What makes a good criminal lawyer?

It’s a valuable question. Today at Ouellette Hoare Claxton, we are diving into the definition of a good criminal lawyer… and why our team’s comprehensive services make for one of the best criminal lawyer teams in Canada.

Why High-Quality Legal Services Are Key, Regardless of the Charge You Are Facing

To protect both your personal life and your professional reputation, securing a reliable criminal lawyer with a track record of exceptional service (as marked by real client testimonials) is vital. A lawyer with experience can present your case in the best possible light to avoid convictions and prison sentences; thoroughly discuss the file with you; and then build a strong and comprehensive defence for you and your specific circumstances even when it may appear there is overwhelming evidence against you.

Good criminal lawyers can come from boutique firms or a massive law firm: versus going off of the size of the establishment, it is instead recommended to gauge criminal lawyers off of their success with previous clients who were in a similar situation to yourself.

Markers of a good criminal lawyer include:

  • The ability to quickly and thoroughly investigate in order to build a comprehensive case in your favour, including both research and reviewing the evidence
  • The ability to effectively negotiate in order to protect your everyday life long-term, regardless of potential evidence of guilt
  • The ability to win at trials
  • The ability to provide a defence that leverages their complete knowledge of the law
  • When appropriate, the ability to discuss plea options and engage in productive  plea negotiations

Aside from these traits, characteristics that often make for a good criminal lawyer include: exceptional knowledge of the law; a significant level of experience; exceptional customer service; good communication; and thoroughness, no matter the nature of crime.

How Ouellette Hoare Claxton Builds Upon These Must-Haves

When it comes to a legal defence, our criminal law legal team epitomizes what it means to be high-quality criminal lawyers.

At Ouellette Hoare Claxton, we offer experienced, trustworthy, and reliable legal representation for persons charged with Criminal Code offences both in the greater Calgary area and throughout the entirety of Western Canada. We have over 80 years of experience when it comes to practicing exclusively criminal law, all with the end-goal of offering the best defence possible.

How have we maintained this high level of quality over the years? Simple: through our dedication to securing you a positive outcome; our negotiation skills; our hands-on experience; and, of course, our belief that no alleged crime is without context. Being charged with a criminal offence does not mean you are guilty or that you will be found guilty: instead, each and every difficult situation deserves to be examined in full in order for a fair trial to proceed. This means examining potential external biases and external sources with our impeccable knowledge of the law to ensure that you are not being treated unfairly in court or during plea deals.

Some of the more common charges our legal team handles across Western Canada include:

Drug Offences

There are a multitude of drug charges a client may face.

As a team, the lawyers at Ouellette Hoare Claxton have helped clients avoid convictions, harsh penalties, and criminal records for many charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, some of which include:

  1. Possession of a Prohibited or Controlled Substance s.4(1);
  2. Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purposes of Trafficking s.5(2);
  3. Trafficking in a Prohibited or Controlled Substance s.5(1);
  4. Producing, Cultivating or Growing a Controlled Substance s.7; and
  5. Importing, Exporting or Possessing for the Purpose of Exporting a Controlled Substance s. 6.

If you find yourself with a drug charge, know that you’ll be in good hands with the defence lawyers here at Ouellette Hoare Claxton

Sexual Offences

Sexual offences may include any or all of the following:

  • sexual assault charges
  • sexual exploitation
  • sexual interference

Examples of allegations that may lead to such charges:

  • Unwanted touching of a sexual nature (clothed or otherwise)
  • Sexual activity with a person who is unconscious or otherwise unable to consent
  • Forced oral sex, intercourse, or digital penetration
  • An unwanted kiss

We call upon expert witnesses and our years of experience running trials in order to best defend you and allow you to preserve your normal life. 

Weapons and Firearms Offences

On May 1, 2020, new weapons-related regulations were enacted. There are approximately 1 million handguns and 6 million long guns throughout Canada, most of which are owned by law abiding citizens. This has made it so law-abiding gun owners across Canada are commonly charged with firearms-related offences.

Our team of lawyers defend clients facing charges for all weapons and firearms offences, including the following more common ones:

  • The carrying of a concealed weapon;
  • Illegal possession of a weapon;
  • Owning an unregistered gun;
  • Owning a restricted firearm; and
  • Trafficking weapons.

No matter what criminal trials you may face regarding weapons and firearms offences, know that we have hands-on experience building comprehensive defence strategies.

Domestic Violence Offences

Here at Ouellette Hoare Claxton, we have represented hundreds of individuals charged with domestic violence offences. By definition, “domestic violence” charges can arise from any criminal offence which occurs within a domestic context, with the most common being assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, and uttering threats. There is no specific charge of “domestic violence” or “domestic assault” under the Criminal Code of Canada. Instead, the prosecutor will consider the context of the charges as being of a “domestic nature.”

Domestic violence charges require a criminal lawyer with effective communication skills in order to mitigate restrictions placed on both your professional and personal life, namely a loss of child custody. Our years of legal knowledge in this field make it so you have some of the best criminal defence lawyers compiling your defence strategy.

Murder Offences

Prosecution of murder conducted under Section 229 of the Criminal Code:

Culpable homicide is murder

(a) where the person who causes the death of a human being

(i) means to cause his death, or

(ii) means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not;

(b) where a person, meaning to cause death to a human being or meaning to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and being reckless whether death ensues or not, by accident or mistake causes death to another human being, notwithstanding that he does not mean to cause death or bodily harm to that human being; or

(c) if a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that they know is likely to cause death, and by doing so causes the death of a human being, even if they desire to effect their object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.

Being charged with a homicide offence is one of the most significant legal challenges a person may face and, as a result, a conviction for a homicide can result in the most severe criminal penalties possible within the Criminal Code. Have the best legal defence possible thanks to the years of experience on murder charges here at Ouellette Hoare Claxton.

The Ouellette Hoare Claxton Difference: Why We Are Good Criminal Lawyers

Last but not least, our no-fee, zero-obligation, and fully confidential initial consultation provides the opportunity for you to experience our expertise as criminal lawyers. These consultations can be conducted in person at our office or over the phone for maximum convenience.

Our team of criminal lawyers will assist you during the initial consultation to:

  • Discuss your charges;
  • Discuss defences available to you;
  • Review the potential penalties;
  • Explain how the court process works;
  • Provide legal advice and counsel;
  • Explore the impact of setting a trial date or entering a guilty plea; and
  • Discuss the scope of the retainer and anticipated legal fees.

Need immediate assistance? We offer that too. Experience the Ouellette Hoare Claxton difference for yourself today.


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Drug Offences

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Weapon & Gun Offences

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Murder Charges

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Sexual Offences

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Domestic Violence

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CALL: 1(587) 355-8889