Criminal law has become increasingly complicated. The impacts of a criminal record are devastating and lasting. It is important to retain highly qualified criminal lawyers who know the criminal justice system. The best legal representation demands a number of aptitudes: hard work, legal knowledge, preparation, sound judgment, good relationships and people skills, negotiation, advocacy, courtroom skills, commitment and tenacity.
As experienced criminal defence lawyers in Vancouver, BC, we possess these proficiencies and are dedicated to providing the best outcome. If you are under investigation or have been charged with a criminal offence, contact Filkow Law for legal assistance.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I have a first court date coming up. What should I do?
If you have a court date in BC, we recommend you contact us in advance of that date.
Do I look guilty if I hire a lawyer?
You are innocent unless proven guilty. Exercising your rights is fully appropriate and cannot be used against you.
If I am taken into custody by the police. What should I do?
One of the most frightening and unpleasant events for someone is to be in police custody. There is a serious imbalance of power. A phone call to a lawyer is generally the only legal assistance at a very vulnerable time. If you have been arrested, contact Filkow Law at 1-855-558-8778.
Are the police allowed to randomly stop me while I am on the street?
Generally, the police do not have the power to stop or question you without a reason. The police are only permitted to detain and demand your identification when they have a reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in criminal activity. If the police do not have a reasonable suspicion, the detention is illegal and any evidence they obtain may be excluded at trial. For more information on police stops, click here.
Do the same rules apply to police stops while driving?
The police have the power to stop your vehicle to investigate your licence, insurance, registration, and the safety of your vehicle. However, your Charter rights apply to you and to anyone else in your car when the police officer pulls you over while driving. For more information on police stops, click here.
What is an assault?
An assault is any intentional, non-consensual contact on another person. An assault can range from an argument at home to a fight at the bar to an assault causing death or murder. Even a raised fist or physical gesture can be an assault.
What is a sexual assault?
At its core, a sexual assault is any non-consensual sexual touching. It can range from touching a buttock to intercourse. If you are being investigated for sexual assault, it is important to call an experienced criminal lawyer immediately.
No matter the facts of the case, sexual assault allegations – let alone charges – have serious consequences for an accused person. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with a sexual assault or a related offence, we strongly recommended that you contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer to protect your interests throughout the process.
The police took my stuff. How long can they keep it for?
The police can seize items for 90 days. If no charges are laid, the police will need to seek your consent or judicial authorization to detain the items for longer than 90 days.
I am charged with driving while impaired and driving over 80. What does this mean?
Driving while impaired and driving over 80 are commonly charged when a person is alleged to have been drinking and driving. They are different offences. It is possible for someone to drive over 80 without being impaired. Similarly, it is possible for someone to drive while impaired without being over 80.
Driving over 80 requires evidence that your blood alcohol content was over 80mgs% per 100mL of blood. This is often proven by a breath or blood sample. In cases involving drugs, a urine sample may be used.
In contrast, driving while impaired requires evidence that the person’s ability to drive was impaired to any degree. The following are some observations that may establish impairment:
- a marked departure from normal driving;
- bloodshot or watery eyes;
- a flushed face;
- the odour of an alcoholic beverage;
- slurred speech;
- a lack of coordination;
- a lack of comprehension; and
- inappropriate behaviour.
The court will assess the totality of the symptoms in determining if someone is impaired.
What is dangerous driving?
Dangerous driving is driving that is a marked departure from a reasonable prudent person (like a judge). It is determined on a case-by-case basis with regard to all the circumstances. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some examples of dangerous driving:
- Driving at a high rate of speed through a red light.
- Driving on a busy highway at night with a blood alcohol content of 50mgs% per 100mL of blood while extremely tired.
- Seizing the wheel of a motor vehicle that is being properly driven.
In some cases, driving at a high rate of speed alone is dangerous driving.
I am charged with theft and fraud. What does this mean?
Theft and fraud are two related but different offences. They are often charged together when something has been stolen.
Theft is taking the property of another without consent and with an intent to deprive the owner of the value or use of that thing. In contrast, fraud is an intentional and false representation of a matter of fact in order to secure a benefit or to materially damage another person.
One key difference is that theft involves the act of taking, whereas fraud is a false representation. For example, if you take someone else’s money without their consent, that is theft. If you tell someone to lend you money and you will pay them back when you do not intend to pay them back, the act of lying and deceiving can be fraudulent.