Author Archives: Sandra

Criminal law firm welcomes articled student Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter gained the best criminal law experience when he summered with our criminal law firm

Kyle Hunter, Articled Student

Kamloops criminal law firm, Smith Law Group, is pleased to welcome back Kyle Hunter, a recent TRU Law graduate. Kyle began his articles with Brad Smith, QC in August 2021. He is scheduled to complete the Professional Legal Training Course by September 2021.

Kyle first joined the law firm as a summer student in 2020 where he gained experience in criminal law while working with BC criminal lawyers Brad Smith, QC and Danielle Ching McNamee. Kyle is keen to continue working with Smith Law Group, helping people charged with a criminal offence or who are being investigated by the police.

“I don’t know who your lawyer is, but they must be GOOD!”

We get the best feedback from our clients! One client was recently arrested and taken into police custody on serious criminal charges just two hours before end of court day on a Friday of a long weekend. What does it mean when you’re arrested last-minute like that? It sure makes you wonder if someone wants you to spend your whole long weekend in custody. Generally, it takes time to reach a criminal lawyer and get the wheels of justice in motion. Many criminal defence law offices close early on the Friday before a long weekend—but not ours. We don’t want our clients stuck in custody for the weekend, usually after the police have tried to have a long chat with them “to get their side of the story”.

In this case, our client immediately called us and we got to work fast. It’s how we defend against criminal charges. If you or someone you know is under investigation by the police, or facing criminal charges, we have skilled criminal lawyers available and ready to help anywhere in BC, whether it be Kamloops, Williams Lake, Vernon… you name it.

This brief story ends well. Within those two hours, our client was released. As they left custody, an official said to them, “I don’t know who your lawyer is, but they must be GOOD!”

The client called us and told us about it—as they too headed out for the long weekend.

 

Summer of criminal law for TRU Law student

Irene Chan had a summer of criminal law in 2021 at our firm

Irene Shih, Summer Student

Smith Law Group has hired a Thompson Rivers University law student for the summer. Irene Shih, who has a strong interest in criminal law, has completed her second year of law school in Kamloops. Over the summer, Irene will gain practical experience in criminal law, under the supervision of Brad Smith, QC and Danielle Ching McNamee.

“The experience law students gain in working in our criminal law firm helps them on their journey to become lawyers,” said Brad Smith, QC. “It’s a fantastic opportunity which I’m pleased to offer to a student who is especially interested in criminal law. They gain practical knowledge as well as insight into the professional conduct of lawyers.”

Irene will attend court to watch legal proceedings and conduct research.

M.J., Edmonton, AB (former client)

Brad just got my charges withdrawn, I recently had been charged for a serious criminal offense, on a Saturday and called every QC lawyer I could find that Monday. I spoke with 3 lawyers that specialized in my charge prior to Brad, and truthfully I found that based on looks and speaking with them. they seemed overconfident. When I saw Brad, he looks like a lawyer that is going to destroy the case but also looks like the kinda person that you don’t wanna “screw with”. When I spoke to Brad I really pushed to see how cocky he was (as my case was going against law enforcement, I didn’t want that), and his articulation skills. I was impressed beyond belief with him and knew I needed him on my side. He gave me realistic expectations, his pricing was upfront (although 2nd highest out of everyone) but was willing to work with me. Brad and Shannon (his assistant) continually kept me updated and essentially said. if it has anything to do with the case you let us worry, and anything to do with work you worry about. With that being said they constantly kept me updated with information. 100% sure if it wasn’t for Brad. I would have gone for trial.

We’ve hired two summer students

Smith Law Group has hired two Thompson Rivers University law students for the summer. Kyle Hunter has completed his second year of law school, while Jill Wiberg has completed her first year of law school. Over the summer, Kyle and Jill will gain practical experience in criminal law, under the supervision of Brad Smith, QC and Danielle Ching McNamee.“I’m pleased to offer this opportunity to these law students,” said Brad Smith, QC. “For students to immerse themselves in a criminal law office, to learn about the practice of criminal law, is a huge advantage in their journey to become lawyers. They will gain practical knowledge as well as insight into the professional conduct of lawyers.”

The students will attend court to watch legal proceedings and conduct research.

Kyle Hunter gained the best criminal law experience when he summered with our criminal law firm
Kyle HunterJill Wiberg gained the best criminal law experience when she summered with our criminal law firm
Jill Wiberg

Smith Law Group is open

The government recognizes that BC lawyers provide services which are essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic functioning of society. As BC lawyers, Smith Law Group is proud to do our part to continue to provide essential services which British Columbians have come to rely on in their daily lives.

Smith Law Group continues to help people who are under investigation or facing criminal charges. Our offices are open during the COVID-19 pandemic, although we are operating differently. Rather than meeting clients in person at either of our downtown locations, client meetings now occur using video-conferencing technology, or by telephone. Our whole team is working Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In addition to moving to video-conferencing technology and telephone meetings, we are limiting the number of staff in our office, and maintaining physical distancing between staff who visit the office. We have also implemented other safety procedures, such as increasing the frequency of office sanitizing. Walk-ins are on hold until further notice. If you would like to to visit us, please call ahead so we can make arrangements that maintain your safety and that of our staff.

Together, we will get through this. We thank you for your understanding as we adjust to new ways of serving clients. Stay safe!

Quarantine and the Law

With the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic, any of us could end up in hospital, but could we also end up in jail?

As reported by local media, a woman in Quebec infected with COVID-19 was arrested by police after she didn’t remain indoors. In Quebec, police will be ordered to arrest people who have the virus but who aren’t self-isolating. In Ontario, provincial police are warning people about fines for refusing to limit social gatherings or close certain businesses.

Closer to home, in Surrey, BC, we have seen media reports that a Bikram yoga studio lost its business licence for continuing to offer classes after being ordered not to.

Quarantine Act

It may surprise people to discover that Canada has a Quarantine Act which was designed to help prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases. Some of what the federal law includes, are:

  • Fines of up to $1 million dollars or 3 years in jail for causing “a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening the Act or the regulations.”
  • The federal Health Minister may create a quarantine station anywhere in Canada and can designate any place in Canada as a quarantine facility. The person whose place is so designated will be compensated for the use of it.
  • Travellers must answer screening questions – all questions – and answer truthfully or they can be isolated. Travellers who refuse to be isolated can be arrested.
  • People who report on others to screening officers, quarantine officers, or environmental health officers can ask that their own identity or characteristics that may identify them, not be disclosed to their employer or to the person they informed on.

If you’re active on social media, you’ve likely seen images or videos of people in large gatherings, in spite of public health orders for us to social distance.

Please do your part. Follow the advice of professionals, and let’s stay healthy!

Danielle Ching McNamee joins Smith Law Group

Kamloops criminal defence lawyer Danielle Ching McNamee
Danielle Ching McNamee joined Smith Law Group in December 2019. Danielle is a top-ranked recent graduate of TRU law school who clerked with the Supreme Court of BC and articled with a prominent Kamloops law firm. She is a strong addition to the office and will work closely with senior criminal lawyer Brad Smith, QC to accomplish outstanding results for their clients throughout BC.

Danielle is focused on building a practice through helping clients resolve their criminal law problems.

Brad Smith appointed Queen’s Counsel

Kamloops criminal defence lawyer Brad Smith, QC
We are delighted to announce that Brad Smith, founding lawyer of Smith Law Group, has been appointed Queen’s Counsel, commonly known as QC. The QC designation formally recognizes exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. Each year the Queen’s representative in BC, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, confers the QC designation on a small number of BC lawyers after a rigorous review process.

“I feel grateful to receive this honour,” said Brad. “I also feel grateful to be a member of the legal profession and to have the opportunity to serve my clients, community and society through the practice of law.”

Various Commonwealth countries appoint lawyers to the QC rank of “Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the law.” In BC, candidates for the QC designation must be current members of the BC Bar for at least five years. They must also demonstrate professional integrity, good character and excellence in the practice of law.

Congratulations, Brad!

Revenge porn

“My girlfriend shared nude photos of herself with me while we were dating. She broke up with me out of the blue yesterday, and now I want to get back at her. If I post those nude photos to the Internet, could I get in trouble?”

It’s easy to share photos and videos online – and there are so many social media platforms to share them on. However, sharing intimate images of another person without their consent, can land you in trouble with the law.

It doesn’t matter if you took the photos or videos yourself and the person consented at the time. If you share it with others without the subject’s consent when you do so, it’s a crime.

It’s a bad idea

What you’re thinking of doing is known as revenge porn. Most commonly, revenge porn is a way to get back at an ex-partner for leaving a relationship. It’s often done to embarrass or hurt someone and their reputation. But unfortunately, your revenge porn post could give you an unhappy ending.

Dealing with intimate images without consent can land you in big legal trouble! The list of prohibited activities which can see you sent to jail includes publishing, distributing, selling, making available and advertising. If convicted of a revenge porn offence in Canada, the maximum sentence you could receive is five years in prison. Even worse, if you share intimate images of someone under the age of 16, you could also be charged with distribution of child pornography.

If you’re tempted to hit send, hit delete instead

If you have intimate images of someone, the best way to avoid temptation to engage in revenge porn is to delete them from your devices. That way, the images can remain a memory, not end up as evidence used to convict you of serious criminal charges.

When to consult a lawyer

If you have shared intimate images of someone without their consent, you may already be under police investigation. Don’t wait until the police come calling! Protect yourself by calling an experienced criminal lawyer and get legal advice.