Batting, Wyman FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Should I get a criminal lawyer if I am innocent?

Yes, you should still get a criminal lawyer, even if you are innocent.Knowing you are innocent does not mean you’re safe in court or that your involvement in the allegation ends when you tell authorities you’re innocent. The Criminal Justice system is incredibly complex and experienced counsel is a must in order to successfully navigate it. While a presumption of innocence exists, wrongful convictions do at times occur. Your innocence is at risk when you are charged with a criminal offence. You need a criminal lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and your innocence is proven.

What options do I have if I can’t afford a criminal lawyer?

In Canada, government-funded legal representation can assist you if you can’t afford a criminal lawyer. These services depend on your income and the charges you’re facing. Alberta’s Legal Aid may be able to assist you if you meet their criteria, such as income requirements and whether you face incarceration. If you qualify for Legal Aid, a criminal lawyer will be assigned to handle your case. In the event that you do not qualify for Legal Aid, you will have to hire counsel privately or represent yourself.

Can I represent myself in court?

Yes, in Canada, you can represent yourself in court except in some circumstances. This will be dependent upon the seriousness of the case. Even for less serious allegations, negative consequences can flow in the event you choose to self-represent. These are often collateral consequences that you did not anticipate. As such, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional in order to deal with any criminal matter.

What happens when I hire a criminal lawyer?

When you hire a criminal lawyer, they will take over your case and go through the legal process with you. This includes attending court appearances, reviewing disclosure, and building a strategy that will result in the best possible outcome for you. Hiring a criminal lawyer means you have a knowledgeable professional on your side who can navigate the complexities of Canada’s legal system.

What is the meaning of a retainer?

The ‘retainer’ is the money you pay your criminal defence lawyer when hiring them. The agreement signed when you hire a criminal lawyer is known as the retainer agreement. A criminal lawyer cannot claim the retainer until they have completed the work specified in the contract and have provided you with an invoice.

What is the cost of hiring a criminal defence lawyer?

The cost of hiring a criminal defence lawyer depends on the complexity of the case and the price that each lawyer sets for their services, which typically reflects their skill and experience.


How do I get my domestic assault charges dropped?

A common and effective way to have your domestic assault charges resolved is to enter a statutory or common law peace bond. A peace bond requires you to meet specific conditions set by the court for a period of time, such as no communication or physical contact with the complainant, maintaining good behaviour, and attending counselling. When the client enters into the peace bond, the charges are withdrawn by the Crown.

What is considered domestic assault?

Domestic assault refers to acts of violence committed against a person in a domestic relationship with the offender, which can include a spouse, a family member, an intimate partner, an older relative, or an individual with whom the accused has lived with for a period of time.

The following acts are considered domestic assault:

  • Physical harm
  • Threats of violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Extortion
  • Coercion
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Theft
  • Mischief to property
  • Economic abuse
  • Emotional abuse

Domestic violence is not limited to the above list, as there are many types of domestic assault. In Canada, the Court takes domestic assault charges seriously and depending on the severity of the crime, the prosecution can include imprisonment and a lasting criminal record.


What is it called when theft is under $5000 or over $5000 in Canada?

In Canada, theft offences are dependent upon the alleged loss of the complainant. Theft under $5000 will include things such as shoplifting, while more serious losses are charged under the indictable offence of theft over. Theft charges will very in how the Crown will be willing to deal with them. One of the main components is whether the theft involves an individual taking advantage of a position of trust. This often entails an employee taking advantage of an employer during their duties. Where a breach of trust in involved, the Crown will routinely seek incarceration, not withdtanding a low amount of loss.

What can I do to have my theft or fraud charges dropped?

Every theft and fraud charge is unique. Consequently, getting these charges dropped will be based on the severity and nature of the offence. Central in this quest is the strength of the Crown’s case and what can be proved should the matter proceed to trial. It is the theft lawyer’s role to assess the case for deficiencies. As these deficiencies may not be apparent to the untrained eye, the best course of action is to consult with legal counsel who can review your case and help you formulate a defence tailored to the circumstances.

What defences are the best against theft charges?

The proper defence against theft charges will be based on the nuances of the situation. With this being the case, it’s essential to sit with your theft lawyer and review your disclosure together. This process will help uncover the available defences. However, some effective and commonly raised defences that may be appropriate include:

  • Identity: In situations where there was no recording of the offence, or if the recording was of poor quality, it’s possible to raise identity as your defence. You can declare you are not the individual who committed the crime and that authorities mistakenly identified you as the culprit.
  • Colour of right: You can raise the colour of right defence if you believe you had a proprietary right to the looted commodity when you actually didn’t. In short, colour of right is the situation where if facts you believed as true were accurate, the charges would be dropped.
  • No mental intent: An effective defence to theft charges is to declare you didn’t have the mental intention needed to be charged with the offence. In other words, you may have stolen the items, but it’s possible you didn’t have the dishonest intent necessary to be found guilty and charged with theft.


What is considered sexual assault?

Sexual assault can be described as any unwanted touching of a sexual nature in the absence of voluntary consent. Such touching includes:

  • Grabbing, rubbing, or groping
  • Vaginal or anal penetration
  • Oral contact (forced kissing or oral sex)

If any of these criteria are met, it is considered sexual assault and is punishable by the full extent of the law.

What is the meaning of consent?

Consent is permission from one person to another for something to happen or a mutual agreement to do something. In the context of sexual assault, consent can be considered a seal of approval for a sexual act. Without such permission, the act is an indictable offence punishable by law.

How should I handle being falsely accused of sexual assault?

If falsely accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, you should first contact a qualified sexual assault lawyer. Gaining counsel from an experienced lawyer can help you determine the best course of action.

At Batting, Wyman, we have 30 years of legal experience. Contact our legal team today for more information about handling being falsely accused of sexual assault. And lastly, be sure to catalogue everything. Record times, dates, and other essential details relating to these sexual assault allegations. This documentation will help you in the future should you need to defend yourself.

What defences are the best against a sexual assault charge?

Two primary defences for sexual assault charges are available:

  • The complainant consented to the act.
  • You retained a sincere but incorrect belief that consent was given.

The Crown must prove that the complainant did not approve of the act. Therefore, if you demonstrate a reason to believe that consent, in fact, was given, you can be absolved of blame and have the sexual assault charges dropped.
Another defence option is that you honestly but inaccurately believed the complainant consented to the act. But to raise this defence, you must do more than simply acknowledge that you thought consent was given. You must provide sufficient evidence to support your assertion, so at least a believable air of reality exists to your sincere but incorrect belief. Failing to provide enough evidence to support your claim will result in the failure of this defence.

How do I drop my sexual assault charges?

Typically, criminal defence lawyers will attempt to drop the charges during Crown pre-trial negotiations once they have reviewed the Crown’s case and evidence obtained via disclosure information. With these details, the defence may point out deficiencies in the Crown’s case or any Charter Rights violations. If the defence has enough compelling evidence, it may be sufficient to get the charges dropped.


What is considered an assault?

In the legal framework of Canada, assault is defined as the act of applying force, directly or indirectly, to another person intentionally or recklessly without their consent. This can also include actions such as spitting on someone or approaching or obstructing someone while possessing a weapon or a facsimile thereof.

Despite being categorized as a violent offence, the infliction of actual physical harm is not a prerequisite for assault charges. The mere threat of force and the immediate ability to execute the threat can suffice for an assault charge. This means that if you display a threatening gesture, with or without a weapon, and can execute that threat, you can be found guilty of assault.

As assault lawyers in Calgary, we work with several types of assault, including:

  • Simple assault
  • Domestic assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Assault with a weapon
  • Assault causing bodily harm.

Among these, simple assault is considered the least severe, usually concerning minor violent episodes that do not lead to significant or any physical harm.

Can an assault charge be dismissed if the victim retracts their accusations?

In cases of alleged assault, the decision to press charges does not solely rest on the shoulders of the victim. Even if the victim initially chooses not to press charges or changes their mind, the Crown prosecutor may still decide to proceed with the case.

The seriousness of assault is fully recognized by both the police and the judicial system. Ideally, the Crown prefers the victim’s cooperation, but they can and often continue with proceedings even if the victim decides against testifying against the accused.

What are the best defences against an assault charge?

Self-Defence: You can use reasonable force, i.e., what’s “reasonably necessary” in the situation, to defend yourself from unlawful assault. To successfully argue self-defence, your assault lawyer must demonstrate that you had justifiable grounds to believe force was being used against you or someone else and your response was proportionate and reasonable.

Consent: In defending assault charges, consent may be a potential defence. The Crown Prosecutor must prove without reasonable doubt that the alleged victim did not consent to the force applied. However, no one can consent to serious bodily harm, meaning this defence won’t work if significant harm occurred or in cases of assault causing bodily harm or aggravated assault.

Accident: If the assault was an accident, you might not be found guilty of a criminal offence, as the necessary mental intent for assault would be missing. Your assault lawyer must demonstrate that the event was unforeseeable and unintended. Predictable outcomes masked as ‘accidents’ won’t be valid defences. To argue the defence of an accident, your assault lawyer must provide a realistic indication that your actions were accidental. The Crown Prosecutor can convict you only if they can prove your actions weren’t accidental beyond reasonable doubt.

Why should I hire an assault lawyer if I’m wrongly accused of assault?

The initial step you should take is to hire an assault lawyer, regardless of the presence or absence of concrete evidence against you. Authorities, including the police and Crown Prosecutor, take such allegations seriously, even when evidence is lacking.

Should the case proceed to court, determining your innocence essentially becomes a contest of credibility between you and the accuser. An adept assault lawyer in Calgary, in cases of actual innocence, can scrutinize the complainant’s allegations, thereby weakening their arguments.

Driving under the influence (DUI)

What is the difference between DUI charges and impaired driving?

If you’re facing accusations of driving under the influence (DUI) or impaired driving, a DUI or impaired driving lawyer in Calgary can help you understand the crucial information of these charges and their implications. Both carry significant weight, but they involve distinct penalties and sentencing guidelines.

There exist several classifications of impaired driving offences under the law, each carrying unique consequences. While both involve the operation of a motor vehicle, the specifics – “influence” versus “impairment” – can determine the eventual charges.

The nature of the charges, either impaired driving or a DUI, can lead to various outcomes ranging from a warning to potential incarceration.

What is the punishment for an impaired driving offence in Alberta?

In most cases, you will receive an administrative license suspension, also known as Immediate Roadside Sanctions, resulting in the destruction of your Alberta Driver’s Licence.

Upon being released from police custody, a 90-day provincial driving suspension is typically enforced. Following these 90 days, your license will be suspended for at least one year. During this year, you can request to have an ‘interlock device’ fitted on your vehicle – a ‘breathalyzer’ type instrument you must pay for – allowing you to drive under certain restrictions.
Penalties for driving while under suspension can vary.

For a first-time offence, you could face a 30-day vehicle seizure and be summoned to court to respond to the charge of driving while suspended. If found guilty, you might receive additional punishment and/or a monetary fine.

At Batting, Wyman Barristers, our team of experienced impaired driving lawyers in Calgary can provide you with the strong legal representation you need to generate the best possible defence.

What is the punishment if I admit or am convicted of a DUI?

DUI offences, including Impaired Driving, Over 80, Care or Control, and Refusals, have compulsory minimum sentences prescribed by the Parliament, detailed in sections 255 and 259 of the Criminal Code of Canada. While there are some exceptions, the general sentencing structure is as follows:

For an initial offence, the required minimum punishment includes a fine of $1,000 and a driving prohibition of one year.
The minimum penalty for a second DUI offence involves a 30-day imprisonment term and a two-year driving ban.
For a third or any further DUI offence, the mandated minimum sentence entails a jail term of 120 days and a driving prohibition extending for three years.

These mandatory minimum sentences mean that if you’re convicted of, or admit to, impaired driving, driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08, or refusing to provide a sample, you will acquire a criminal record.

At Batting, Wyman Barristers, our team of experienced DUI lawyers in Calgary can provide you with the strong legal representation you need to generate the best possible defence.