Effective Defence Strategies for First-Time Assault Offenders in Surrey, BC

by Gagan Nahal June 28th, 2024
Effective Defence Strategies for First-Time Assault Offenders in Surrey, BC

The effective defence strategies for first-time offenders accused of assault in Surrey, BC would be similar to the defence strategies both for offenders who already have a criminal record and also offenders from other areas in British Columbia and throughout Canada in other criminal cases. There is a long list of defence strategies, but they include concepts like mistaken identity, self-defence, and alibi, which we will go over shortly.

Nevertheless, being a first-time offender accused of a crime like assault is a significant benefit for the defence in Surrey and elsewhere, and can affect the criminal proceedings in multiple ways.

If an individual is a first-time offender, then from the very beginning, this status affects the initial screening the prosecution makes and plays a role in determining whether the individual will be released right away while awaiting a court date or require a bond hearing all the way to determination of sentencing. The first-time offender almost always gets a lighter sentence if found guilty unless the crime is particularly brutal and egregious.

Possible Defences

Mistaken Identity

With this defence, the defence lawyer tries to show that the accuser is accusing the wrong person, and that while the crime may have occurred, the perpetrator was not the defendant because the accuser, for example, described a young, tall, blond man, and the defendant is short, 50-something, bald and bearded.


Using an alibi as a defence would be demonstrating with tangible proof that the accused was somewhere else, for example, in another province, with receipts and video showing that he/she could not have been on location to commit the crime.


A self-defence strategy would try to show that the accused was, in fact, at the scene of the crime--such as assault—but was defending him or herself or someone else during the assault. The defence lawyer would hopefully have some evidence showing the accused starting the fight and having a motive to do so.

The reason why all of this is applicable in Surrey is because of the extremely high crime rate in Surrey, which is one of the highest in Canada, and where an inordinant number of assault cases are reported and prosecuted every day. 

If you are in Surrey, BC, and you have been accused of assault, hire a criminal defence lawyer without delay. You are welcome to call Gagan Nahal for a free legal consultation at (604) 527-4769. 

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.

Gagan Nahal is a dedicated criminal lawyer who exclusively practices criminal defence law. After being called to the Bar of British Columbia, Gagan launched his own criminal law practice. He previously completed his articles with a high-profile criminal lawyer, gaining exposure to senior defence lawyers and working on complex, serious cases.

Fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, Gagan leverages his language skills to better serve a diverse clientele.