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Your Side of the Story

Often times your best defence comes from your side of the story. To make sure you can provide as much detail to your lawyer as possible, one of your first steps should be to write a detailed statement. Your statement should include a timeline of the events leading up to your arrest, your interaction with the police, and the circumstances of your release. If you know of any witnesses it may be helpful to ask them for statements as well.

If you are charged with impaired driving, refusing to provide samples, or over 80 in Alberta

You will have been served a Notice of Suspension at the time of your release. This document starts the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension.

This suspension has two parts: an initial 90 day absolute suspension and a further 12 month suspension with the option of installing an ignition interlock device.

We strongly encourage anyone facing these charges to attend at the Registry and purchase an Application for Hearing to appeal their suspension.

You only have 30 days from the date of the offence to purchase and file an appeal of this suspension. This appeal is the only way to avoid the cumulative 15 month suspension and timing is critical to ensure you do not miss any potential defences.

Police Interrogation

The police are entitled to question you and will most likely ask you to provide a statement. You are not obligated to provide a statement and it is in your best interest to not provide a statement. Aside from identifying yourself when asked, you should exercise your right to remain silent and refuse to answer further questions.


If you were not fingerprinted at the time of your arrest, you were likely served with a document that requires you to attend for fingerprints at a later date. It is important that you do not miss this appointment. If you do, you will likely be charged with another criminal offence. Once you provide your fingerprints, if you are successful in defending your matters, you can have your fingerprints and photographs destroyed.

Release Conditions

If you were released with conditions, either after a bail hearing or via an undertaking to a police officer, it is very important that you comply with those conditions. Failure to do so will result in further charges. You or your lawyer will have an opportunity to address those conditions in the future.


Keep copies of all the paperwork that you were served and provide them to your lawyer. These documents may include pertinent information that can be used early on to begin your defence.


Once you have been charged, the police will compile all of their information (notes, videos, statements, etc) and submit this package to the Crown. This is your disclosure and you are entitled to a copy – this information will inform you about the case against you. If you are retaining a lawyer, they will obtain the disclosure on your behalf. If you have not decided about hiring a lawyer, you can request a copy of the disclosure from the Crown at their office or at Court on your first appearance date.


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