Tag Archives: Kamloops criminal law

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.

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

Spousal assault and “no contact” conditions

As a criminal lawyer, I often see certain fact patterns over and over. One of them typically happens in spousal assault cases. If you’ve been charged with assault, you need a criminal defence lawyer. Contact me. I can help you.

This is how the story usually goes

A couple – let’s call them Jack and Diane – get into an argument. Things get heated. Things get physical. Let’s say Jack slaps Diane, who calls the cops.

Then Jack:

  • gets arrested,
  • has to move out,
  • gets put on conditions like “no contact” and “no go,” and
  • is charged with spousal assault.

Jack and Diane are now part of the life of what the BC Criminal Justice Branch calls a “K” file.

BC Crown Counsel take spousal violence cases very seriously. How seriously? There’s a 21-page Practice Bulletin on the topic in the BC Crown Counsel Policy Manual.

In spousal violence, or “K”, files it’s a standard condition for guys like Jack to be subject to a condition that he have no contact with the victim of his alleged assault, in this case Diane, and not go to places where she lives, works, goes to school, etc.

Then things get worse

What often happens though is that Jack and Diane may find it difficult to be apart from one another. One of them texts the other. Let’s say it’s Diane who texts Jack. Jacks texts her back. Before you know it, they’re texting back and forth. But because they’re in a bad relationship to begin with, it isn’t long before things go sour. Diane decides to report Jack’s breaches of the “no contact” to the police. Now Jack faces a new charge: breach of undertaking. And the courts take that very seriously.

This is not make-believe. It happens all the time.

So now Jack has two criminal charges. It isn’t unusual for a guy in Jack’s situation to find that a prosecutor will use Jack’s breach of the “no contact” condition with Diane as evidence that he can’t—or won’t—follow the conditions of his release, that he’s a loose cannon, that the court needs to be tough on him. We can all guess how this story could end for Jack.

My advice: Just block it

As a criminal defence lawyer, I tell my clients to block the number of anybody they are forbidden to have contact with. Simple as that. Just block it. Don’t have contact with them – just disappear from the story – while I deal with your criminal charges.

Again, if you’ve been charged with assault, you need a criminal defence lawyer. Contact me. I can help you.