Calgary Criminal Lawyers


(403) 452-8018

defending a criminal charge

There are many defences that apply to all criminal charges and many defences that apply to specific types of criminal offences. For example, in every case, the Crown must prove "identification" beyond a reasonable doubt.  Other crimes, such as in "impaired driving" or drugs, have more specific defences to the offence itself. For instance, to prove impaired driving, the Crown must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused's ability to operate the "conveyance" was impaired by any degree by drug or alcohol.  For drug offences, the Crown must prove that the substance alleged is actually a drug contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.  

All criminal law defence must have an "air of reality"; meaning that they must have at least some evidentiary foundation.

In this section, I will attempt to succinctly explain various criminal law defences. I encourage the reader to check-back to these webpages often, as I will expand the topics in the days, weeks, months and years to come.  Of course, if you have been charged with a criminal offence in Canada, you should consult with a qualified criminal lawyer to learn about the defences that apply to the specific circumstances of your case. This website is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as authority on any topic. 

For a free consultation with an Alberta criminal lawyer, call David Chow at 403.452.8018.


This humorous example from the movie Superbad relating to the liquor store robbery and assault effectively highlights the importance of a proper police investigation as it relates to identification evidence.


Many criminal investigations involve the collection of evidence. Whenever evidence is collected, it is important for the police to carefully and properly maintain it for the purpose of possible introduction at a trial.


The Alibi Defence. David Chow is a Calgary defence lawyer who who has won cases using the Alibi Defence. Call for a free consultation: 403.452.8018. The defence of Alibi essentially means the person was not present at the scene and thus there was no possibility that he or she could have committed the crime.


"Possession is 9/10ths of the law"? Though there is an element of truth to this, proving possession is not always that easy. Calgary criminal lawyers who handle drug cases are very familiar with the law of “possession”.

Incriminating Answers

Criminal defence lawyers in Calgary and elsewhere often represent witnesses who may be compelled to give incriminating answers to questions posed during examination in Court.


The topic for this post is “entrapment”. Though entrapment is a rarely used defence in Canadian criminal justice, it is nevertheless one that all Alberta criminal defence lawyers should have at their disposal.

Alternative Measures

Alternatives Measures is not a defence per se; it is a diversion program that if successfully completed, results in no criminal record. This program provides a second chance for first-time offenders.


In Canada, the defence of duress is recognized by both the Criminal Code of Canada and our common law.  This is a difficult defence to marshal because specific preconditions for the defence must be met.

Self Defence

Unlike defences of excuse, such as the defence of “duress”, self defence is a defence of justification.  The Criminal Code of Canada recognizes that a person may be justified to intentionally use force against another.


The suspect takes out a large insurance policy on his or her partner, who ends up deceased. Most of us have probably seen this example of “motive” play out in a television crime drama.

Immunity Agreements

An immunity agreement is a deal with the Crown to refrain from fully prosecuting person (likely an unsavoury character) in exchange for information, assistance, testimony or other forms of cooperation.