By Lucas Hebert
Whether you get acquitted or convicted, the process of getting accused or charged for a crime is very stressful. Luckily, the best criminal defence lawyers in Calgary can turn things around for you.
This article also serves as a guide to help you prepare for the costs and adjust your expectations for a criminal lawyer’s services. We also answered some frequently asked questions to help you navigate your situation.
How Much Do Criminal Defence Lawyers Charge
Criminal defence lawyers price their services according to their skill and expertise, as well as the complexity of the case. Some may price their services on a per hour basis, which you can expect to be as low as $165 or as high as $750 per hour.
On the other hand, some defence lawyers present block fees, which already include a bulk of legal services. These are usually around $5,000.
But before starting any kind of legal work, most lawyers require a retainer fee. Lawyers set the amount of the retainer fee. This fee is usually non-refundable and can range from $2,000-$5,000.
The Best Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyers
Now, let’s talks about what you came here for. Here are the firms with the best criminal defence lawyers in the city to help you protect and defend your rights.
1. Cory Wilson – Wilson Criminal Defence
|SERVICES||Impaired driving, assault, domestic assault, theft, fraud, drug offences, sexual offences, criminal harassment, violent offences, firearm offences|
|ADDRESS||633 6 Avenue S.W., Suite 1500, Ford Tower, Calgary, AB T2P 2Y5|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 978-6052 | [email protected]|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Friday: 8:15 AM – 5:00 PM|
Cory Wilson represents anyone charged with criminal, quasi-criminal, and regulatory offences. Through the years, he has represented his clients in all levels of court, including in appellate courts.
His track record includes cases of impaired driving, theft, kidnapping, homicides, and drug seizures. Probably one of Cory’s greatest achievements revolves around Canada’s biggest fraud case of the Ponzi scheme.
Some of these cases ended with reduced sentences, while some had their charges withdrawn. Most of all, his track record also shows Cory’s success in reaching acquittals instead of convictions.
But since Cory’s main firm only has a small team, getting a slot with them can be difficult.
Aside from his legal expertise, Cory Wilson also has high-quality customer service. Cory may have limited office hours, but his office still offers free initial consultations any time, and anywhere via phone.
As for the payment, Cory Wilson does require a retainer for each case. After receiving the retainer, Cory then discusses flexible and zero-interest payment plans, which his clients can pay via cash, card, e-transfers, or post-dated cheques.
Customers, such as the ones below, have praised Cory Wilson for his communication skills and his defence expertise:
“I recommend Cory for anyone looking for a great and professional lawyer. If you have done nothing wrong, trust me, he will stand like a mountain between you and your detractors or the opposition. He will fight for your rights to the best possible provisions under the law. If you don’t want to be disappointed, go for him! He has been a great help to me when a vile person viciously made false allegation against me. But Cory made sure that I was protected in the best manner provided by the law of the land. I wish Mr. Wilson and his assistant Gina both, the very best for the future.”—Gagandeep Singh
“Cory is a superstar when it came to handling the legal matter that we needed resolved. We we’re with another lawyer who strung us along for months instead of actually resolving the matter quickly. I learned more about our options and potential resolutions on a free 30 minute phone call than I had in the previous 8 months with my other supposed lawyer! Apparently you really do get what you pay for and Cory was well worth every penny. His commitment to get us a resolution was fantastic. He followed up and followed through on all communications with me were on his cell phone or email. He was reachable approachable and didn’t try to talk down to me with any crazy legal jagron! Again Thank you Thank you Thank you!”—Jon G
2. Paul Gracia Professional Law Corporation
|SERVICES||Weapons and firearms offences, domestic violence, property or theft, fraud, assaults, drug offences, sexual offences, impaired driving, fail to comply offences, statutory & regulatory offences|
|ADDRESS||100, 111 – 5th Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2P 3Y6|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 975-4529|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM|
With over two decades of experience, Paul Garcia is proud of handling over 1,500 successful cases which ended becoming withdrawn, stayed, and even dismissed.
His defence expertise is diverse as he can handle cases as minor as fail-to-comply offences, and as grave as drug offences. Paul Garcia has also worked as a full-time Crown prosecutor before engaging in private practice, making him an expert in how courts operate.
When it comes to fees, Paul Garcia requires an initial retainer of $3,000. While this is a hefty price, it already has numerous inclusions, like court representation and early negotiations, to name a few.
Paul Garcia also makes his legal expertise available by being open seven days a week, with office hours extending as late as 9 PM. He is also reachable by phone.
However, if you’d rather discuss your case in person or on call, then this law firm may give you some second thoughts. That’s because its online forms require you to briefly describe your case and because its 24/7 hotline is only for texting.
Additionally, Paul is the sole lawyer of his legal firm. So, just hope that he and his team aren’t handling any case when you call them up, should you choose them.
3. Michael Oykhman Criminal Defence Law
|SERVICES||Assault, property crime, robbery, criminal driving, DUI, provincial traffic ticket offences, violence, sexual assault, drugs, pardons and record suspension|
|ADDRESS||396, 11 Avenue Southwest, Suite 840, Calgary, AB T2R 0C5|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 630-8835 / (403) 266-4440 | [email protected]|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM – 11:30 PM|
Michael Oykhman Criminal Defence Law is a large law firm focused only on criminal law. It takes on almost all types of criminal cases, including youth offences, pardons, waivers, record suspensions, and appeals.
This law firm also accommodates clients who are still listed as suspects but are already proactively seeking pre-charge legal advice.
What makes Oykhman Criminal Defence Law’s services special is that it follows a solid team approach. This law firm has lawyers who have represented clients in all levels of court in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.
Additionally, Oykhman’s team of lawyers has regular interactions with Crown Prosecutors and Criminal Court judges to stay on top of the latest practices in court.
Thanks to this large team approach, Oykhman Criminal Defence Law makes itself accessible to more people at a time. This law firm even offers free 30-minute consultations to anyone who may need its help.
In addition to these tactics, the law firm is accessible for having 24/7 emergency client support. Oykhman Criminal Defence Law is also open all week and is available as late as 11:30 PM.
Here are some reviews who found the best criminal defence lawyers in Calgary in Michael Oykhman Criminal Defence Law:
“I am very satisfied with the help that I recieved from Joseph Beller, the best possible outcome was the goal and that is what was achieved. Very professional, and down to earth. Highly recommended.”—Andrew Blenkiron
“It was an absolute nightmare when I was faced this driving charge. I thought my life was over. Fortunately, I reached out to Michael Oykhman criminal defence, and they assigned me to Ryan Patmore. He did a fantastic job, and I was blessed with a favorable outcome. I would also like to thank Amie, she was always easy to contact and kept me in the loop. If anyone is looking for helpful legal assistance, Ryan is definitely the best option you can get !”—QingXin Wang
4. Joel Chevrefils – Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers
|SERVICES||Criminal defence and DUI, domestic assault/ violence, impaired driving, drug possession and trafficking, etc.|
|ADDRESS||2610, 801 6th Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2P 3W2|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 830-1980 | [email protected]|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 10:00 PM |
Saturday: 24 hours
Sunday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers has the best criminal defence lawyers in Calgary, Edmonton, and as far as the Grand Prairies.
To cater to such a wide coverage area, Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers has a large team of five lawyers. Among these lawyers is Joel Chevrefils, a Calgary defence lawyer who has represented clients in the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal since 2004.
His expertise lies in impaired and dangerous driving, drug possessions and trafficking, domestic assaults, theft, fraud, and even resisting arrest.
However, you should know that Joel is a part of the team and you may not be able to choose him right away. Nonetheless, all of this firm’s lawyers are focused only on criminal defence.
Complimenting their legal expertise is the firm’s flat-rate pricing and 24/7 phone and email availability. Additionally, Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers is open all day on Saturdays and even during the late hours of weekdays.
All these factors allow Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers to provide a positive client experience at the height of a stressful event.
While it may have expensive services, it still offers to carry some financial burden by recommending Legal Aid Alberta or Student Legal Assistance to its clients.
Learn about what Joel and the Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers can possibly do for your case with these reviews:
“I very much appreciated the help I received from Joel Chevrefils regarding my legal matter. With Joel’s help, my charges were dropped and I was no longer facing criminal prosecution. Amazing result in a timely manner. Joel was very easy to work with and helped me bring closure to a very worrying legal matter which was causing me much distress. One of the main reasons I hired Joel was because he has a very detailed and informative website, which I studied in great detail, prior to hiring him. Joel’s website left me with a very memorable and professional first impression.”—Mark Patulski
“Joel is the new definition of so many words; outstanding, wonderful, thoughtful, compassionate and many more space would not permit. He won a hopeless case that would have earned me a criminal record, fine, car monitoring system and dl suspension of at least a year. The way he handled the whole case from the start was was nothing but amazing. It’s a long story but short version is he’s an amazing lawyer. I was told by so many people not to bother but to just go plead guilty because lawyers are in it to make money since you still end up with the charges etc, Joel proves that there’s no iota of truth in that statement as he fought a relentless battle to win my case”—Camil Otsu
5. Susan Karpa
|SERVICES||Impaired driving, assault, threats, harassments, sexual offences, luring, theft, drugs, weapons, property, murder, release conditions, release and bail|
|ADDRESS||Suite 201, 535 – 10th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A8|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(587) 888-7149|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Sunday: 7:00 AM – 11:30 PM|
Susan Karpa can accommodate any Calgarian facing a criminal charge. She has the experience and expertise in cases as minor as impaired driving to charges as heavy as murder.
Before becoming a private defence lawyer, Susan was a Crown prosecutor, handling high-profile and organized crime cases like murder, undercover operations, and robberies. She uses this previous experience and knowledge of how the Crown and police handle cases when building a defence for her clients.
With her experience, Susan’s clients’ cases have either been withdrawn or stayed. Additionally, Susan does pre-charge advice to prepare any potential suspects for a crime.
Experience and knowledge in a diverse range of criminal charges make her and her firm accessible. But what really makes Susan so welcoming is that she accepts appointments seven days a week, up to as late as 11:30 in the night.
But despite this availability, Susan’s services may not be fit for many Calgarians at one time because she only has a small team. So, you may have to compete with other clients, should you choose Susan Karpa and her law firm.
Read these reviews to know how Susan Karpa affected the lives of the clients she took in and defended:
“I want to thank Susan, and her team for helping me on my matter! She was very emotionally supportive during a time I was in a very mentally poor place.. Thanks to her and the outcome I am able to move on to more positive things in life ..I had a very positive gut instinct that told me to hire her and i couldn’t be happier with the outcome!! My charges were completely dropped. Again I highly recommend Susan! Thank you for all your help :)”—Chelsey M
“Since the moment I met Susan I knew I was in good hands. She was definitely of great support, she helped me understand the process since the beginning. With an excellent rate she went to all my court dates, got me into contact with other services and was always quick to respond to my emails or calls. My issue was resolved painlessly, and thanks to Susan I was able to get everything withdrawn. I know that if I ever have any other issues I’ll come back to her.”—Monica Urribarri
6. Jeinis Patel Patel – Defence Law
|SERVICES||Calgary criminal defence, sexual assault, impaired driving, drug charges, dangerous driving, etc.|
|ADDRESS||444 5 Ave SW #2300, Calgary, AB T2P 2T8|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 585-1960 | [email protected] |
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Saturday: 24 hours Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
Defence Law is focus din defending people from Calgary and Toronto against all sorts of criminal charges. And unlike other law firms, this one also takes crime cases involving immigration.
Jeinis (J.S.) Patel leads this law firm with his experience as a Crown prosecutor in the Criminal Driving Unit. With such experience, he can represent those charged with drunk driving, complex property offences, and violent crimes.
This law firm also aims to provide affordable and reasonable rates by requiring only a block fee and retainer fee. And to better cater to all walks of life of Calgarians, Defence Law accepts certificates from Legal Aid of Alberta.
This law firm also helps people who still can’t afford its rates despite financing tools by redirecting them to other lawyers. Besides, Defence Law also offers free initial consultations to discuss with any potential clients.
But you should know, this free service is limited only to 30 minutes per client. To add to this con, you should know that J.S. Patel’s team is divided between its Calgary and Toronto clients.
Here are some reviews to tell you more about what you can expect should you choose JS Patel as your criminal defence lawyer in Calgary:
“Great experience dealing with the firm and their staff! I could tell right away that they know their stuff, have the more experience than anyone else in their field and they especially take pride in being the best in the business. Trust that you’re in great hands with Mr. Patel and his diligent team.”—Shawn Johnson
“I hired Mr. Patel very recently on a very complicated criminal matter. Right from the beginning, I knew he was the right choice after consulting with various criminal defence lawyers. The matter was dealt with very quickly, he secured bail very fast, and I was able to get all my charges resolved within a very short period of time. His fees were reasonable and his staff was great to deal with. I thankful that this part of my life was put past me quickly.”—D Lynskey
7. Wolch Wilson Jugnauth
|SERVICES||Economic/white-collar criminal cases, violent crime, drug offences, domestic assault, DUI/impaired driving|
|ADDRESS||Main Floor, 1842 – 14 Street SW Calgary, AB T2T 3S9|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 265-6500 | [email protected]|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Wolch Wilson Jugnauth is a team of regulatory and criminal defence lawyers serving Calgary and the surrounding areas. This law firm benefitted from the mentorship of one of Canada’s greatest and most prominent defence lawyers, Hersh Wolch.
As a result, the lawyers of this firm are hand-picked for integrity and excellence. Besides, its lawyers have experience representing clients and even serving as judges in the Court of Queen’s Bench and Provincial Court, Court of Appeals, and even the Supreme Court of Canada.
Wolch Wilson Jugnauth takes cases involving drugs, assault, and impaired driving. It also accommodates white-collar criminal cases, thus catering to anyone in need of defensive legal services.
This law firm also offers 24/7 client support via phone or email. However, its office hours are limited to weekdays.
But given all these credentials, Wolch Wilson Jugnauth’s services are also priced a bit more expensive. Some of their lawyers even price their services by the hour.
Luckily, Wolch Wilson Jugnauth still maintains transparency with its pricing and even accepts certificates from the Legal Aid of Alberta.
Read these client reviews to know more about what clients appreciate about Wolch Wilson Jugnauth’s services:
“I have spent a couple of days profiling & searching for law firms to hire an attorney to handle my case. The online feedbacks on Mr. Wilson were promising. I was very fortunate to deal with this law firm and Mr. Wilson specifically. He was very professional and skilled, he managed to steer the case in the right direction, perfectly in the court and obtained outstanding result in very short timeline. In addition to the case great outcome, during the process Cory was accessible through his cell phone after hours to answer questions & provide updates & legal feedback. In addition, I was very content with his personality, consideration in dealing with stressful situation in very professional & humane way. I was very lucky to land on this law firm and for hiring Cory Wilson as my attorney, highly appreciate the service and would like to wish him & his team all the best.”—Maan Saleh
“Dealt with Agathon Fric. He is an amazing lawyer. He is very professional. Amazing with his communication skills with the clients and in the court room.
I would highly recommend h
How to Choose a Defence Lawyer
Still having trouble choosing a lawyer or law firm from our list? If so, here are some factors that’ll help you decide.
Criminal defence is a diverse practice in itself, so you should consider the special focus of your prospective lawyers. If you’re accused of impaired driving, then you’d need an expert in DUIs, and not on fraud or assault.
You can check a lawyer or law firm’s success and experience in cases like yours by reading through the recent cases on their web pages.
2. Availability and response time
You need a defence lawyer you can rely on, someone who’ll be there to protect and defend your rights when you need them. So, if you’re on a tight spot and are in need of a lawyer in the late hours of the night, go for a law firm with late or all-day working hours.
3. Personal connection
A case can go sideways if you hold back crucial information. So, your lawyer should be someone you completely trust and can be comfortable with.
Unlike with other law practices where you can shop around before settling with a lawyer, criminal defence needs immediate action. Luckily, you can still read up on reviews or gain recommendations from people close to you to check how your prospective lawyer treats their clients.
4. Fees and payment options
Fighting for a criminal case can be very expensive, so you should also consider the fees associated with your prospective lawyers. You can back up to our cost guide for reference.
You can also inquire about what types of payment they accept, whether cash, cheque, or transfer. Some law firms also accept Legal Aid certificates.
FAQs about Defence Attorneys
We hope our list can help you find the best criminal defence lawyers in Calgary to build, support, and defend your case. So, go ahead and call your chosen lawyer before things go unplanned.
Do you know any other lawyers who you believe will belong on this list? If so, feel free to share your recommendations, too!
Now, if you want to avoid any criminal charges concerning your finances, then why don’t you hire the best tax lawyers in Calgary? They can help you navigate the complicated and ever-changing tax codes, thereby preventing you from missing out on any documents or payments.