rick-muenz

Rick Muenz, Lawyer


Tel:
(403) 266-4440
Cell: (403) 470-9191
Fax: (403) 234-0337
Email: Rickmuenz@gmail.com


With over 20 years of experience in criminal law, Rick Muenz has represented clients in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan, but now focuses his practice in Calgary and surrounding rural communities throughout Southern Alberta.

He has also appeared in a number of courts, including youth court, traffic court, and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as before administrative bodies such as the Driver Control Board and the Traffic Safety Board.

Although he defends all types of criminal charges, he has had a special interest in impaired driving for 15 years and is co-founder of The Defence Impaired Driving Lawyers group. He has also addressed the Canadian Bar Association Criminal Law Subsection and lectured at the University of Calgary Law School concerning impaired driving.

Rick was a contributor to “A Parent’s Handbook Concerning Drug Use” and has given numerous addresses to the Parents Research Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE).

Our office includes an in-house association with a paralegal section (The Pardon Group) that handles record suspensions (also known as pardons) as well as U.S. waivers.

Spanish and Italian are spoken in the office.

Successful Cases

Impaired Driving, Over 80, and Dangerous Driving Charges Result in a Traffic Fine

Case Number: 4147

Our client was arrested for impaired driving after a witness made a 911 call and reported that our client’s vehicle was swerving and driving on the wrong side of the road. The police quickly located our client and initiated a traffic stop on his vehicle. Once pulled over, the police approached his vehicle and asked him to unroll his window. It was noted that there was a smell of alcohol coming from the open window, open beer cans were within our client’s reach, and our client was unable to complete very basic tasks such as turning off his vehicle, taking the keys out of the ignition, and unbuckling his seatbelt. Our client was asked to step out of the car and was arrested for impaired driving. Throughout the arrest process it was noted that he was very unstable on his feet, and that he almost passed out while being handcuffed. He was brought back to the station where he blew 0.190 and 0.180 in the evidentiary instrument.

Upon being retained we immediately ordered and reviewed all of our client’s disclosure. After speaking with our client, we also realized that there would be very significant immigration consequences in the event of conviction. As such, we proceeded cautiously and began resolution discussions with the Crown Prosecutor. Despite there only being weak defences available to our client, the impaired driving and over 80 charges were withdrawn, our client was found not guilty of dangerous driving, and was only obliged to pay a fine for a non-criminal charge of careless driving.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, Not Guilty, No Criminal Record

Refusal Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 4220

Our client was arrested for impaired driving after he was pulled over for having a burnt out headlight on his vehicle. After the police had activated their sirens to initiate the traffic stop, our client failed to notice them and continued to drive for several blocks. When he finally did stop, the police approached his vehicle and noted a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath and that he had slow speech and sluggish movements. The police suspected that he had alcohol in his body, and asked him to provide a sample into a roadside screening device. Our client failed the roadside screening test, was arrested and was brought back to the station for the purpose of providing samples for the evidentiary instrument. At the station, our client was instructed on how to blow into the device several times, but consistently failed to do so properly. After his fifth failed attempt, our client was charged with refusal.

Once retained we immediately reviewed disclosure and identified all potential defences and Charter breaches. We subsequently drafted a Charter motion alleging a breach of our client’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and a breach of his right to counsel. After receiving our Charter notice, the Crown Prosecutor withdrew the charges against our client prior to trial, and our client was able to completely avoid a criminal record.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Assault With a Weapon Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 4206

Our client was charged with assault with a weapon after he got into a vicious altercation at a bar. Our client was standing amongst a group of people, and two individuals in the group began to argue and physically attack one and other. It is alleged that our client intervened, and that he smashed a beer bottle over someone’s face causing serious injury to the victim.

Upon being retained, we immediately ordered disclosure and noted that evidence vital to the Crown’s ability to convict our client of assault with a weapon was missing. We immediately issued an additional disclosure request for this material, and found that the Crown was unable to produce this important evidence. As a result, our client’s charges were reduced to simple assault and he was then diverted to alternative measures. Once he completed the program, the charge against our client was withdrawn and he was able to avoid a criminal record.

Successful Result: Alternative Measures, Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Possession and Failure to Appear Charges Granted an Absolute Discharge

Case Number: 4228

Our client was arrested for possession after she was found passed out in her vehicle from drug consumption. When the police approached her vehicle to check on her welfare, they reported finding methamphetamine and heroin within plain view. After the police woke her, they then arrested her for possession and released her with a promise to appear in court. However, our client failed to appear as directed, and as a result a warrant was issued for her arrest, and she subsequently received an additional criminal charge for her failure to appear. While the warrant for her arrest was outstanding, she contacted our office and we encouraged her to turn herself in so we could facilitate her bail. After she turned herself in, she was quickly released and we immediately directed her to seek addictions counselling.

Once she had completed her counselling, we used proof of her rehabilitation as well as a number of glowing character references to supplement our submissions for an absolute discharge on both counts. We were successful in our application, and on the basis of our advocacy she was absolutely discharged from both offences.

Successful Result: Absolute Discharge, No Criminal Conviction

Assault Charge Withdrawn

Case Number: 4133

Our client was charged with assault after he got into an altercation with an employee of a local restaurant. The altercation began after he had ordered a meal that had a hair in it. He approached the counter and began to yell at the attending employee and his supervisor. He then proceeded to violently grab the supervisor’s arm, causing it to bleed. During the altercation he also grabbed the supervisor by the shirt and shoved him. The police were called to the scene, and our client was arrested.

Upon being retained we immediately reviewed disclosure and began resolution discussions with the Crown Prosecutor. We were able to successfully advocate for his diversion to the alternative measures program. Once he completed the program, all of the charges against him were withdrawn.

Successful Result: Alternative Measures Program, Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Criminal Harassment Charges Result in a Peace Bond

Case Number: 4246

Our client was charged with criminal harassment after she began hassling a long time friend, the victim, for money to pay her rent. After losing her job, she began incessantly calling and texting the victim, even showing up at her house demanding that the victim accompany our client to the bank to give our client money. This lasted for a prolonged period of time, and the victim eventually called the police. The police arrived on scene and observed our client text and call the complainant several times. After viewing approximately 90 text messages that were sent to the victim from our client, the police arrested and charged our client with criminal harassment.

Upon being retained we immediately reviewed all disclosure and contacted the Crown Prosecutor to canvass potential resolutions. On the basis of our advocacy, we were able to successfully resolve our client’s charges with a peace bond. Once our client signed the peace bond, the charges against her were withdrawn.

Successful Result: Peace Bond, Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Impaired Driving, Driving Over 80 Charges, and Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm Charges Withdrawn

Case Number: 4114

Our client was charged with impaired driving after he struck another vehicle which caused it to roll and cause injury to a passenger in the second vehicle. The police arrived on scene to investigate the collision, and began to question our client. During the investigation our client was very argumentative, and the police reported smelling the strong scent of alcohol coming from our client’s breath. After smelling alcohol, the police administered a roadside screening test, which our client failed. Our client was then taken back to the station where he blew 0.170 and 0.140 in the evidentiary instrument.

Upon being retained, we did a detailed review of our client’s disclosure and identified multiple weaknesses in the case against our client. Prior to trial, all charges against our client were withdrawn and our client was able to completely avoid a criminal record.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Possession With Intent to Traffick Charges Withdrawn

Case Number: 4155

Our client was charged with possession with intent to traffick after he rear ended another vehicle causing a three vehicle pile up due to the impact of the force. After striking the other vehicles, he was then seen pulling a bag from his trunk and fleeing from the scene on foot. Upon arriving on scene, the police noticed the smell of fresh marijuana emanating from our client’s car. They proceeded to search his vehicle and found approximately 797 grams of marijuana in his vehicle.

Shortly thereafter our client was arrested and contacted us from jail. We were able to quickly secure his release on bail, and immediately ordered and reviewed disclosure. We were able to identify a very serious breach of our client’s Charter rights, and promptly submitted a fulsome Charter notice on this basis. After receiving our Charter notice, the Crown Prosecutor withdrew the charges against our client prior to trial.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Careless Driving Resulting in a Fatality Withdrawn

Case Number: 4251

Our client was arrested and charged with careless driving after he collided with another vehicle causing an accident that killed the driver of the other truck. Our client was speeding approximately 10 to 15 km over the speed limit on a highway when he came up behind the deceased’s truck which was hauling a tractor. Because the sun was in our client’s eyes, our client was unable to recognize how slow moving the other vehicle was until it was too late. He struck the second vehicle forcefully, causing both trucks and the tractor to roll. Our client survived the accident and was able to crawl out of his truck, however, the driver of the other vehicle was pinned under the tractor and killed.

Upon being retained we ordered and thoroughly reviewed the voluminous disclosure that was released by the Crown Prosecutor. In order to effectively respond to the charges, we also immediately engaged an expert accident reconstructionist to help us identify all and any weaknesses in the case against our client. Prior to trial, we reviewed the matter with the Crown Prosecutor and the charges against our client were withdrawn.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Possession with Intent to Traffick Charges Withdrawn

Case Number: 4086

Our client was stopped by the police after he was found driving on the wrong side of the road while visiting another province. The police asked for his identification, and began to question him regarding where he was going, who he was going to see, and whether he had any drugs or weapons on his person. Our client told the police where he was going, but denied possessing any drugs or weapons. The police asked him to open his trunk and looked inside, but found nothing. They then began to question our client about a backpack he had in his backseat. After further interrogation, our client finally admitted to having an ounce of marijuana in the backpack. He was arrested for possession and the backpack was seized. After searching the backpack, the police also found a large amount of cocaine and charged our client with possession with intent to traffick.

Upon being retained, we conducted a detailed analysis of our client’s disclosure. On the basis of what we found, we drafted and submitted a comprehensive Charter motion outlining a number of violations of our client’s Charter rights. Specifically, we argued that there had been a breach of our client’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, to be free from arbitrary detention, and that the police had infringed our client’s right to counsel. After submitting the Charter notice, we then travelled to the other province prepared to defend our client in trial. However, prior to trial, the Crown Prosecutor withdrew all charges against our client.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Impaired Driving and Driving Over 0.08 Charges Stayed

Case Number: 4190

Our client was arrested for impaired driving after an off-duty police officer called the station to report a potentially impaired driver. It was reported that our client was swerving all over the road, and that she almost struck another vehicle. The police quickly located our client and performed a traffic stop. They approached her vehicle and proceeded to ask our client whether she had consumed any alcohol prior to driving. She admitted she had, giving the police grounds to administer a roadside breath sample. The sample resulted in a fail, and our client was transported back to the station where she registered 0.160 and 0.140 on the evidentiary instrument.

Upon being retained we conducted a thorough review of our client’s disclosure. We found that during the investigation of our client, there had been a significant violation of our client’s Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. On this basis, we drafted and submitted a fulsome Charter notice to the Crown Prosecutor and the court. After receiving our Charter notice, the Crown informed us that she would be staying the charges against our client.

Successful Result: Charges Stayed, No Criminal Record

Domestic Assault Causing Bodily Harm Results in a Common Law Peace Bond

Case Number: 4229

Our client was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm after he and his common law partner of three years came home intoxicated from a Christmas party. The two began arguing and the altercation quickly became physical. Our client’s partner told the police that our client had thrown her into a dresser and kicked her on the back while she was laying on the ground. She further reported that our client had also tried to push her down the stairs. When the police arrived they found her curled up in the fetal position on the ground, and found that she had bruises and red marks all over her body. In addition, she had a cut on her shin which was bleeding continuously and for which she had to eventually attend the hospital and get stitches.

Upon being retained we immediately assisted our client with developing a comprehensive counselling plan to address his anger management issues. We then conducted an extremely thorough review of our client’s disclosure and identified all weaknesses and inconsistencies in the evidence against him. We then began negotiating with the Crown Prosecutor on our client’s behalf, and on the basis of our advocacy we were able to persuade the Crown to join us in an application for a common law peace bond. As a result, the charges against our client were withdrawn.

Successful Result: Common Law Peace Bond, Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

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Thank you again for all of your wisdom and support during what proved to be one of the most difficult times of our lives. You truly got us through a situation that we were totally uncertain of. Thank you for taking care of my son. You have given him a second chance.

starLillian

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I wanted to take a moment to thank you Rick for the outstanding job you did regarding my case. I am very impressed with your professionalism and the overall caliber of your service. I truly believe that I could not have made a better choice in someone to represent me.

starNorm

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

Successful Case Results

Break and Enter, Theft Under $5000, Possession of Break-In Instruments, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Charges Withdrawn

Airdrie Provincial Court
Case Number: 23500891

Our client was facing a number of serious criminal charges after it was alleged that he had broken into a home and had stolen a number of items.

Upon being retained we immediately sought disclosure, including a fingerprint analysis. We determined that the identification of our client as the accused could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

We negotiated with the Crown and they withdrew all of the charges.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn

Domestic Assault, Charge Withdrawn

Airdrie Provincial Court
Case Number: 7620521

Our client was charged with assault against his ex-wife. He was also served with an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) that contained several serious allegations.

Once we were retained we immediately sought disclosure and began resolution discussions with the Crown. We found several extreme discrepancies between the allegations in the EPO and what the complainant told police. We used this to challenge the complainant’s credibility, and the assault charge was withdrawn weeks after our client’s first court appearance.

Successful Result: No Criminal Record, Charge Withdrawn

Impaired Driving and Over .08, Charges Withdrawn

Calgary Provincial Court
Case Number: 7519721

Our client drove through a checkstop, indicated he had some drinks that evening, and was noted to have glassy mirrored eyes and a smell of alcohol on his breath.  He failed the roadside breath test, blew .140 on the evidentiary instrument, and was charged with impaired driving and driving over .08.

Once we were retained, we set the matter for trial and filed a motion alleging a violation of our client’s Constitutional rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Days before trial, we successfully negotiated the withdrawal of all charges.

Successful Result: No Criminal Record, Charges Withdrawn
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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.