We have Answers.
My name is Rick Muenz.
With over 25 years as a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary, Alberta.
I understand the justice system can seem confusing and overwhelming. At my firm, Muenz Law Office, I have been asked many questions by clients about legal procedures, including:
We appreciate that legal fees are not something the average person budgets for on a daily basis. So, when you are faced with a criminal charge, we understand that costs are top of mind.
The most accurate answer is that the costs vary from person to person, depending on the complexity of the charge and the services provided. I offer different types of payment plans, including monthly payments, in order to help you with costs so you can confidently focus on your defence.
It’s up to the crown attorney to elect how an offence will be tried in court. They may choose a summary offence or an indictable offence.
The difference is the severity of the consequences. What we do is outline the general best and worst case scenarios – such as jail time, fines, probation and contact with family- so you understand what you’re up against and can prepare for the potential outcomes.
A criminal case is between you and Canada. If there is a named victim, he or she generally does not receive any damages during a criminal proceeding. Regardless if you were found guilty or non- guilty, you may be sued for civil damages afterwards by a person or business.
For example, if you broke someone’s jaw during an altercation, you can be found guilty of an assault charge in criminal court and be sued for civil damages related to medical costs or lost wages to the victim in civil court. However should you choose to plead guilty in a criminal trial this may affect a civil proceeding.
A criminal record can prevent you from volunteering, traveling, access to family and affect current and future employment. In order to avoid the repercussions of a conviction, my team and I will look at different options to minimize the damage to your lifestyle – for example guilty pleas with a discharge, a Peace Bond (with withdrawal of the charges) or treatment and counseling such as domestic violence counseling or anger management.
There are remedies available, such as Alternative Measures, Peace Bonds or pardons and record suspensions which may also help you move forward after a criminal conviction.