own policies and protocols regarding these criminal record checks. In some instances, employers and other organizations will not hire individuals with criminal records and/or criminal convictions to work or volunteer.

  • Why You Need an Aggressive Criminal Defence Lawyer

    The burden of proof placed upon the Crown when you are accused of a crime is heavy – theCrown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guiltybeyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Why You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Criminal Case

    If you have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offence in Calgary, it is usually not a good idea to take a “go-it-alone” approach. A good criminal defence lawyer can be your advocate throughout every stage of your criminal case and can make all the difference in the world when it comes to obtaining a favourable resolution of your case.

  • Will I Get Jail Time for a First-Time Probation Violation?

    If you or someone you love wascharged with a crime in Calgary and given probation, the probation order likely lists the terms of that probation. If you violate your probation, there is no doubt that there will be consequences.

  • Will I Go to Jail for a First-Offence Misdemeanor?

    Being arrested for a first-time misdemeanor can be an extremely scary experience. If you are arrested for and charged with a first-time misdemeanor in Calgary, you will not likely have to serve jail time.

  • Will I Lose My Professional Licence if I Am Convicted of a Felony?

    There is no disputing that a criminal conviction in Calgary can result in penalties, including fines and jail time, depending upon the offence. These penalties often depend on whether the offence is a summary conviction offence, as opposed to a more serious indictable offence.

  • Your Fundamental Right to Contact a Lawyer if You Are Arrested

    CanadaCharter of Rights establishes the fundamentalright to a lawyer when you are arrested. If you are detained or arrested, you have the right to discuss your options with a lawyer without delay.

  • Youth Crimes Follow a Pattern

    The Canadian Government enacted the Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2003 todifferentiate crimes committed by children 12 to 17 years old from crimes committed by adults. The law provides alternative methods for the police, the courts, the corrections system, and diversion programs to deal with young people who commit crimes.