a woman worried about her legal charges

5 Things to Prepare When Meeting a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Calgary

Having the right criminal defence lawyer is crucial to protecting your rights if you have been charged with a criminal offence. It’s essential to be well prepared to make the most of your consultation and lay the foundation for a strong defence strategy tailored to your specific case. Here are five important things you should bring to your meeting with your Calgary criminal defence lawyer. 


It is essential to gather and organize all relevant documents and information beforehand to provide your criminal defence lawyer with a comprehensive understanding of your case. This will help your lawyer analyze the evidence efficiently and identify potential inconsistencies or areas for further investigation. Take the following documents with you: 

  • Police report:

Make sure to request a copy of the police report. The report contains details of the incident, witness statements, and any evidence collected by the police. It provides valuable information your lawyer needs to evaluate the charges against you.

  • Court documents:

Gather any court documents you have received, such as your charging document, summonses, bail orders, and subpoenas. These documents outline the charges, important court dates, and any restrictions or conditions you must adhere to.

  • Witness statements:

Compile witness statements or a list of people who can provide information to support your defense. Witness statements can be crucial in establishing an alternative narrative, corroborating your version of events, and undermining the credibility of the prosecution's witnesses.

  • Communication with law enforcement:

Communication can be in the form of emails, letters, or text messages and should be shared with your Calgary criminal defense lawyer. These communications can shed light on the nature of your interactions with the authorities.

  • Documentary evidence:

Collect documents such as financial records, contracts, photographs, videos, and any other evidence that supports your defense. Your lawyer will need to see all the evidence to develop the best possible defense strategy.

A young man talking to his criminal lawyers

Timeline of Events

Prepare a detailed timeline of events leading up to the incident, including relevant conversations or interactions. This information can help your Calgary criminal defence lawyer to accomplish the following: 

  • Establish an alibi that could be vital in disproving the prosecution's case
  • Challenge the prosecution's version of events if there are inconsistencies or gaps in their narrative
  • Identify anyone who may have relevant knowledge that can support your case
  • Uncover procedural errors where law enforcement may have acted improperly, like conducting an unlawful search or seizure or violating other legal requirements – procedural errors can lead to the exclusion of evidence or even the dismissal of charges
  • Develop a comprehensive defence strategy by identifying strengths and weaknesses in the prosecution's case, bolstering your defence strategy

List of Questions

Open communication and a clear understanding of your legal situation will help you make informed decisions. Here are some details to consider.

  • Ask your lawyer about their experience in cases similar to yours. Inquire about their success rate and any specialized knowledge they possess.
  • Ensure you understand the charges against you and the consequences if convicted.
  • Seek clarity on the legal process, the stages involved, key deadlines and what you should expect throughout the proceedings.
  • Be clear about their availability and how you can contact them. If they have a team, inquire about who else will be working on your case and their roles. Make sure you are comfortable with the frequency of communication. 
  • Explore defence strategies that can be used in your case. Strategies can include plea bargaining, negotiation or going to trial. Be sure you understand the associated risks and benefits.
  • Discuss attorney-client privilege, which ensures that communication between you and your lawyer remains confidential. Understand what can and cannot be disclosed without your consent.
  • Discuss their fee structure, including hourly rates, flat fees, contingency fees and any additional costs that can arise during the process. 


Open and honest communication with your Calgary criminal defence lawyer is crucial. It gives them a complete understanding of the circumstances surrounding your case. Your lawyer is ethically obligated to maintain confidentiality. Transparency protects your rights and helps them develop a robust strategy that can anticipate and address potential challenges. 

Mental and Emotional Preparedness

Criminal charges are emotionally taxing. It is essential to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally before meeting your criminal defence lawyer. Acknowledge your feelings and seek support from friends, family or professional counsellors.

Friends enjoying before going to an appointment with their specialist criminal lawyers

Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyers

Preparation is key when dealing with criminal charges. The multilingual criminal defence lawyers at Muenz Criminal Law have over 25 years of expertise in criminal law. They will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. 

Complete our contact form or call 403-543-6666 for a free consultation.