When an individual is charged with a criminal offence the cost of retaining strong legal counsel can add worry and stress to an already difficult situation. Many Calgarians have been affected by the economic situation and they may make the choice to forego legal counsel and represent themselves. This is almost always the wrong decision as a conviction can result in thousands of dollars in fines and in some cases, incarceration.
There is the option of Duty Counsel and legal aid. Duty Counsel is free lawyer that assists individuals that have yet to retain counsel. It is always advisable to speak with Duty Counsel prior to entering any guilty pleas on one’s own behalf. That said, Duty Counsel cannot run trials for an accused person. They will sometimes refer individuals to legal aid in order obtain counsel. Legal Aid will evaluate the severity of the charge as well as the individual’s financial circumstances. Should the charge be serious enough, and should your income not exceed the pre-established guidelines, a lawyer will be appointed to you. Unlike the system of our counterparts in the United States, not everyone charged with an offence receives free counsel. In fact, individuals charged for a first time impaired driving matter will routinely be denied coverage unless the Crown is seeking a custodial sentence.
Should you be looking to retain a lawyer privately, please contact our office. At Batting, Wyman we have served Calgary for years and we’ve learned that clients prefer to know exactly what the fee for representation will be. Unlike many criminal defence lawyers in Calgary we do not charge on the basis of hourly rates. Rather we provide our clients with a fixed fee quote, given our experience with comparable files. This means no surprises for our clients to retain strong legal representation.
Our process is simple, contact our office and schedule a free consultation. During this interview we will assess your case and discuss the various options. In most instances, we will be able to quote a fee at the conclusion of this initial interview. Recognizing that criminal charges are largely an unplanned expense, our office is happy to provide payment plan options to our clients.