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murder | manslaughter | calgary


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a calgary murder lawyer

Homicide occurs whenever a person, directly or indirectly, causes the death of another human being.  A person can only be convicted and sentenced for culpable homicide.  Culpable homicide occurs when the person causing the death deserves the blame. Non-culpable homicide occurs when the person who causes the death does not deserve the blame. An example of non-culpable homicide occurs when a person kills another while reasonably acting in self defence.

Homicide is first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter and infanticide.  

There are no other Criminal Code offences that attract more public attention or focus by the news media than homicide.  If you have been charged with a homicide, it is almost an absolute certainty that you will be identified in both the print and television media.  

Homicide investigations are resource intensive.  Investigative techniques include everything from wiretap, surveillance, complex forensic examinations (such as those completed by forensic pathologists, ballistics experts and blood spatter experts), detailed crime scene investigation and even sophisticated undercover operations such as Mr. Big Stings.

Resisting a homicide is more than just defending the case in law, it also involves withstanding scrutiny by the media and perhaps even shouldering the cry for retribution by a potentially misinformed public.  

If you have been charged with murder, the law requires that you be tried by a jury, unless the Crown consents otherwise.   If charged with a homicide, there is an exceptionally high likelihood that the Crown will seek to detain you in custody while your case slowly progresses through the courts.

The weight of a homicide prosecution can be unbearable.  

I understand both the personal and legal dynamics underpinning a homicide case.  Most importantly, I understand the consequences if you are convicted.  For instance, if convicted of first degree murder, the minimum sentence is life imprisonment.  With that in mind, it is my view that to properly defend a homicide case, you require a lawyer who is not only capable, but willing to explore every possible option, even those that may attract much public derision.  

If convicted of murder or manslaughter, you are facing life in jail. Call 403.452.8018 for a free consultation.  

David Chow defends murder, manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death and all crimes of violence throughout Alberta, including Calgary, Cochrane, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. David Chow is a Calgary murder lawyer of choice.

Recent Case Results

R. v. B.O.J.

May 3, 2021

(Calgary, Q.B. - First Degree Murder). BOJ was charged with first degree murder in relation to a firearms incident. For the purpose of trial the defence was "self defence". In our criminal law, self defence is a defence of justification that could result in a not guilty verdict if the trier of fact accepts that manner of self defence was reasonable in all the circumstances. In self defence, there is no duty to retreat and no requirement to measure the nicety of one's blow. Depending on the circumstances, the use of a firearm may be reasonable in self defence, but of course, whenever a firearm is introduced into an altercation the justification for use in self defence presents with difficulties. In this case, the accused's claim of self defence not only had an "air of reality" but was both credible and reliable, having regard to the evidence collected. Pressed into a difficult situation, the Crown made a reasonable offer to resolve the first degree murder to manslaughter. Where first degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without any possibility of parole for 25 years, the sentencing range for manslaughter is 0 to life. In this case, BOJ wisely weighed the risks and agreed to the resolution proposed.  David Chow is a Calgary criminal lawyer who will pursue every avenue to successfully defending a case -- including pressing for a safe and favourable resolution where it is advisable to do so. Cases such a BOJ highlight the balance of risk even in cases where a credible defence exists. Of course, resolution is always up to the client. Though criminal defence lawyers must always be ready to run a trial, given the uncertainty of trial, sometimes the balance favours the safety of resolution. When the stake is life versus a short time in custody, the choice is often obvious. 

R. v. K.M.A.

February 9, 2021

(Calgary, P.C. - Murder). David Chow was part of the defence team for an accused in Court when the Crown stayed murder charges against three-men at the start of a preliminary inquiry on February 8th, 2020. When a stay is directed by the Crown, it has 12 months to revive the case. Outside Court, the Crown acknowledged that the case “could” be revived; stating: “there’s always a chance”.  A “stay” is appropriate where there is a reasonable prospect that the proceedings may be reinitiated. It is not unusual for the Crown to stay a charge to permit police the opportunity to reinvestigate matters that were previously unforeseen. Therefore, a stayed charge can be revived if the Crown or Police uncover new evidence that was either not available at the time the original prosecution was initiated or in circumstances where the new evidence was unforeseen.   In the opinion of this  Calgary criminal lawyer, there is a reasonable concern that charges may be reinitiated. David Chow is a full service criminal defence lawyer in Alberta.  David has successfully defended many homicide cases. If you or a loved one are looking for a criminal lawyer to defend a murder case, the stakes are extremely high. Don't settle for just anybody -- be diligent and find the right lawyer.  This means that you must speak to many defence counsel and weigh your options.

R. V. J.P.

August 17, 2016

(Calgary, Q.B.) The accused was charged with second degree murder in relation to an early morning event in downtown Calgary.  This was a difficult case, involving the testimony of over 50 witnesses.  A jury found the accused “not guilty” of second degree murder.  Many Calgary lawyers claim to be able to defend a homicide, but there are few who consistent do. David Chow has a good record in defending murder, manslaughter, attempted murder and other serious crimes of violence. These cases require a Calgary defence lawyer who is prepared to fully immerse him or herself in the case. If you have been charged with homicide, your risk is life in jail.  There is no better time to choose wisely

R. v. C.P.

February 3, 2014

(Calgary, Q.B.).  The client was initially charged with first degree murder.  David Chow succeeded in having the charges reduced after the preliminary inquiry to second degree murder. The difference between first degree and second degree murder is substantial; for the former involves planning and deliberation that results on conviction in a life sentence with no parole for 25 years.  A jury trial for second degree murder commenced in February 2014. The theory of the Crown’s case was that the accused mutilated his girlfriend and stabbed her to death. After a lengthy jury trial, David secured a jury verdict of not guilty to second degree murder.  David Chow is one of the Calgary criminal lawyers who often successfully defends serious and complex jury cases.  David is a Calgary homicide lawyer with real experience arguing before a judge and jury.