General Crime

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Advocate Law is a criminal defence law firm serving clients throughout Alberta, Canada. Our experienced, compassionate attorneys are renowned for their legal prowess, creativity, and unwavering dedication to our clients.

We fight to protect your rights, your reputation, and your future. If you are facing criminal charges, contact us immediately. We will review the charges against you and provide a firm summary of how much your defence will cost—no surprises. We will help mitigate your stress and fear as we navigate the legal process together.

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Understanding the Charges Against You

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, offences are classified based on their severity.


Don't face the system alone, and don't be bullied into pleading guilty to avoid the hassle and expense of defending yourself. Our attorneys will use all possible legal theories and defences to help you avoid a conviction or reduce the penalties. Our experience and reputation allow us to obtain excellent results for our clients consistently. Don't wait, contact us today.


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Offences are less serious charges. Typically, this category is for offences like low-value theft, property violations, careless driving, and other crimes that do not involve violence or significant monetary loss.

You will typically not be arrested if you are charged with a summary conviction offence (sometimes called a “petty crime”). Instead, you will receive a notice to appear in court to face charges. A provincial court judge will hear evidence and arguments before deciding your guilt or innocence. If convicted, you may face a short prison sentence, probation, prohibition order, fine, or other types of punishment (like rehabilitation or community service).

While you do not have the option to have a jury hear your case, you are entitled to legal representation. Often, you may have an attorney or agent appear in court on your behalf instead of appearing personally. This can save you significant time and inconvenience.

Even though the punishment for these offences is smaller than for indictable offences, a conviction will still result in a criminal record. Having a criminal record can impair your future career, impact your ability to travel freely, and have other unexpected collateral consequences. While it may be possible to obtain a pardon for summary offence convictions after a period of time, it can be an expensive and complicated process. Avoid the hassle by retaining an experienced criminal defence attorney now to defend against the charges. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to mount the best possible defence now to prevent future problems.

Offences are more serious charges. Some acts, such as murder or terrorism, are always charged in this manner. Other charges, such as assault, can be pursued as indictable offences if they involve aggravating factors (such as using a weapon) or cause serious injuries. (These are sometimes called “hybrid” offences.)

If you are charged with an indictable offence, you need experienced legal representation. These charges typically have no minimum penalty; a conviction can result in a sentence of life in prison, with no chance of parole for 25 years. If the police have reasonable grounds to believe you committed an indictable offence, they will arrest you, and the Crown will prepare formal charges. While you may represent yourself throughout the Crown’s proceedings against you, you are entitled and encouraged to retain an attorney. An attorney will help you understand what is at stake, your options, and what you should do to present your case in the best way possible.

While summary offences are tried before a provincial court judge, most persons charged with indictment offences may choose to have their case tried by a provincial court judge, a superior court judge, or a jury. This decision can impact the outcome of your case significantly. Experienced legal counsel can help you decide the most advantageous  option for your situation.


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You are charged with a criminal offence. Now what?

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