Category Archives: Criminal Law

Not guilty verdict for first degree murder charges

Monday, April 25, 2022 was a special day for our criminal law firm. That is the day that we were thrilled to receive a verdict of not guilty for both first degree murder charges against our client.

The trial took place in Vancouver in the height of the pandemic and stretched to more than 150 days in court. Throughout the trial, we worked to present the best defence for our client. At its conclusion, BC Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman found our client and his co-accused not guilty.

Kamloops criminal lawyer Brad Smith, QC led the defence team, which included Danielle Ching McNamee, Frances Mahon, and Kirat Khosa.

We thank all of our team members—in and out of court—who worked hard to provide a strong defence against these most serious criminal charges.

Don’t plead guilty to something you didn’t do

It was like a bad dream playing out in real life. A person was charged with a criminal offence for something they did not do. They hired a lawyer—from another firm—and that lawyer told them to plead guilty. The prosecutor was offering a deal and all the client had to do was say they did something that they didn’t. They would have had a criminal record, but no jail time.

To their credit, this person refused to plead guilty. In their heart, they believed they could fight the criminal charges with the right Kamloops criminal lawyers at their side. They left that lawyer and hired us. As a result of us advocating for our new client, the prosecutor stayed the charges.

We called our client right away to share the good news. It was one of those conversations that brings tremendous satisfaction as a criminal lawyer. We like helping people charged with criminal offences. We know our client likely slept better after that conversation than they had in months. The nightmare of facing criminal charges is now behind them. We’re glad we were able to help!

Youth, criminal charges and social media

With millions of posts every day, most of us have heard about social media horror stories or read headlines about a post gone wrong.

Many parents are aware of the dangers of social media, but when a youth is facing criminal charges, the stakes become much higher.

Go AFK on social

The first step to protecting your child if they are facing criminal charges is knowing which lawyer you would call and ensuring that your child doesn’t speak to the police. There is another step to take as well, and that is telling your child to stop using all social media, the minute that accusations start being made. Parents may know the term “AFK” –Away From Keyboard. If there is a time to step away from the keyboard, it’s when your child has been charged with a criminal offence or when your child might be facing criminal charges.

Your child may want to respond to a comment or post. They may want to direct message the complainant. They shouldn’t. Here’s why: what may seem harmless could end up being used as evidence in a criminal proceeding. This is especially so given how easy it is to take screenshots on smartphones.

The lure of communication

Your child may believe that if they just tell the truth and give their side of the story, that all problems will be solved. They may be tempted to send a long message to the complainant. If only the justice system worked like that. Their comments and messages could easily end up harming their defence.

Act to protect your child

When the heat is on your child, act quickly to secure an experienced criminal lawyer. We have worked with youth clients and have helped youth avoid criminal records. We can help protect your child’s rights and create their best defence strategy. Call us today.

Remember this rule if facing criminal charges

Remember Rule #2: “Don’t make any statements.”

That’s what we tell people who have been arrested or are being investigated by the police. Maybe they’re facing criminal charges, maybe the police are looking into their lives, maybe the police say they just want to chat.

When you talk to the police, they collect evidence. They build a criminal case—what you say can be used against you.

What if you deny everything to the police?

See Rule #2. You don’t know what evidence the police have. For instance, maybe the police have evidence showing you were in a certain place, say a car. If you deny you were in the car, now the police have more information. They have you denying you were in a car when evidence shows that you were. Now the police are really interested. Now they’re asking more questions. Through your denial, you may have painted yourself into a corner and might be wishing you could have a do-over and stick to rule #2.

This denial scenario has been called a reverse confession. You think you’re not confessing to anything but everything you say helps police build a case against you.

The bottom line: Don’t make ANY statements.

What’s Rule #1?

Get an experienced criminal lawyer.

If you’re in trouble with the law or facing charges, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to defend you. We can help.

Our lawyers practise exclusively in criminal law. Whether you’re facing criminal charges for sexual offences, drug offences or murder, we can help you. Any criminal charges, anywhere in BC. Call us today.

“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.


The catch 22 in “Best criminal lawyers Kamloops”

You might notice that most lawyers don’t advertise as “Best criminal lawyers Kamloops” or “Best criminal lawyer BC” and there’s a good reason for that.

The Law Society of BC, which governs the legal profession in BC, does not allow that type of wording in lawyer advertising. The Law Society’s website says that marketing by a lawyer—or approved by a lawyer—must not be false, inaccurate, unverifiable or misleading.

To market oneself as “Best criminal lawyers Kamloops” is generally unverifiable, even if the lawyer thinks it’s true.

The fact is, the “best criminal lawyer” is not a provable fact, such as is proving which detergent removed a stain in a lab.

So how do you choose a criminal lawyer?

Facing criminal charges is stressful and you might be tempted to select the one that describes themself as “Best criminal lawyer Kamloops.” However, choosing a criminal defence lawyer has real life consequences and needs careful consideration.

Take time to:

  1. Check lawyers’ websites;
  2. See what clients say about working with them and their character; and
  3. Find out about their experience in criminal law and reputation.

We hope we make the choice easier with the information we provide, including many client reviews.

If you have any questions, call us. We’re here to help.

Best Criminal Lawyers Kamloops?

You may see law firms advertising as “Best Criminal Lawyers Kamloops” and “Best Defence Lawyers Best Attorneys” but you won’t see our criminal law firm doing that. Doing so is very risky for the firm. Why?

Calling yourself the best criminal lawyers in Kamloops is against the rules

The Law Society of BC sets the rules for how BC lawyers can advertise their services. One big no-no for lawyers is including unverifiable information. Can a firm verify that they are actually the Best Criminal Lawyers in Kamloops? Can they PROVE it?

Based on our client testimonials—and our clients really like how we defend them against criminal charges—we were added to a service called 3 Best Rated, which is based on client reviews. That’s the one way you’ll find us if you Google Best Criminal Lawyers.

If you want the truth about our criminal lawyers, read our reviews

There are a lot of other words besides “Best” that our clients use. For instance, one of our clients said Brad Smith, QC is “wickedly smart” and if you Google “wicked smart lawyer Kamloops” we are first in the search results.

Check out what other clients say on our testimonials page. If there’s a page that shows just how hard we work for clients facing criminal charges or being investigated by the police, it’s that one. You could say it’s the best.

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!

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.

Charged with a sexual offence?

As a criminal defence lawyer, a large part of what I do involves protecting the rights of people who are being investigated or have been charged with a sex offence. Unlike most other types of criminal cases, sex cases involve people – mostly men – from all walks of life. Often the accused are men who have been falsely accused by someone they may have had sexual contact with and now they find themselves under investigation or accused of things which can destroy their families, wreck their careers, and stigmatize them in the community.

For the person who has been accused of a sex crime the stakes could hardly be higher.

If you’re convicted of a sexual offence in Canada…

  1. Depending on the offence, you could be looking at a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
  2. You will have to register on the federal sex offender registry.
  3. You will not be eligible for a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon).

If you believe that you might be investigated for or charged with a sex offence, you need to get a criminal defence lawyer with experience defending sex cases on your side right away.

Experience counts

My experience with sex cases includes defending clients who have been charged with:

  • Voyeurism
  • Sexual interference
  • Invitation to sexual touching
  • Sexual assault
  • Possession and production of child pornography

I can help you. Call me today.