Third Avenue Law

Frequently Asked Questions

Core Values

At Third Avenue Law, our core values as a law firm include honesty, integrity and confidentiality. You may share vital information with us about yourself or your business. Our firm ensures that none of this sensitive information gets into the wrong hands.

I want to talk to a lawyer. What kind of cases can you help me with?
At Third Avenue Law, our roster of experienced criminal defence lawyers can assist anyone charged with a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act. We can also help you if you have been cited for a driving infraction, or a regulatory offence, such as a contravention of the BC Wildlife Act or the BC Hunting Regulation. This includes assistance for clients who have been issued an Instant Roadside Prohibition from driving in BC. We may also be able to assist you with making an appeal of a decision against you. We are a boutique Criminal Law Chambers, focused on defending individuals against prosecution. Unfortunately, we are not able to assist with family law or civil litigation matters (lawsuits).
Do I need to pay to talk with a lawyer at Third Avenue Law about my case?
We are pleased to provide you with a free thirty-minute consultation with any one of our roster of lawyers, to discuss your case and provide you with initial advice. If you are not sure whether we can assist you with your matter, feel free to book an appointment and we will try to refer you to other services if we cannot assist you directly.
What are your fees?
After your free consultation, fees to retain a lawyer to represent you going forward will be determined on a case-by-case basis. You may wish to hire one of our lawyers to defend your case all the way through trial, or to retain counsel for a specific service only, such as applying to change conditions of a court order, or negotiating a guilty plea and arguing for an appropriate sentence or disposition. You may be able to retain the lawyer of your choice through Legal Aid BC, without a personal cost to you. We can direct you as to how to apply for Legal Aid coverage.
The police have asked me to provide a statement in an investigation. Should I talk to them?
We advise you not to speak to the police on your own, and contact a lawyer first if you think you may have something you want to say. It is rarely in your interest to make a statement, if you are under investigation by the police. If the police have collected statements or other evidence, they may decide to recommend charges against you, and there is rarely anything you can say yourself to prevent this. Remember that if you are charged with an offence, you will have the opportunity to provide your version of events at trial, should you wish to do so. You can also negotiate potential admissions of facts through a lawyer, whereas anything you say directly to police or another civilian could be used against you. Remember also that even if you believe that you are actually the victim or a witness to an offence, the police may view the situation otherwise.
What are my rights when dealing with the police?

Canadian law protects your right to silence, the right to speak to a lawyer, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and freedom from arbitrary detention, among other rights. How these rights will apply to a particular situation is beyond the scope of this FAQ to address. Detailed descriptions of your rights in a particular situation have been prepared by organizations including: Pivot Legal Society (, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (, and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (

A general rule of thumb is if the police are asking you to do something, politely ask them if you are required by law to comply.  If they say no, you do not have to comply.  You may not even have to provide them with your name.  You should make it clear that you do not consent to a search of your home or your person, although you may still be required to permit a search in certain circumstances.  Remember that if you open your door or answer the phone to the police, anything the officers can see in plain sight, hear, or smell may provide grounds for a search without your consent. If you are operating a vehicle, you must provide your licence and registration if requested by police, and the police can require you to give a roadside breath sample if they have reason to suspect you are driving under the influence.  In general, if the police tell you that you are legally required to do something, it is not a good idea to actively resist them or try to argue, but do ask to speak to a lawyer right away.  In most cases you are not required to say anything to the police, but if you lie, you may be charged with obstruction of justice.

I have been involved in a vehicle accident. What should I do?

Remember that it can be an offence to leave the scene of an accident where you were driving before providing your name and address.  You may also be required to offer assistance if someone else has been injured.  Try to contact a lawyer immediately if you find yourself in such a situation. Remember also that there may be civil or regulatory implications to an accident, as well as criminal ones.  You may wish to consult a lawyer who practices insurance or injury law, in addition to a defence lawyer at Third Avenue Law.  Time is often of the essence after an accident, so don’t delay in seeking advice on your rights and potential duties.

I have been given a court date. Do I have to appear myself on that date?

Once you have retained a lawyer, they will be able to appear on your behalf for most court dates, including your first appearance date.  Try to speak to a lawyer well in advance of your court date, so they can schedule it into their calendar or request a different date, if necessary. You may need to sign a counsel designation notice for your lawyer to appear on your behalf.  You will be required to appear in person for trial dates. You may be able to appear by phone or through MS Teams, but you will have to discuss this with your lawyer well in advance, as an additional application to the court may be required.

The police have given me a document saying I have to obey certain conditions. Is there anything I can do to change those conditions?

The police have the authority to issue you an undertaking with conditions, while the Crown Counsel office considers whether to proceed with charges.  You can apply to change your conditions, even before your first scheduled court date, by filing a document with the Court and appearing before a Judge.  A lawyer at Third Avenue Law can assist you with making an application.  Please contact us as soon as possible, especially if you have been given conditions that are difficult for you to follow.  Remember that you can still be charged and detained under the Criminal Code for breaching conditions, even if Crown Counsel does not proceed with charges on the original allegations.

I need to speak to a lawyer about a criminal matter right away, but your office is closed. What should I do?

You can call the “Brydges Line” for emergency advice 24 hours a day, at 1-866-458-5500.  The “Brydges” counsel will not be able to represent you going forward, but may be able to answer an urgent question. 


Being charged with a criminal offense can be a very difficult time for you. Third Avenue Law houses a group of independent lawyers in Prince George that can provide the support you need. Our team of lawyers has a vast amount of experience in different areas of crimes and offenses. We are a group of defense lawyers who cater to the various communities of Northern British Columbia.