What Are Mail Fraud & Wire Fraud?

Mail fraud and wire fraud are two common white-collar crimes charged by federal prosecutors. Both types of fraud entail a scheme to defraud victims of money or property.

The main difference between mail and wire fraud is how they are perpetrated. Mail fraud is carried out through the postal service or any private or commercial carrier. Wire fraud, on the other hand, involves the use of wire transmissions, such as an email, fax, phone call, text messages, or the use of an internet chat room.

Since the development of the digital age, wire fraud has become increasingly common. It is therefore a charge seen often in cases involving public corruption and financial crimes. 

Both mail fraud and wire fraud carry extreme legal consequences. Any attempt to use the Canadian Postal Service for fraudulence is considered mail fraud. Should you ever be charged with mail fraud or wire fraud, you’ll need the best criminal lawyer in Edmonton to defend your rights. 

Most importantly, individuals accused of mail or wire fraud should know that it’s not necessary for the government to prove that another party was defrauded. Mail and wire fraud charges can be prosecuted, even if there is no actual loss. Conviction simply requires the defendant to have intentionally deceived another person for the purpose of unlawfully profiting from the other party’s loss. Fraud can therefore encompass:

•    Accepting payment for services without the intention of providing them

•    Accepting payment for goods while intending not to deliver them

•    Delivering goods materially different from those agreed upon

A prosecutor’s duty is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused party has somehow attempted to further a scheme with the intent to commit fraud, either via mail or wire. Mail and wire fraud charges are often bundled with more serious charges, such as health insurance fraud, bank fraud, or insider trading charges. These all carry serious consequences that could lead to serving time in a penitentiary. 

Fraud cases often involve highly complex financial and technical information. Also, because proof of intent to defraud is required in these cases, having a lawyer skilled in mail and wire fraud law is critical. An experienced mail and wire fraud defence lawyer is the only one who can help protect your rights. If you've been charged with either of these offences, please contact us.

What Are the Laws for Credit Card Fraud in Edmonton, Alberta?

What Is Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud is any act involving the illegal use of a credit card or similar payment method to obtain funds, goods, or services fraudulently. Simply put, it is the unauthorized use of another person’s credit card, or card information, to make purchases or access funds.

An example of credit card fraud is when an identity thief lures the victim to a fraudulent website to collect card information and use it to make purchases. Discover more about what this crime entails below.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

There are many different types of credit card fraud. These can include:

•    Obtaining credit cards or card numbers illegally through the mail

•    Using lost or stolen credit cards

•    Using counterfeit credit cards

•    Accessing another person’s account using their account numbers and personal identification numbers (PINS)

•    Obtaining equipment or instruments used to carry out fraud 

Consequences of Credit Card Fraud

A credit card fraud conviction may carry an extended prison sentence along with expensive fines, court costs, and legal fees. Additionally, your personal reputation, employment opportunities, and freedom are all compromised when you commit credit card fraud. If you have been accused of this crime or are being investigated, it’s imperative that you call a lawyer immediately. 

Frauds of cash value that are $5,000 or less carry a lighter sentence than those involving a cash value greater than that amount. The level of sophistication of the criminal act can directly influence the penalty. For this reason, it’s critical to have the best criminal defence lawyer Edmonton offers, particularly one who specializes in credit card fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft.

Identity Theft vs. Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud can be a consequence of identity theft, although the latter is much more complex. However, it’s not always related to identity theft. The crime is only considered identity theft when an individual’s name and other personal information, along with their bank number, is used by another person. In some instances, a prosecutor may be able to prove that credit card fraud is just a part of the larger identity theft scheme. In either case, it is crucial to get help from an experienced defence lawyer specializing in these types of fraud and theft crimes. 

The Importance of Working With an Experienced Credit Card Fraud Lawyer 

Credit card fraud is a serious crime with the potential for severe legal and financial consequences. If you have been accused of, or charged with credit card fraud, you need a determined and experienced criminal defence lawyer. The leading criminal lawyers in Alberta will plan a strategic defence on your behalf to help minimize your sentence to the greatest degree possible.

Credit card and bank card data theft cases are typically complex with extensive documentation and hard evidence. The courts often take a zero-tolerance approach to discourage others from attempting these schemes. Because the prosecutor aims to make an example out of those accused of credit card fraud, you’ll need the expertise of an experienced lawyer. Your lawyer must have strong knowledge of credit card fraud so that they can navigate through the legal process and explore various defence avenues.

If you've been charged with credit card fraud, don't delay! Contact our team today.

Falsely accused of sexual involvement with a child?

Sexual contact with children is a serious crime. An accusation can change your entire life, and a battle in court could lead to job loss and the more serious consequence of jail time. Accusations can be made from anyone and at any time. Should you ever be accused of child molestation, it’s critical you seek experienced legal counsel.

What to do if you are falsely accused of child molestation

Avoid making statements

First and foremost, be sure to avoid making a statement if any person — even someone you know personally — questions you about or accuses you of having inappropriate interactions with a child. Avoid discussing anything related to the crime for which you’ve been accused until you have consulted a lawyer. Even a statement of denial can put you on a dangerous path if you have not obtained legal advice, because statements can easily be misinterpreted. Remember, any statements can be used against you in the future.

Gather and preserve documents or records

You will want to preserve any documents or records that might relate to the accusations. These communications or documents could be in the form of letters, emails, proof of your whereabouts, phone records, and computer records. 

Make a list of possible witnesses

If you believe there were potential witnesses or individuals who may have been with you at the time the alleged crime was committed, make a list so that you can remember their names when your lawyers ask. They will be pivotal in your defence, should the case go to court.  A witness could also be any person who you think has information about the child or your relationship with the child.

Hire a criminal lawyer

If you are accused of sexual involvement with a child, even if the law is not involved yet, you should hire a criminal defence lawyer. While an accusation may seem insignificant at the time, the issue could become much more serious and result in a conviction. As soon as you hire a lawyer, your legal team will begin preparing for a potential trial, thereby ensuring a solid defence is made on your behalf, should it come to that.

Preparing a defence

Your lawyer will have extensive knowledge of the possible defences to a charge of sexual interference and the issues that need to be explored. A lawyer will:

•    Advise you of your legal rights

•    Advise you on whether to give information to the police and whether to agree to law enforcement requests

•    Give you information about the possible consequences

•    Represent you in all of the criminal proceedings and assist you in deciding whether to accept a plea offer

What to avoid

If you have been accused of sexual interference, you should not:

•    Initiate conversation with the victim or their family, especially to convince them that the accusation is false

•    Talk to law enforcement or investigations without an lawyer

•    Give evidence to law enforcement without consulting a lawyer, even if that evidence proves your innocence

If you've been accused of  sexual interference involving a minor, don't delay! Contact our team now.

 

A look at prostitution and solicitation

Is Prostitution Illegal in Canada?

In Canada, the act of prostitution itself has traditionally not been criminalized though nearly everything associated with it has been. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Bedford, Parliament passed new laws designed to specifically target those who purchase sexual services.

 

Engaging in sexual acts in a public place: This offence falls under the “indecent act” of the criminal code. For example, engaging in the act of prostitution inside a car is a criminal offence.

 

Bawdy-houses: A bawdy-house is a place for the purpose of sex work. It is illegal to run one of these locations. If you are caught in one, whether you are working or paying, or if you own the property, you can be arrested. Transporting or offering to take someone to a common bawdy-house is also punishable by law.

 

Purchase/Advertising sexual services: As of 2014, it is illegal to purchase or advertise sexual services,  whether you are in a public place or not. That means that you cannot legally pay for sexual services even in your private residence. However, those selling their own sexual services are exempt from criminal liability.

 

While the law still allows for the sale of sexual services in private areas, Canada has slowly moved to make almost all aspects of prostitution illegal.

What Else Is Illegal?

Although selling sexual services is not illegal, there are additional activities that are generally associated with prostitution that are criminal offences.

The Business of Prostitution: Business aspects of prostitution are considered illegal, including living on material benefits from sex work. Being a pimp, or someone who makes money off of prostitution, is illegal and punishable with a jail term of up to fourteen years. You also may not force someone into prostitution in Canada.

Under Age: Prostitution becomes entirely illegal in Canada when it involves a minor. You cannot buy sexual services from, or communicate about buying sexual services from, anyone under the age of 18. This type of crime may also have other charges attached to it, such as sexual interference with a minor or sexual assault.

Solicitation for Prostitution

 Section 213 (1.1) of the Canadian Criminal Code defines soliciting as communicating with another person, in a public place, with the objective of practicing prostitution. This means that it is against the law to solicit a client by offering sexual services. For a sex worker to be accused of this crime, it must be provable that the sex worker solicited the client. However, the government claims that the law is designed to mainly target those purchasing rather than selling sexual services.

To conclude, there are many laws that make prostitution a crime.  It is legal for sex workers to sell sexual services, but they cannot solicit a client, especially in a public place.

What to do if you’ve been accused of prostitution or solicitation

Because some laws are fairly new, you may not know whether you’ve done something illegal. If you believe that your actions could be considered a criminal offence, call one of the most experienced criminal law firms Edmonton offers. At Haryett & Co, our lawyers know the ins and outs of the court system and will help you understand your rights.

Types of probation violations and how to protect your rights

If you’ve been convicted of a crime for the first time, your punishment might consist of probation instead of jail time. Probation is a common alternative to incarceration for first-time offenders, and gives them the benefit of the doubt that they won’t commit the crime again. When you meet with your probation officer, they will lay out the rules and terms of your probation. A probation officer plays an important role in ensuring compliance with these terms, and as such, they can accuse a convicted offender of a violation.  Below are the two types of violations that can occur, both of which can result in an arrest warrant.

1. Breaking a Technical Probation Term

After you are convicted of a crime and receive probation, violating the terms of your probation is considered breaking the law. This offence can result in an extension of your probation, a fine, or possible jail time. Here are some examples of technical probation terms that should never be broken:

•    Appearing in court as ordered

•    Meeting with probation officers as scheduled

•    Paying restitution or carrying out community service

•    Attending for assessment, treatment, and/or counselling as directed

2. Violated Probation by Committing a New Crime

Even if you are on probation for an entirely different offence, if you commit a crime and are caught, you are breaking the terms of your probation. If you are convicted of a probation violation, you could face an extended probation period and may serve jail time.

To avoid incarceration, make sure that you adhere to the conditions of your probation.

How to Protect Your Rights

Should you ever be accused of violating your probation, enlisting the help of an experienced probation violation criminal defence lawyer is the only way to ensure your rights are fully protected. In the eyes of the law, violating your probation means that you are not on your way to rehabilitation. However, defence lawyers know that mistakes do happen, and they can assist you in navigating these stressful circumstances to help keep any damages to a minimum.

If you are accused of a technical violation, your probation officer may choose to file an arrest warrant.  The best thing that you can do for yourself in this situation is to contact a lawyer to help you plan your next move. If you've been accused of violating your probation, call us today.

Charged with Forging Prescriptions? Here's What You Need to Know

Forged prescriptions are illegal methods individuals use to access controlled substances and legal narcotics. Of course, only qualified medical practitioners can write prescriptions for medications, including narcotics. For anyone else, writing a prescription is an act of forgery. Forging or writing false prescriptions is a serious, drug-related offense that carries severe consequences. Even the possession of a manufactured or forged prescription pad is considered a crime and is subject to legal action. Thus, if you’re caught with a forged prescription, you’ll need immediate and effective legal representation. Learn more about this serious crime and how an experienced defense team can help below.

 

Defining Prescription Forgery

Prescription forgery is defined as using a copied and/or handwritten copy of a prescription to obtain controlled substances or narcotics from a legitimate pharmacy. It’s the most common way to obtain medication illegally. Penalties related to this crime are based on the usage of the forged prescription, not on any intent to use or sell drugs. In other words, what you do with the drugs matters less than the fact that they were illegally obtained. However, acquiring prescription drugs to sell or distribute may present a separate, and potentially more serious, set of charges. There are several different crimes which can be classified as prescription forgery, including:

·         Writing your own prescription on a blank prescription pad, either manufactured or legitimate

·         Forging a physician’s signature on an existing or past prescription

·         Photocopying or rewriting a legitimate prescription

·         Increasing the quantity of a medication on a legitimate prescription

 

Pharmacists and law enforcement officers are trained to look out for forged prescriptions for certain medications, including:

·         Valium

·         Adderall

·         Xanax

·         Percocet

·         Muscle Relaxers

·         Vicodin

If you have prescriptions for any of these medications, be cautious and keep your scripts well-protected.  If you’re accused of forging a prescription for any of these medications, you may face some serious penalties.

 

Penalties for Prescription Forgery

The penalty for prescription forgery depends on the level or type of forgery committed, the intent to defraud, and the possession and use of the forged materials. Committing fraud is considered a serious offence that could result in incarceration. if you’re  charged with prescription forgery, it’s critically important to hire an experienced lawyer, who will work hard to protect your rights. For more information, call us today.

What Should You Do if You’re Charged with a DUI in Edmonton but You’re not from Alberta?

Edmonton, Alberta is one of the most visited provinces in Canada and is a hot spot for relaxing and dining out. Of course, these activities are often accompanied by drinking alcohol, which may lead to driving impaired. If you’re a non-Alberta resident caught driving impaired in the province, you’ll still face the same penalties as Alberta residents—plus those of your own province. This means you’ll still be arrested, subject to legal action, and possibly charged with a driving under impairment (DUI) charge. Thus, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced DUI defence team. Find out how to navigate this complex legal situation below.

 

What Happens When You’re Charged with an Out-of-Province DUI?

When you’re charged with an out-of-province DUI, your driving privileges may be revoked or suspended in one or both provinces. Once you’re charged, your home province will likely be alerted of the legal action taken in Alberta. This alert may lead to a license suspension or revocation, depending on that province’s governing legislation. Although your home province may revoke or suspend your driving privileges, any further legal action or court proceedings will take place in Alberta. Since out-of-province DUI charges can be complicated and overwhelming, you’ll need the best DUI lawyer, like the team at Haryett & Company, to handle the legalities.

 

Driving Impaired in Edmonton, Alberta

In Edmonton, driving over the legal limit for drug and/or alcohol consumption is a serious criminal offence. The maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is now 0.07 or 70 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood both federally and in Alberta. A BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered criminal impairment and carries serious penalties. Yet, even if your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.079, you may still face provincial penalties in Alberta. Since law enforcement no longer needs reasonable suspicion to administer drug and alcohol screening, you could be randomly subject to a breathalyzer. This heightens the possibility of being charged with a DUI. Failure to comply with this random test will result in a criminal charge.  Further, it does not matter whether the cause of impairment is as a result of alcohol or a drug; the consequences will be the same.

Penalties for a DUI Charge in Alberta

Since a DUI is a serious offence, you could face severe penalties. Depending on the severity of the offence, penalties may include:

·         Paying a fine of not less than $1000

·         Serving a prison sentence if the impairment results in an accident that causes serious injury(ies) or fatality(ies), or if the offender has a prior history of similar offences

·         Being prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for a minimum one (1) year

·         Completing all provincial reinstatement requirements, including mandatory participation in the Ignition Interlock Program

·         Significantly increased insurance premiums for 3-5 years

·         The acquisition of a criminal record

If you're not a resident of Alberta but you've been charged with a DUI, don't delay! Call us for more information on securing the legal advice you need.

What You Need to Know About Online Sex Offenses and an Internet Sex Crime Charge

Crimes like child pornography and using the internet to initiate sexual contact with a minor are some of the most prevalent online sex offenses. If you’re charged with an internet sex crime, you could face harsh penalties. An experienced defence lawyer from Haryett & Company will fight to protect you from harsh punishments and false accusations. Below are a few things you will need to know about online sex offenses:

Types of Internet Sex Crimes

Engaging in inappropriate or illegal sexual activity online could lead to a sex offense charge. Choosing to act in an inappropriate or neglectful manor can leave you vulnerable to serious accusations. The most common internet sex crimes are:

·         Transmitting or exchanging lewd or obscene materials via email (e.g. child pornography, non-consensual intimate images, etc.)

·         Viewing or downloading child pornography

·         Sex Tourism – taking a vacation with the sole purpose of engaging in sexual activities that are illegal in Canada, but legal in the country you’re visiting

·         Online solicitation of sex with a minor or using the internet to facilitate a sexual offense against a minor

·         Arranging a sexual encounter(s) with a minor or child luring

Online Sex Offense Laws

It’s a crime to commit sexual abuse, sexual assault or to engage in any sexual contact with a minor under the age of 16 (the age of consent). Additionally, it’s illegal to engage in a sexual act with a minor who is more than five years younger than you. These laws extend to the internet with a few adjustments. For example, the online laws extend to the transmission of graphic intimate images or sexual conversations with minors via emails, texts, instant messages and other forms of online communication. The possession, distribution or production of child pornography are also included in these laws.

It’s also illegal to use the internet to lure or attempt to lure a child for the purpose of committing a sexual act. Enticement of any type is considered a crime. However, using the internet with the intent to commit a crime must be proven, and this is why it's important for you to seek the help of some of the most experienced criminal lawyers Edmonton offers. If you’re accused of committing an internet sex crime, contact the defence lawyers at Haryett & Company immediately.

Penalties for Online Sex Offenses

If you’re accused of an online sex offense, it’s paramount to understand what constitutes this type of crime and what the penalties are for a conviction. Because of the stigma, even the accusation of a sex crime can be life altering; an internet sex crime charge could cause you to lose your job, your friends or family, your partner and more. The legal consequences of a sex crime conviction can be even more devastating. These consequences or penalties, may include:

·         Mandatory minimum prison sentences

·         Mandatory sex offender registration  

·         Compliance with a prohibition order or an order that prohibits contact with any persons under the age of 16. This includes visiting or living near public parks, schools, etc.

·         Forfeiture of your property

 

If you've been accused of committing an internet sex crime, don't delay. Contact our office immediately for more information on securing the expert legal advice you will need.

Traffic Violations: Types of Offences & Why You Should Take Them Seriously

Many people assume traffic violations or infractions are not a big deal. In some cases, you pay the fine and that's the end of the process. In other cases, however, such as if you were to ignore the infractions, minor violations could one day lead to big consequences. Pay attention to every infraction you receive. If you don’t, you could lose your license or personal freedom, at least for a period of time. Educate yourself on the many possible traffic violations and their related penalties, and know who to call if and when you require the help of an experienced lawyer.  

Types of Traffic Violations

In Canada, there are many types of traffic violations. These violations can lead to minor, major, serious or criminal convictions. A conviction could adversely affect your driving record, but an experienced criminal defence lawyer from Haryett & Company could help prevent this from happening. The most common offenses and convictions, include:

·         Careless driving

·         Dangerous driving

·         Impaired driving

·         Abrupt lane changes

·         Excessive speeding

·         Stunt driving

·         Highway offenses

·         Driving while prohibited or unauthorized

·         Criminal negligence or causing an accident that results in serious injury or death

·         Driving over .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Although the above violations are the most common, the list of possible traffic infractions is extensive. Every violation can be placed into one of three categories: minor, major or serious and criminal violations.

Common Minor Violations:

·         Improper braking or non-working brakes

·         Failing to signal

·         Failing to use a seatbelt

·         Speeding

·         Failing to yield to another vehicle or pedestrian

·         Traffic light or stop sign infractions

·         Failing to produce or carry an insurance card

·         Unsafe or prohibited turns

 

Common Major Violations:

·         Failing to stop or follow restrictions in an improper passing or school zone

·         Improper passing in front of a school bus

·         Speeding in a construction zone or school zone

·         Failing to produce valid proof of insurance, registration, or license

·         Operating a motor vehicle without insurance

·         Careless driving

·         Leaving the scene of an accident

·         Stunt driving

·         Driving 50 km over the posted or set speed limit

Serious and Criminal Violations:

·         Dangerous driving

·         Criminal negligence or causing an accident that results in serious injury or death (vehicular manslaughter)

·         Failing to obey law enforcement officers

·         Leaving the scene of an accident with the intention to escape civil or criminal liability

·         Street racing

·         Driving impaired with a BAC above 0.08 or above the legal limit for other substances

·         Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Penalties for Traffic Violations

Even seemingly minor tickets can add up and lead to serious consequences. In Alberta, you might receive demerit points with a traffic related conviction. You are permitted to accumulate 15 points, at which point your license may be suspended or even revoked.  

For minor violation convictions, you will also face small or moderate fines. On the other hand, major, serious or criminal offences almost always involve moderate or large fines, court costs and other fees.

If you have questions about traffic violations and require the guidance of an experienced criminal defence lawyer, please call us.

Have You Received a Weapons Charge? Here's What You Need to Know

If you’ve received a weapons charge, this can be a confusing and stressful time. Weapons charges are serious and can affect many aspects of your life. Educate yourself and seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defence lawyer to help secure your future.

The Consequences

There are many different consequences you may face if you are convicted on a weapons charge. These include but are not limited to:

A Jail Sentence

In many instances, a weapons charge will carry a jail sentence, the length of which will be decided by the judge. If the person charged is carrying a firearm when a crime is committed, such as a robbery, they could receive a minimum jail sentence of 4 years, for example.

Bail

Individuals charged with an offense involving a weapon have greater difficulty securing reasonable bail, and they may be denied bail altogether. 

Criminal Record

When you are convicted of any crime, it's included as part of your criminal record. When you apply for a job and they perform a background check, your criminal record will show that you were convicted of a weapons related offense.

Revocation of Professional License

Some professions require a license, such as doctors and nurses. If you carry a professional license of any sort and get convicted of a weapons charge, your license can be revoked. This may not be a sentencing from the judge but will likely come from the association that granted your license.

What You Can Do

A weapons charge can mean serious jail time, and time spent in jail can significantly alter the course of your life. Take steps to ensure you have the best possible legal team on your side. Haryett & Company is one of the most experienced law firms in Edmonton, Alberta when it comes to defending individuals charged with weapons related offenses. We have built a reputation for providing expert, individualized legal advice, and for fighting aggressively for our clients in court. Contact us today for more information.

Why Traffic Violations & Driving Charges Should be Taken Seriously

Traffic law violations and driving offences are not uncommon, but it doesn't mean that they should be dismissed or not considered serious. Particularly if you or someone you know has been charged with dangerous driving causing damage, injury or death, it's particularly important to understand the consequences and to take steps to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

Driving infractions can vary from simple tickets to the possibility of a Criminal Code conviction, depending on the subsisting facts. These are just some of the consequences that can results from traffic violations and driving offences:

Higher Insurance

Even seemingly small traffic tickets can cause your insurance rates to climb. To your insurance company, a traffic ticket means that you’re a liability which could end up costing them money, so they raise your rates. A few violations that can cause higher insurance rates are:

·         Speeding

·         Running a Red Light or Stop Sign

·         Distracted Driving

License Suspension

Your license can be suspended for several reasons ranging from minor to major driving offences:

·         Multiple Minor Tickets: Whether you have multiple speeding tickets or a few tickets for seemingly minor violations, you could be at risk for having your license suspended.

·         Impaired Driving: Also known as drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs.

·         Careless Driving: Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for persons using the highway.

Jail Sentence

While it isn't likely that you will go to jail for speeding, there are more serious types of traffic crimes that can carry jail sentences. Particularly with a serious driving offence, you should seek the help of some of the most experienced lawyers Edmonton has to offer. Haryett & Company have been working to protect the rights of those charged with driving offences that include the following for more than 20 years:

·         Leaving the Scene of an Accident: Leaving the scene of an accident without waiting for the authorities to arrive, even if no one was injured, can result in charges. In instances where you leave the scene of an accident that involved injuries or death, charges can carry jail time.

·         Careless Driving: Careless driving causing injury or death can carry stiff penalties, including a jail sentence.

·         DUI: Causing serious injury or death while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Whether you have received a few traffic tickets or a serious driving violation, now's the time to seek legal advice. Haryett & Company will provide you with the professional advice and legal defense you need. Contact us today.

Impaired Driving that Causes Serious Injury or Death

An impaired driving charge can significantly affect your daily life in a wide variety of ways, but when you're charged with impaired driving causing serious injury or death, the consequences can be much more severe.

Impaired driving, also known as a DUI or driving under the influence, can result in injury or death when the driver causes an accident with another car, hits a pedestrian, or is involved in an accident that causes harm to individuals inside and/or outside the car.

Impaired Driving in Edmonton

In Edmonton, and throughout Canada, impaired driving charges can be laid if a person gets behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. When you’re arrested for impaired driving causing serious injury or death, you will receive harsher penalties than someone who has just been arrested for driving while impaired. These are some of the potential penalties that can arise from an impaired driving charge:

            Loss of License

As a result of the combination of the Criminal Code of Canada and Alberta Legislation, your ability to operate a motor vehicle is suspended at the roadside immediately. This can affect your everyday life, making it harder to perform daily tasks and even get to work. In some cases, an impaired driving charge can result in job loss. The duration of the suspension will depend upon the severity of the crime; impaired driving causing injury can result in a 10 year suspension, while impaired driving causing death can lead to permanent suspension. 

            Prison Sentence

Impaired driving offences that result in injury or death can carry lengthy prison sentences. When impaired driving causes bodily harm, you may receive up to 10 years in prison, while impaired driving causing death can lead to life imprisonment. Canadian courts have determined that a six (6) year period of imprisonment is appropriate for a first-time offender convicted of impaired driving causing death,

            Criminal Record

You will have a permanent criminal record. This could affect prospective jobs and travel.

            Lawsuits

If someone is injured or killed, you may be sued. People injured in an accident in which   you were driving impaired may try to sue you for medical bills or even loss of income if       they're unable to work as a result of their injuries. If a person dies in an accident in which you were driving impaired, their family may sue you for funeral costs along with pain and suffering.

Haryett & Company has been serving the Edmonton area for over 20 years, providing legal representation for offenders. With our proven record of success, you can count on us to fight for you in court. Mistakes can be made during police investigations that can affect your legal case. From mistakes with blood-alcohol tests and arrest procedure, a lot can happen before you actually reach the courtroom. The lawyers at Haryett will work to make sure you receive a fair trial. Contact us today.

What You Need to Know About DUI Charges for Marijuana

Substances of many type can impair your ability to walk, talk, perform normally, and complete everyday activities, including driving. Impairment can be caused by substances on all levels, including 'soft drugs' like marijuana. Driving while under the influence of marijuana can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol and, like alcohol, although the use of cannabis in Canada is legal, driving under the influence is still illegal.

Marijuana can negatively impact motor skills, slow reaction times, hinder concentration, and impair your ability to make accurate or snap decisions, thus increasing the chances of a collision. Ideally, you should never drive under the influence of marijuana, but if you do, there may be some consequences for this mistake. Drivers who are caught driving impaired are usually arrested and charged with driving while impaired or under the influence (DUI). If you’re charged with a DUI, you could face a major fine, license suspension, or even jail time. When charged with a DUI, you need the help of an experienced lawyer, one who can help you achieve the best possible outcome.  

How Law Enforcement Detects Drug-Impaired Drivers

It has long been illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by drug or alcohol. However, the recent legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada has reinforced law enforcement’s efforts in detecting drug impaired drivers. Police officers are, and have been, trained to detect impaired driving by drug through the use of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) and Standard Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) evaluations. However, after the legalization of recreational cannabis, new legislation was introduced to expand and improve testing and recognition.. Parliament has approved drug screening devices that detect the recent presence of THC from cannabis, and the use of methamphetamine and cocaine. It also allows officers to perform a SFST and/or demand an oral fluid sample if there are reasonable grounds, such as the driver is visibly agitated, shaky, unfocused, and basically appears to be 'high.'

Penalties for Drug-Impaired Driving Charges

Drug-impaired driving is considered a serious offence and the penalties for the charge range from minor to major. Depending on the province and the level or degree of offence, the penalties could range from a minimum fine to imprisonment. The seriousness of your penalty also depends on the level of THC found in your blood. Having less than 5 nanograms (ng) of THC per ml of blood isn’t considered a serious offence, and thus, will carry less serious consequences. On the other hand, having 5 or more nanograms of THC per ml of blood is considered the most serious offence. This represents severe impairment. When combined with alcohol, 50mg or more of alcohol per 100 ml of blood and 2.5 ng or more of THC per ml of blood is considered severe drug impairment. If high levels of THC are found in your blood, you could be criminally charged and subject to an array of penalties. These possible penalties for drivers in Alberta include:

  • First offence: minimum $1,000 fine, mandatory driving course, 90-day license suspension, one-year participation in the mandatory ignition interlock program, 3-day vehicle seizure, in addition to having a criminal record and increased insurance premiums

  • Second offence: Mandatory minimum 30-day imprisonment, minimum two-year driving prohibition, mandatory participation in the ignition interlock program, mandatory driving course, in addition to having a criminal record and increased insurance premiums,

  • Third offence and beyond: mandatory minimum 4-month imprisonment, minimum three-year driving prohibition, mandatory participation in the ignition interlock program, mandatory driving course, in addition to having a criminal record and increased insurance premiums

In response to the legalization of cannabis, the Government of Canada has significantly increased the nature and scope of police powers to investigate. The authority granted has not been tested in court for its constitutionality and is akin to entering uncharted waters. Therefore, it is essential that you contact an experienced DUI lawyer to discuss your options.

No matter the seriousness of the consequences, a DUI charge and/or conviction can be life altering. It’s something that should be taken seriously at all stages, which is why you should hire an experienced DUI lawyer as early in the process as possible. An experienced lawyer will ensure your charges are valid, make sure any invalid charges are immediately dropped, create a strong defense, file the proper paperwork and/or motions, expedite the trial process, and ensure you’re treated fairly and given the most lenient sentence.

If you've been charged with a DUI for marijuana, or other drug, or alcohol, call us today.

Rachel GrierDUI Lawyer
Refusing a Breathalyzer: Impaired Driving Lawyers, Edmonton

Learn what will happen after you've refused a breathalyzer test from some of the most experienced impaired driving lawyers Edmonton offers.

Breath testing can take one of two forms: roadside testing and evidentiary testing.

Roadside testing is used by the police when there are insufficient signs or indicia of impairment in the ability to drive to warrant an arrest. The driver is NOT entitled to speak with a lawyer at this stage. If the driver provides a sample of breath, it will analyze as either a ‘Pass’, which has no consequences, a ‘Warn’, which has no criminal consequences but consequences under provincial legislation, or a ‘Fail’, which allows the police to continue their investigation and obtain further breath samples at the police station after the driver has had a chance to call a lawyer. These further breath samples are designed to determine the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or blood alcohol level of suspected drunk drivers.

A failure or refusal to blow at the roadside, or at the police station, is a criminal offence and has the same consequences as a failed breath test or being provably impaired. If a demand is made for you to give a sample of your breath, COMPLY.

If you refuse a breath test, in additional to the refusal charge, you could still be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or while impaired. If this happens, you will need the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer. Experienced lawyers are the only ones who can unravel the complicated nature of such a case. Furthermore, there are some facts about refusing a breathalyzer screening that you should know.

Penalties for Refusing Roadside Testing or Evidentiary Testing

Once again, if you fail to comply with breath testing, you will be charged with a criminal offence and subject to the same penalties as DUI. These penalties can include:

  • A permanent criminal record

  • Fines of at least $2,000

  • License suspension of at least one year

  • Conditional probation

  • Enrollment in a program for license reinstatement

  • Possible jail time of at least 30 days on a second offence and at least four months on a third or higher offence

  • High risk insurance rates for a three to five-year period

  • Permanent license revocation in extreme cases involving multiple related prior convictions

The type and severity of your penalties will depend on your past record and the experience of your lawyer. Thus, the more DUI offences you’ve committed and the less experienced your lawyer, the worse the penalty. Of course, one of the best impaired driving lawyers Edmonton has to offer, like those at our firm, will fight to ensure you receive the lowest sentence possible.

How an Experienced DUI Lawyer Can Help

No matter the crime you’re accused of, your rights as a resident of Canada are always protected. And these rights are best defended by an experienced lawyer. An experienced impaired driving lawyer will be well-versed on DUI laws and court proceedings and be the most capable of providing a prompt, organized, and thorough defence. He/she will know how to approach your case and find difficulties with the police investigation that could result in an acquittal or the charges being withdrawn. Also, lawyers at Haryett & Company may even be able to establish that your refusal was warranted in the circumstances.

They will also ensure that you’re treated fairly by law enforcement, including investigating if proper procedures were followed during the investigation. If any violations are found, the DUI and/or refusal charges may be withdrawn or reduced. Although these sorts of cases can be complicated, they’re more likely to have favorable outcomes with an experienced defence team at the helm. A team like Haryett & Company will leave no stone unturned and, where possible, will work to establish that your refusal was backed by sufficient reason.

Have you received an impaired driving charge? Contact our office today: (780) 426-5317.

Shannon Routley
Protect Your Rights Following a Domestic Assault Charge

Assault involves physical attacks or hitting, physical threats of harm, unwanted physical contact, and physical contact of any sort without consent. Domestic assault involves committing a violent act against a, current or former spouse or sexual partner, or a family member., A violent act that isn’t committed in self-defence or defence of property can have serious consequences. If you’re accused of committing a violent act such as domestic assault, an experienced assault lawyer can help defend your rights and get your case settled favorably. There are, however, some facts you should know about domestic assault, including how an experienced defence lawyer can help you.

Domestic Assault Charges Can Carry Severe Consequences

Domestic assault is a serious offence that carries severe penalties in some cases. Here are some basic guidelines for penalties in domestic assault convictions:

  • A conditional sentence or house arrest

  • A custodial sentence

  • Fines

  • Travel limitations

  • A permanent criminal record

  • Restrictive probation conditions

  • long term ‘no contact order’ with the victim

The type and severity of penalties rendered against a convicted individual depends on how the Crown proceeds. The Crown may proceed ‘Summarily’ or ‘By Way of Indictment’, which is determined by the severity of the action and any prior similar offences. Furthermore, criminal proceedings against an individual accused of assault are may proceed even if the victim (or complainant) wants to drop the charges. The Crown may proceed with your case even if the matter is settled between you and your spouse, family member, roommate, etc. Therefore, depending on how the Crown proceeds, you may be subject to certain penalties.

Penalties for Domestic Assault

Once again, the possible penalties you may face in your domestic assault case will depend on how the Crown proceeds. Although the proceedings are different, the types of penalties for proceeding ‘Summarily’ or ‘By Way of Indictment’ are the same. The definitions for these types of proceedings and convictions; however, are different. In fact, they each have three distinctive characteristics. For example, summary proceedings and convictions 2) encompass the most minor offences in the Canadian Criminal Code, and 3) usually only carry penalties of six months of jail time, $5,000 in fines, or both. On the other hand, proceedings by indictment 1) are more serious than summary offenses and involve harsher penalties, 2) involve the prosecution of accused individuals with a possible trial by jury, and 3) include penalties that range from a minimum sentence of absolute discharge to a maximum five-year custodial sentence. The possible conviction and penalties you face will depend on your lawyer’s experience. If you choose any experienced assault lawyer Edmonton offers from Haryett & Company, you can rest assured that we will fight so that you receive the best possible sentence. Our expertise and dedication to our clients maximize a favorable outcome.

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help

An experienced domestic assault lawyer can be there to make sure your rights are defended in court and. He/she will ensure relevant evidence is collected, proper witnesses are interviewed and presented, and pertinent motions, documents, etc. are filed. Additionally, he/she will help to clear you of any false accusations and help protect you against law enforcement intimidation. Most importantly, he/she will have knowledge of assault laws and court procedures. This knowledge will help ensure you receive a fair trial and a lesser sentence. Lesser sentences could come in several forms, including:

  • A conditional discharge without a criminal record

  • A monetary fine

  • An intermittent sentence, time served during weekends

  • Conditional sentence with community service

  • A suspended sentence with probation

In some cases, a peace bond agreement may be available. Lighter, first time offences can be eligible for a peace bond, which is an agreement between the defendant and Her Majesty to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. Upon entry into such an agreement, the Crown will withdraw the criminal charges, absolve the accused of any guilt, and set forth certain conditions, such as doing no harm or having no contact with the complainant for the duration of bond (typically 6 to 12 months). At the prosecutor’s discretion, a domestic assault case can be settled with a peace bond.

If you've been charged with domestic assault, contact us right away. We will work to ensure your rights are protected!

Shannon Routley
An Experienced DUI Lawyer is Even More Important When You've Had Multiple DUI Charges

Driving under the influence or impairment (DUI) can be devastating in many ways. Not only is it dangerous to everyone on the road, it’s rife with serious consequences. DUI charges carry severe penalties, including license suspension, large fines, and possible jail time. The severity of these penalties is magnified in cases where there have been multiple DUIs. Not only do multiple DUIs put you at risk of receiving the harshest penalties, but it can also make your case more sensitive and complicated. If you have multiple DUI charges, you should only be represented by an experienced DUI or impairment lawyer.

General Penalties for DUI Charges

Although every DUI case is different, there are some general penalty guidelines. These guidelines are as follows:

  • First DUI offence: Mandatory minimum one-year license suspension, fines, and/or up to two years of jail time

  • Second DUI offence: Mandatory minimum two-year license suspension, 30 days of jail time, and a possibility of up to two years of jail time

  • Third DUI and beyond: Mandatory minimum three-year license suspension, , four months of jail time and a possibility of up to two years of jail time

Please note that an offender with multiple related convictions may face more serious consequences to his or her driving privileges and a lengthier maximum sentence of incarceration. Also, the above guidelines do not apply in the event of an alcohol related accident involving bodily harm or death.

These penalties may seem harsh or even frightening, but they don’t apply in every case – they’re simply basic guidelines, and they vary depending upon the severity and details of your case. Moreover, the most experienced DUI or impaired lawyers Edmonton has to offer, like the lawyers at Haryett & Company, will work to ensure you receive the lowest penalty possible.

Advantages of Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Multiple DUI Circumstances

If you have past DUIs and new related charges, hiring an experienced impairment lawyer is your best option. An experienced lawyer offers several advantages. First, he/she will know the legal standards, procedures, and rules associated with DUI cases. They will also be able to identify any falsehoods or errors in your case, especially those related to sobriety or breath tests and blood draws. This ability often coincides with specialized knowledge of substance-detection technology and DUI laws. Experienced lawyers also take immediate action, as they know which legal forms, motions, etc. to file. Plus, the more experience your lawyer has, the faster your case moves along and, often, the lesser the sentence you receive. In some cases, your lawyer may even be able to have the case dismissed.

If you've been charged with impaired driving, contact our experienced team at Haryett & Company today: (780) 426-5317.

Shannon Routley
When You Might Need an Experienced White-Collar Crime Lawyer

White-collar crimes are non-violent offenses committed for monetary gain. They typically involve fraudulent conduct aimed at government entities, financial institutions, private or public businesses, charity organizations, bank customers, and regular consumers. When an individual is caught committing these types of acts, law enforcement will charge the liable person(s) with a specific white-collar crime. Although they may seem less serious, white-collar crime charges can carry stiff penalties, and these possible penalties include, significant fines, prison time, or both. You can and should hire an experienced lawyer who will work to determine the likelihood of conviction or success at trial, and if a finding of guilt is inevitable, help keep the consequence to a minimum. First, here's a look at some of these types of crimes:

Common Types of White-Collar Crimes

If you’re charged with a white-collar crime, you should educate yourself on the charges and what they entail. This includes understanding the laws related to the crime you’re accused of, as well as knowing the different types of white-collar crime that exist. Common white-collar crimes include:

  • Mortgage fraud

  • Issuance of worthless checks

  • Theft

  • Tax fraud

  • Bribery

  • Forgery and counterfeiting

  • Insurance fraud

  • Accounting fraud

  • Computer-related crimes

  • Scheme to defraud

  • Financial abuse of an elderly person

  • Healthcare fraud

  • Misuse of public office

  • Embezzlement

  • Racketeering

To strengthen your defense, an experienced lawyer will ensure you’re educated about the crime with which you have been charged, as well as any related crimes. It’s possible, and sometimes happens that accused persons are charged with multiple crimes of a similar nature. For example, someone charged with embezzlement may also be charged with theft, etc.

Fighting False Accusations

Of course, being accused of a crime isn’t an indication of guilt; every day, people are falsely accused of committing crimes. In cases where an individual is falsely or mistakenly accused of a white-collar crime, defendants are known as incidental actors. Incidental actors are unwittingly a part of a fraudulent scheme, meaning they didn’t knowingly participate in or create this scheme. False accusations usually result from fraudulent documents that bear the accused’s signature. Some people are also falsely accused by business partners (ex or current), employers, employees, co-workers, or even friends. These types of allegations, however, can be fought and disproved with the help of an experienced fraud lawyer. Edmonton men and women accused of white-collar crimes turn to the defence team at Haryett and Company.

Understanding Aggravated White-Collar Crimes

There are a number of circumstances which can aggravate the sentence on a fraud charge, including the relationship between the parties, the number of parties affected, the age of the affected parties, and whether the affected parties come from a disadvantaged or vulnerable group within society. Repeated fraudulent conduct, duration of the fraudulent conduct, and sophistication of the fraudulent conduct can also lead to an aggravated or higher sentence. If you’re charged with an aggravated white-collar crime, you could face exorbitant fines and a strong possibility of prison time. A normal charge could quickly become an aggravated one, especially if you don't have the help of an experienced white-collar crime lawyer. Not only can a proven lawyer prevent this unfortunate circumstance, he/she can seek to reduce the number of charges you are facing and help you receive the lowest sentence in the circumstances.

If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, contact the legal team at Haryett and Company now. We bring years of experience and a proven track record to provide you with the quality, personalized defence you require.

The Importance of Hiring a Proven DUI Lawyer

Intoxicated drivers can be a danger to themselves and anyone else on the road. And driving while intoxicated often comes with serious consequences. For many, one of the most serious consequences is being arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If you’re charged with a DUI, whether by alcohol or drug, your license will be suspended or revoked, you could be subject to a criminal record, large fines, possible jail time, and a significant and long-term increase in insurance premiums. Seeking the help of an experienced lawyer, however, can help reduce the seriousness of a DUI charge. Here's how:

The Best Personal Representation

To save time and money, some people simply hand their cases over to a legal aid lawyer or the first lawyer they find. To secure the best legal representation possible, however, you should only look for DUI lawyers with proven track records. And, while it may seem okay to simply hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases, it could be a mistake to choose a law firm without a high success rate. Similarly, while a legal aid lawyer may have experience with many DUI cases, they may not have a high win rate or expertise in this area. Furthermore, legal aid lawyers are often stretched thin from being assigned too many cases at once, and this makes these types of lawyers unable to provide personalized representation. For experience, success, and quality representation, contact Haryett & Company.

Offer Specialized Knowledge

DUI lawyers with significant experience and successful cases offer extensive knowledge of DUI laws and have an understanding of the effects of alcohol or drug consumption on the human physiology and the way alcohol or drug testing instruments work, their reliability and their shortcomings. This knowledge can be applied to your case and used to educate you on this legal process. An experienced lawyer can also explain how the judge will view your case and apply the admissible evidence to the law. Plus, legal expertise can save time and money, as your lawyer won’t need to learn the nuances of the process related to DUI cases. Mistakes and unnecessary court appearances can also be avoided during the legal process. Furthermore, considerable legal knowledge can help ensure you’re properly prepared for each court appearance and more.

Returns Your Life to Normal, Faster

A DUI charge can upend a normal life, causing legal, personal, career, financial, and (in some cases) emotional challenges. Facing serious legal consequences can be stressful and frightening, whether it’s potentially losing your license, paying a fine, or (especially) going to jail. But, fortunately, a proven DUI lawyer has the knowledge and the expertise to help put your life back on track quickly. They’ll put your legal defence together properly and efficiently. An experienced defence lawyer will provide a strategy to maximize the likelihood of success at trial.

When they need a proven DUI lawyer, Edmonton men and women call Haryett & Company. We'll provide the experience and personalized representation you need to receive the best possible outcome.

Why You Need a Proven and Experienced Drug Defense Lawyer

Facing criminal drug charges can be distressing, but having the support of a good legal team can improve the outcome of your situation. An experienced drug defence lawyer brings legal expertise, will take care of all the paperwork, pleading, and trial details while navigating around legal obstacles. An experienced lawyer at the helm will provide you with an understanding of your jeopardy and peace of mind, while working to minimize the consequences of your actions.

When faced with drug charges, these are some of the many reasons you should only hire an experienced drug lawyer:

Provide Expert Knowledge of Drug Laws

Generally, experienced drug defence lawyers are experts on drug-related laws. This includes knowing what penalty accompanies each type of drug offense. Expert knowledge of drug offenses and their penalties could help ensure you’re given a fair trial and sentence. Whether the charge is minor or major, the penalty will match. In some cases, the sentence may be better than expected, as legal expertise can improve the likelihood of a more lenient penalty. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing a fine or jail. Your lawyer will also have knowledge of the prosecutors and judges that may try your case. Just remember, the more knowledge your lawyer has, the stronger your defence will be.

Mitigate Risks by Acting Immediately

It is important to get a lawyer involved as quickly as possible after you have been charged. After being hired, an experienced drug lawyer will take charge of your case. A proven lawyer knows that the sooner you act, the better your chances of winning. In some instances, moving at a snail’s pace gives the prosecution time to strengthen their case. In other circumstances, a lawyer that acts promptly, can mitigate risk. Initial, quick action from your defence team is also an indicator of how they might handle future obstacles. Handling obstacles promptly at any point in the legal process can also help mitigate risks and increase your chances of winning or receiving a more lenient sentence.

Perform Damage Control

Damage control goes along with mitigating risks. Without a lawyer, you’re constantly at risk of causing damage. Intimidation from law enforcement can make you say the wrong thing or even provide false information. Experienced counsel will prohibit such intimidation, prevent leading questions, or advise you on how to answer questions. They will also stop you from making uninformed, coerced, or impulsive decisions, as every decision must go through your counsel. Making the right decisions will ensure your case is stable and stays on equal ground with the prosecution. Furthermore, your lawyer can prevent you from incurring additional false charges.

Delegate Tasks to a Legal Defence Team

To provide the best representation and build your case, your lawyer will bring a legal defence team. Pertinent tasks are delegated to this team, including:

  • Finding key witnesses

  • Gathering relevant evidence

  • Preparing certain court documents

  • Cross-examining witnesses

  • Finding expert witnesses

This team will also ensure regular and expert witnesses are prepared to provide testimony that will strengthen your case or undermine the prosecution’s case. Additionally, an experienced defence lawyer and team will design a unique strategy to fit your drug charge. A strong, unique strategy could include preparing you for trial, conducting an independent investigation, and making settlements or negotiations before trial.

When you've been charged with a drug-related offence, don't delay! Hire an experienced drug lawyer. Edmonton men and women turn to Haryett & Company for their legal expertise and commitment to effectively defending their clients. Call now for more information.


Haryett & Co.