S. Zalman Haouzi Avocat

Montreal Criminal Defense Lawyers
Call Us Now Message Us

Our Philosophy: A Client-centred Approach

We firmly believe in providing legal services that are tailored to our clients’ unique lifestyles and objectives. We do not believe in going to trial for every charge and fighting in the name of principle. We understand that there are usually multiple ways to resolve a file in a satisfactory manner. The direction that we propose and eventually adopt will almost certainly be the direction that makes the most sense for our clients. We view the law as a means to an end, and do everything in our power to reach the best outcome possible.

We take great pride in the strong relationships we build with our clients, and view the lawyer-client relationship as collaborative. We greatly look forward to serving clients who are just as motivated as we are to work on their case, and clients can expect to work alongside us on crucial aspects of their case (especially if the objective is resolving the file through negotiation).

Our Commitment To You

We believe in the importance of frank, candid and honest communication. We take the time necessary to explain your case to you inside and out. We answer any and all questions you may have, and we do the necessary research when we don’t have the answer. Most importantly, we ensure that you always understand and are comfortable with the services that we’re providing.

When explaining the ins and outs of your case, we will provide you with every realistic option available to resolve your case and explain the pros and cons of each possibility. When we explain these different options, we do so taking into consideration the strength of each direction from a legal standpoint, the ease of reaching each outcome, and the financial considerations that you need to be aware of in making such a decision. Ultimately, the decision as to the direction of the mandate is a collaborative one; while we provide you with a legal opinion as to which option we may think is the best path forward, it is ultimately you who has final say.

We believe that open, honest, and non-judgmental communication is a two-way street. In order to provide our clients with the best defence possible, we expect honesty every step of the way. In turn, we will actively listen and keep you updated on the status of your case from beginning to end. We recognize that this is an immensely stressful time in your life and we do not take the faith that you have placed in us for granted.

Consultations: What To Expect

What happens at a legal consultation?

A consultation is a 45 to 60-minute meeting where we learn about your case, listen to your concerns, identify any major obstacles, provide crucial legal advice, and candidly discuss your best options moving forward. We also use this time to answer the questions you may have, and discuss a fee structure that works best for you. By the end of the meeting, we will provide you with a list of concrete steps that you can take in aid of your defence.

Do we offer free consultations?

At this time, we do not offer free consultations. Rather than spend half an hour making a sales pitch and withholding the advice that you need most, we would rather build a relationship of trust and spend the time discussing your case in-depth. We view consultations as the potential beginning of a lawyer-client relationship and are more than happy to take the time necessary to develop something real.

Can I speak with a lawyer before booking a consultation?

Yes! We invite you to send us an email inquiry (providing us with your contact information and the reason why you want to book a consultation) and we’ll be sure to be in touch with you by phone at our earliest convenience to answer your rudimentary questions free of charge.

When to book a consultation?

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, have been told by the police that you’re being investigated for a criminal offence, or believe that you may have committed a criminal offence, we highly recommend that you book a consultation to determine the extent of your jeopardy. If you’re unsure if a legal consultation is a good idea, we invite you to send us an email inquiry (see the section above).

Legal Fees - What You Need To Know

How much will I have to pay to hire a lawyer?

  • Fee structure - During our first meeting, we will openly and candidly discuss legal fees. Every case is different (and fees are determined based on the complexity of the case, the stage of the file, and your specific objectives and expectations). Ultimately, our fee structure is based on a collaborative approach and we take the time necessary to ensure that you understand how much our retainer is and all the work that we’re undertaking in exchange.
  • No hidden fees - There are no hidden costs and everything is clearly outlined in writing and agreed upon before opening the mandate. We know that the financial portion of a mandate is often the most stressful so we do everything in our power to alleviate it where we can.

Do we charge hourly or at a fixed fee?

  • Depending on the nature of the mandate, we can propose a fixed fee for specific services or we can provide an hourly rate. When possible, our preference is to charge on a fixed fee basis with clearly defined steps (a flat rate for the initial steps of the mandate, another flat rate to administer and negotiate the file, a separate rate for trial, a separate fee to draft a Charter motion, and so on).
  • In this sense, clients are paying for clearly defined services and they know exactly how much they will have to pay from beginning to end.
  • However, some cases are more complex or unpredictable and require a by-the-hour fee structure. Oftentimes (when the case allows it) we will allow our clients to select the option that they most prefer.

Do I need to pay everything upfront?

No. Fees are not due upfront in their entirety. However, in order to confirm a mandate we ask for a retainer, an amount to be held in our trust account and applied on the final invoice. The size of the retainer will depend on the nature and complexity of the mandate. This information will be clearly articulated during the consultation.

Can I pay in installments?

Absolutely! Most criminal cases take months to resolve. We understand that legal fees can be expensive and that our clients have other financial obligations to contend with. Therefore, we’re more than happy to work with you to set up a monthly payment schedule that will allow you to pay your legal bills in installments. A proposed payment schedule is agreed upon before the mandate is confirmed.

Do you accept Legal Aid mandates?

We believe that everyone is entitled to a stellar legal defence, and are committed to providing our clients with excellent service at reasonable and affordable rates. Unfortunately, at this time we do not accept Legal Aid mandates but we would be more than happy to refer you to a lawyer who does.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept a the following payment methods:

Interact e-Transfer e-Transfer (this is the preferred method)

Check Cash

Credit card payments

  • Trust Payment - To make a trust credit card click here
  • Invoice Payment - To pay an invoice by credit card click here

Are you facing criminal charges in Montreal or the surrounding areas? Contact us now, we’re here to help!

Contact us today
Contact us now to schedule a consultation!