Blog

What ‘Sexual Assault’ Means

Many people do not have a clear understanding about the charge of sexual assault. The charge of sexual assault has a very broad application in Canadian law.

Don’t talk yourself into a criminal conviction

Whether you are innocent or guilty, answering police questions without first talking to a lawyer is a mistake many people make. Up to eight in 10 people I counsel have volunteered to talk without first getting legal advice. For some, the lapse in judgment has been a painful lesson.

Rehabilitation should always trump vengeance in our judicial system

We are bound by the law. Our system of justice has evolved over the years with the lofty ideal of maintaining order and serving the public good. As society changes, we must adapt to new realities, but we should never sway from the notion that a law lacking in fairness is not justice.

Alberta’s ban on carding a positive step

Alberta’s recent decision to ban carding while allowing legitimate street checks to continue is a welcome policy change that should reduce allegations of discrimination against the police.

Timeliness of sexual assault trials another victim of COVID-19

The right to a timely trial is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but that legislative promise is endangered by the coronavirus lockdown. Those involved in sexual assault cases are especially impacted, considering the painful social stigma that accompanies the crime.

What you should do if you have been charged with sexual assault

When you are charged with sexual assault it may seem as if the entire world is against you. Because some assume that the accused is guilty until proven innocent, the stigma associated with a sexual assault allegation can destroy families, ruin livelihoods and leave reputations in tatters. 

Social unrest and the call to defund the police

As a criminal defence lawyer, I believe it is important for police to be held accountable for their actions. To some extent, the courts are able to do that but certainly, there can be a more fulsome and effective manner to deal with police outside of the court.

Pre-screening criminal charges only makes sense

If justice delayed is justice denied, then news that Alberta Justice and Solicitor General continues to examine a system that has Crown prosecutors screen all criminal charges before they are laid by police is certainly cause for optimism.

Bill 21 - the real cost of decriminalizing impaired driving

Decriminalizing impaired driving is a flawed concept that would remove protections under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and could potentially lead to massive state intrusion into the personal lives of Albertans.

Spanking Your Kids, How Far Is Too Far?

Is it legal to spank your child in Canada? The law in Canada recognizes some situations exist where a parent or legal guardian may use reasonable force on a child. 

 

COVID19 and the Justice System

The current COVID-19 (aka – the 2019 novel coronavirus) pandemic is affecting the world in many ways. This blog will address how the Justice System and the Courts in Alberta have responded to the pandemic.

The Domestic Violence Process and Immediate Consequences: Part 3

COVID 19 and Release Conditions 
Unfortunately, the entire world is in a state of emergency. Prior to Covid – 19, your first court appearance was generally only a week or two from when you were initially charged. This is no longer the case. 

The Domestic Violence Process and Immediate Consequences: Part 1

Domestic violence charges are on the rise in Alberta and North America. This is in part due to the #METOO movement and the fear of police scrutiny from the general public if they do not charge anyone and everyone with an assault after a complaint is made.

Stigma of criminal activity lingers

A criminal conviction brings an element of social stigma to those involved, but when information can live forever online, even being charged can affect your reputation indefinitely, says Calgary criminal lawyer Greg Dunn.

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