Criminal lawyers in Calgary, defending your rights.

criminal-defence-lawyer-calgaryBeing accused of a crime may be the most stressful event you will ever experience in your lifetime. If you are reading this, it is likely that you or a loved one have been arrested and charged by the police. Your reputation has been tarnished, your liberties have been restricted, and now you have to defend yourself in court. You’ve been through a lot, but unfortunately, this is just the beginning.

Next, the government will use all of the resources at its disposal to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. With unlimited money, power, and resources at their disposal, they have the means to see this through.

We understand that being merely accused of a crime can be extremely stigmatizing. But being found guilty can lead to its own host of significant ramifications.

Even if you are not sentenced to a jail term, a criminal conviction can have profound consequences on your future, such as:

  • Loss of employment,
  • Loss of family and friends,
  • Loss of immigration status,
  • Loss of opportunity, and
  • Loss of personal self-worth.

As hard as it may seem, remember that you are presumed innocent throughout this process and that you are doing the right thing by exploring your legal options.

A Strategic Approach

No two clients are alike. We understand that the circumstances in your case are unique and require a personalized approach to address any criminal charge you are facing.

Our first step with any new client is to listen. Understanding the exact circumstances that led to you receiving a criminal charge is critical in being able to determine the strategy we believe will be most likely to result in the best possible outcome. We will also discuss your goals in resolving the criminal charge which may include avoiding a criminal record, avoiding jail time, and/or having a fine reduced.

Once we have a comprehensive understanding of your situation, we will discuss the next steps and outline the strategy we believe would be in your best interest such as proceeding to trial, attempting to reach a resolution with the Crown, or pleading guilty to a lesser offence and sentence.

Most importantly, no matter what avenue we take, it will be with your instruction and confidence that it is the right strategy for you.

Criminal Defence Statistics in Calgary

In 2021, Calgary Police Services reported 75,539 Criminal Code of Canada (“Criminal Code”) offences, meaning 5.7% of the total population of the city experienced firsthand the stress and concern over how to handle the consequences of a Criminal Code offence. Of course, this does not consider the thousands more who are impacted as friends or family of the individual charged.

Although self-representation is an option, and your legally protected right, there is a vast amount of information you will need to know prior to appearing for yourself in court. Furthermore, statistics indicate that self-represented litigants are significantly more likely to be found guilty than those with legal representation.

We are confident not only in our ability to represent you but also in working with you to find a payment plan that suits your budget, with a lawyer that suits your needs.

Client-Centred Services

Defending your rights is not just about knowing the law. We believe that understanding your story is of the utmost importance as well. Every case is different, and every client has individualized needs. We will always take the time to meet with you to learn about your personal circumstances and priorities, so that we can represent you better.

Our lawyers are passionate about criminal law and are fully invested in those we represent. No matter the situation, we never lose sight of our clients’ interests. Furthermore, with open lines of communication, you can count on us to keep you informed every step of the way.

Flexible Payment Structures

Given the current economic climate, we understand that times are tough for Calgarians. As such, the first consultation is free of charge. Beyond that, we offer flexible fee structures and aim to accommodate every budget.

Having a diverse legal team also allows us to offer a broad range of fees without compromising your defence. We always have the ability to pair the right lawyer for every client and every budget. The best part is that no matter who you hire, you will receive the full benefit of our collective wisdom and experience.

Understanding Criminal Defence Proceedings

We understand that your first question when you are charged with a criminal offence is “what now?” Our team of dedicated professionals is here to guide you through your concerns and ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

Following your initial consultation, we will ensure all of your disclosure is provided. That means any evidence the Crown seeks to use in their case must be provided to us. Once we have had an opportunity to review, we will meet to discuss what we believe will be the best avenue to proceed and ensure your concerns are addressed. This may include proceeding to trial, attempting to reach a resolution with the Crown or pleading guilty to a lesser offence.

Regardless, we will ensure you are fully informed every step of the way and understand all aspects of whatever avenue we proceed with.

For a more extensive explanation of the criminal justice process, please visit our Court Process web page.

Our Lawyers In The News

Conditional sentence given to man who assaulted police officer

Read Story

Radio personality granted absolute discharge

Read Story

Former junior hockey player jailed for sexual assault of Calgary woman

Read Story

Woman accused of Calgary manslaughter tearfully hugs lawyer after charge dropped mid-trial

Read Story

Murder charge dropped in Manchester industrial area fatal stabbing of Valeri Lomakine

Read Story

Alberta Court of Appeal hears arguments on ‘unfit’ sentence handed to former Calgary cop

Read Story

Bail granted to two men charged with beating wheelchair-bound man during home invasion

Read Story

Triple homicides and 2002 Valentine’s Day killing among top Calgary court cases to watch in 2021

Read Story

Woman beaten to death by boyfriend for sitting on his hat

Read Story

Calgary businessman John Torode pleads guilty to drunk-driving crash that injured 2 women

Read Story

Why Choose Us?

Our firm has over 500+ five-star Google reviews across Canada.

We are one of the largest criminal defence teams in Western Canada.

Our lawyers have over 60 years of combined legal experience.

We have defended clients in over 10,000 criminal cases.

We offer flexible payment structures and fee plans.

Our team is available 24/7 to provide help and support.

Practice Areas

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is one of many criminal driving charges that can be filed against drivers in Calgary. In 2020, 775 adults were charged with impaired driving by Calgary Police Service alone. Officers are on high alert for these offences and will charge you if necessary.

Domestic Violence

A charge is considered domestic in nature if it involves violence against a family member or a current/former romantic partner. Calgary Police Service respond to 2 domestic violence-related calls every hour. Domestic violence is considered a serious offence that often results in jail time.

Violent Offences

Violent offences result from alleged harmful events between people. These include assault, homicide, and sexual offences. In Calgary, violent offences increased 8.6% from 2020 to 2021, meaning local police are diligently pursuing charges against these types of crimes.

Drug Offences

Drug charges are offences which arise from an interaction with an illicit drug or substance including possession, trafficking, distribution, and importation. Calgary dedicates significant resources to investigating these crimes, including an undercover street team.

Youth Offences

Youth offences are primarily addressed through the Youth Criminal Justice Act which aims to rehabilitate young people and reduce youth crime. In Calgary, programs such as Youth at Risk Development are on high alert for youth offenders and intervening before they become habitual offenders.

Administration of Justice

Administration of justice offences include Criminal Code violations of failure to comply with conditions, prisoner unlawfully at large, failure to appear, and breach of probation. Calgary Police Service takes these charges seriously and they can result in jail time.

Criminal Driving

Criminal driving encompasses multiple motor vehicle offences in the Criminal Code and is different from charges under the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta. In Calgary, criminal driving can be extended to violations such as excessive speeding and can have serious repercussions.

Assault & Threats

Assault is a serious charge whereby someone applies force (directly or indirectly) to a person without their consent. The maximum penalty for an indictable offence is 10 years behind bars. 2019 statistics in Calgary indicate neighbourhoods such as the Beltline, Bowness and Sunridge, had the highest rate of non-domestic assault charges.

Sexual Offences

Sexual offences include sexual interference, exploitation, and most commonly sexual assault. A sexual offence is committed when the complainant did not consent to the activity that forms the subject matter of the charge. The Calgary Police Sex Crimes Unit was formed specifically to investigate these types of crimes and diligently pursues pressing charges against individuals they suspect have engaged in these types of offences.

Property Crimes

Crimes against property are serious charges in Canada. In Calgary, property crimes made up 62% of all Criminal Code charges laid in 2021. This includes theft, break and enters and vehicle fraud.

Traffic Crimes

Traffic offences and violations are breaches of provincial legislation that can result in significant fines, driving suspensions or jail time. Calgary statistics from 2019 indicate 82.5% of traffic collisions were a result of driver error.

Pardons, Record Suspension

A record suspension allows people who have proven themselves to be law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years, to have their criminal records kept separate and apart from other criminal records. In Calgary, a record suspension requires a local records check from every police jurisdiction where you have lived in the past five years.


Meet Your Calgary Legal Team

Our Calgary office has 8 dedicated lawyers ranging from 1 to over 30 years of experience who are passionate about criminal defence work and ensuring a just outcome for each of their clients.

Michael Oykhman

Michael Oykhman is a senior criminal defence lawyer with over 20 years of experience. Michael is skilled in resolution, meaning you don’t have to go to trial to receive the best results. He is a driven problem solver who has appeared at all levels of court in Alberta.

Ian Savage

Senior criminal defence lawyer Ian Savage has over 30 years of experience and has built a career respected by the legal community both Calgary and Alberta wide. He has successfully argued thousands of cases and is particularly skilled in handling impaired driving offences. Read more about Ian and his portfolio here.

Greg Janzen

A published philosopher and passionate lawyer, Greg Janzen has been practicing law since 2017. He is highly adept at resolving cases for his clients without the need to proceed with a costly trial, however, is equally skilled in trial and has defended clients at both the Provincial Court and Court of Queen’s Bench level in Alberta.

Elena Ryland

A believer in fierce advocacy and innovative solutions, Elena Ryland completed her law degree at the University of Alberta and has been practicing since 2018. Her previous work experience at Alberta Crown Prosecution Services allowed her an inside look at how the Crown Prosecutor’s office works and gives her an upper hand when working towards a resolution for her clients.

Joseph-Small-Lawyer copy

Joseph Beller

Since beginning his articles in 2021, Joseph Beller has run nearly 100 low-complexity criminal and traffic matters independently. He also remains an active volunteer with the University of Calgary’s Student Legal Assistance program where he is an alumnus.


Julia Hunter

Although Julia Hunter has only been practicing law since 2020, she gained extensive experience in the legal profession through her work as a judicial assistant in the Provincial Court of Alberta and an internship at the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. She understands the stress associated with receiving a criminal charge and is focused on listening to the individual needs and concerns of each of her clients.

Client Reviews

Michael Oykhman is a very professional lawyer and the first time I spoke to him he asked about my situation and he gave me some very helpful advice and assistance and also told me his odds of winning this case. During the days I was in contact with micheal I could feel the level of professionalism of him and his team, he is able to respond back to you with any questions you have within 24 hours. In the end he was as successful in helping me win my case as he had initially promised me.If you are still struggling to find a lawyer, I highly recommend Michael Oykhman.


Please give yourself a favour and contact Mr. Michael Oykhman if you need any legal advice or if you are in a terrible situation. Even-tough, the odds are not in your favour, still they will go extra miles to help you out in bad situation and get you favourable outcome. Moreover, They will work on your file even after the business hours. I don’t have words to say thanks to Mr. Michael oykhman and Kiran Cheema who had worked on my file and get me out of trouble. I’m very grateful for your assistance and exceptional service. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Laura Bobyn my lawyer was amazing and so supportive of my case and me. She fought with Tenacity to get my victory. It was amazing to hear how knowledgeable and how her attention to every little detail of my case was shown in her defence! She is the best and I would recommend her to anyone of my colleagues or people in my life! Thank you, Laura!

This law firm is your go-to!

I had the pleasure of working and trusting my case with Joseph Beller. I had 2 counts against me, and in the end, Joseph was able to present and use his “fighter skills” in court to have my charges lowered to a conditional discharge. On top of this, this firm follows its mission values statement by being ethical, transparent, available, and very friendly. Joseph and his team treated me with the utmost respect from start to finish. Thank you again, Joseph! I hope to never call you again 😊


Joseph Beller, from the very beginning when I first contacted and then retained Joseph as my representative I felt I was in good hands. When I emailed him with a question. I got a prompt response. We communicated often on the phone as needed. Joseph kept me informed as to the process. He made sure I knew all the potential results so I knew and could plan for the different outcomes. I know this his his job. But appreciate his professionalism and also his ability to not make me feel any extra stress. Well done.


Successful Cases

Failure to Provide a Breath Sample

Charge Stayed;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 75790038

Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample

Charge Withdrawn; Fine

Case Number: 55582522

Refusal to Comply with Breath Demand

Charges Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 55792555

Impaired Driving

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 59592530

Failure to Provide a Breath Sample

Charges Stayed;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 75790038

Impaired Driving

Charges Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 55592573

Domestic Assault Causing Bodily Harm

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 55592538

Domestic Assault with a Weapon

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 65690236

Assault Charge

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 75790026

Domestic Assault with a Weapon

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 55592575

Assault Causing Bodily Harm

Charges Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 5518551

Criminal Harassment

Charges Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 7619881

Sexual Assault

Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 55592585

Indecent Act

Charges Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 35370056

Voyeurism Charges

Charges Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 551866

Sexual Assault

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 55572393

Solicitation of Sexual Services

Charge Stayed;
Alternative Measures Program

Case Number: 758-190057

Sexual Assault

Acquitted at Trial

Case Number: 37370079

Mischief Charge

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 65690248

Mischief Charge

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 65680192

Break and Enter and Mischief

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 53662253

Theft Under $5000

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 741774

Theft Over $5000

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 44470290

$5000 Graffiti Ticket

Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 25280075

Possession Charge

Alternative Measures;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 2250086

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Charge Withdrawn;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 75790045

Possession of an Illegal Substance

Alternative Measures;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 32360030

Two Counts of Possession

Conditional Discharge;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 541783

Possession Charge

Alternative Measures;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 65680165

Three Counts of Possession

Alternative Measures;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 2250117

Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Bodily Harm

Charge Stayed;
No Criminal Record

Case Number: 22290272

Speeding Ticket

Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 25280119

Operation of a Vehicle Contrary to Restriction

Ticket Withdrawn

Case Number: 9583794

Stunting Ticket

Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 25280046

Pedestrian on Roadway and Intoxicated in Public

Tickets Withdrawn;
No Fine

Case Number: 25280202

Failure to Remain at the Scene of an Accident

Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 21280212


Frequently Asked Questions

Consultations are typically free, however, if your case is increasingly sophisticated and you require immediate advice, a fee may be warranted. For example, if you need assistance with an impending arrest or an ongoing interrogation, a proper retainer may need to be completed. Regardless, most consultations will not require a fee and we will ensure we provide as much help and information as we can prior to discussing the necessity of one.

Our consultation will consist of:

  • A review of relevant documents, such as those provided to you by the police;
  • A discussion about the incident(s) in question;
  • An explanation of court processes; and
  • An assessment of the possible outcomes that could result in your case.

At Oykhman Criminal Defence in Calgary, our lawyers are dedicated to providing you with strategic advice during your consultation so that you can make an informed decision going forward.

Yes! Oykhman Criminal Defence focuses exclusively on criminal defence and our lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience in criminal law. We believe this will be of substantial benefit to you as you can trust that we have the expertise to help resolve your case.

Our lawyers in Calgary have rich backgrounds in criminal justice, ranging from presiding over the Criminal Defence Lawyer’s Association (Calgary), conducting numerous trials at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta, and working at the Provincial Court of Alberta. We have dedicated our careers to the practice of criminal defence and know that we can bring the level of zealous advocacy you need to assist you with your criminal charge.

A number of factors may affect the length of time it takes to resolve your case, namely, the complexity of your case and your priorities. For example, if you are willing to plead guilty without hesitation, your file may be resolved relatively quickly. On the other hand, if you do not want to plead guilty and would like to proceed to trial, your file may require more time and resources to be resolved.

As a general rule of thumb, cases that go to trial take longer to conclude. Similarly, if you have a complex file which requires a large amount of disclosure and several witnesses, there may be delays in resolving your case as it will take longer to prepare and organize the required materials.

It is important to convey any concerns you may have about the speed with which your case is resolved to your lawyer so that the course of action which is preferable to you is undertaken. However, in some situations, a more calculated approach may need to be taken irrespective of your personal objectives. For example, it might be sensible to adjourn a trial date or a hearing to demonstrate that reasonable steps are being taken towards rehabilitation. The benefit of this is that the judge may be persuaded to decide more favourably to you, on account of evidence of your progress. On the other hand, it could be useful to accelerate the court process if the Crown Prosecutor has made an oversight that is advantageous to your file.

At Oykhman Criminal Defence in Calgary, our philosophy is to provide the highest level of quality service to our clients, not to finish as quickly as possible. Our defence lawyers take great care to review client’s files, consider client’s needs and strategize the most effective way to handle a case.

The cost of our services depends upon the experience of the lawyer you retain and how complex your file is. For example, the rates for a senior partner may differ from that of an entry-level associate.

Our team of lawyers in Calgary use a flat-rate system, so you will know, upfront, the total cost of whichever service you require from us. The flat-rate system provides the costs for each stage of the court process, regardless of how long it takes us to fulfill the required service or the number of queries you make.

Retaining a criminal defence lawyer may be a consequential decision that affects your future. This is why it is important to invest in the right firm and the right lawyer for you. Contact our office in Calgary for a free consultation and for more information about fees and payment structures.

You have a constitutionally protected right to silence if and when you are arrested or detained by police. This means that you do not need to give a statement, despite any recommendations suggesting otherwise. In other words, you are under no obligation to make a statement which may be self-incriminating.

Anything that you say to the police can be used to convict you in a court of law if you are charged with an offence (i.e., there is no such thing as saying something “off the record”). This is why it is critical that you seek out legal advice and representation before becoming involved with law enforcement or a criminal investigation.

Typically, a police officer will indicate that you have the option to speak with a lawyer if they require a statement from you. If you are given this opportunity, it is likely in your interest to contact a lawyer who can explain whether you should give a statement. In the context of a criminal charge or a criminal offence, a criminal defence lawyer will be able to assist you in examining the potential risks involved in you giving a statement.

If I don’t provide a statement, will I look guilty? 

Given that your right to silence is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomsyou will not look guilty if you choose not to provide a statement to the police. Having this right means that the absence of a statement from you cannot lead to an inference about your blameworthiness.

In a court of law, the fact that you refuse to give a statement cannot be used as an argument against you. In fact, you may be able to preserve your innocence better if you choose not to give a statement to the police because, in remaining silent, you avoid the risk of accidentally divulging information that is unavailable to the Crown, and which can implicate you in a crime.

If the police have asked you to make a statement or if you are under the impression that you may be a suspect in a criminal case, contact us immediately. We can help you navigate this likely overwhelming process, inform you of your rights and responsibilities in communicating with the police and assist you in resolving any criminal charges that there may be against you.

When you hire a criminal defence lawyer, it is important that you hire the best. Whether you are found guilty or receive a charge that will show up on your criminal record, a criminal record can have serious consequences that can affect your future employment, ability to travel, personal freedoms and your overall wellbeing.

At Oykhman Criminal Defence in Calgary, our team of lawyers have over 60 years of criminal defence experience combined. We are passionate about advocating for our clients and ensuring the best possible outcome. We understand how stressful these situations can be and are fully committed to ensuring you feel supported, understood, and advocated for from start to finish. Specifically, we prioritize ensuring that a charge will not appear on your criminal record and ensuring that if you do receive a sentence, it is fair and reasonable in considering not only your current situation but your future as well.

To hire one of our lawyers, you can schedule a free consultation. This will give you the opportunity to determine whether we are the right fit at no expense to you.

Our firm defends clients across Alberta from our two central offices located in Calgary and Edmonton.

To access our services in Calgary and southern Alberta, you can visit our office located at:

396 11 Ave SW #840

Calgary, AB T2R 0C5

You can also give our Calgary office a call at (403) 630-8835.

To access our services in Edmonton and northern Alberta, you can visit our office located at:

9707 110 St NW #410

Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9

You can also give our Edmonton office a call at (587) 930-7877.