Tessmer Law Offices



Welcome to Tessmer Law Offices

When your liberty, livelihood, family or assets are on the line, think of Tessmer Law Offices.  Our philosophy, 'When losing is not an option' really says it all.  We are a small group of highly motivated and skilled lawyers who work with you to get the results you need. Whether the government is trying to take and keep your assets or whether they are trying to put you in jail, we do whatever it takes under our constitution to make sure that doesn't happen. We leave no stone unturned to fight your legal battles. Browse the site to meet the lawyers, hear about some of our battles, and get updates on important legal issues of our time. Or, join the dialogue on Twitter and check out our Facebook page. While no lawyer can guarantee a win in Court a wise person makes sure he has a skilled advocate by his side to ensure the best possible outcome. 


Civil Forfeiture Law

This is the newest weapon in the British Columbia government’s arsenal   to take your assets. Even if you don’t get charged with a crime, the police may seize your money, your valuables, and even your house, if they can prove that it was probably used for a criminal purpose. The Civil Forfeiture Act gives wide powers to the ‘Director’ of Civil Forfeiture to commence lawsuits against your property to lead to a forfeiture.

In a recent case where the police tried to seize our client’s home, we were able to get the case dropped because the police violated our client’s rights in the process of executing a search warrant for a marihuana grow operation. The law of civil forfeiture is evolving and in order to protect your assets, you need someone knowledgeable in this area.

If you have a legal issue you want a Civil Forfeiture lawyer to help with, ASK NOW!


Criminal Law

Criminal defence is our passion and we defend against charges of all kinds.  If you are facing charges for assault, theft, impaired driving, drug-related offences, driving while prohibited, or any other crime, we can help. 

Our criminal defence practice has successfully defended our client’s at all court levels in Canada including the British Columbia Provincial and Supreme Courts, the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. 

We are at the forefront of “cutting edge” law and our criminal defence lawyers keep apprised of new developments in both statute and the common law.   We are constantly researching new laws and even have our own internal library filled with case precedents and authorities that we will rely on when we defend you. If you have a defence, we will find it and we will get you results. 

We also understand that financing can be a concern for many people facing criminal charges. One thing clients often worry about when deciding whether to get a lawyer is the “hidden costs” that other firms may charge. You can put this concern aside when you come to Tessmer Law Offices as our criminal defence lawyers offer “flat-rate billing”. This means that the amount we quote you at the outset is the amount you’ll pay for our services when we resolve your matter. We also offer three highly capable criminal defence lawyers with varying experience; we surely have a lawyer who can suit your financial constraints and satisfy your legal needs. 

To find out more information from one of our criminal defence lawyers, ASK NOW


"Should I fight my IRP?" - it's worth a shot

You've probably heard a lot of mixed messages in the news lately about whether IRPs are still fightable or not.  Some people have been saying that as long as you have no symptoms of impairment then the law says the IRP must be overturned.  This is in line with two decisions that came out earlier this year called Wilson and Richardson.   However, last month these two decisions were overturned by the Court of Appeal.  Even many lawyers still are unsure of what the current law is.  So...I decided to set it out for you clearly in this post.  The Court of Appeal said:


"    The statute recognizes that not every drinking driver is "impaired", but the purpose of the statutory scheme includes removing drivers from the road who may pose a risk of causing injury by employing a common standard, regardless of a particular individual's tolerance for alcohol.

    In summary, the purpose behind the ARP regime is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from alcohol-related crashes by getting drinking drivers off the roads. To achieve this goal, the Province has established an administrative regime, which is triggered when a driver's breath sample registers a WARN or a FAIL on an ASD. The adjudicator's interpretation of the section is reasonable because it furthers that purpose.

    Finally, although the point was not directly is issue, I note that the courts have previously characterized the statutory scheme as involving issuing notices of driving prohibitions on the basis of analysis results without the need for further evidence that a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver's ability to drive is affected by alcohol. This Court, for example, endorsed Sigurdson J.'s characterization of the ARP regime in which prohibitions result from the happening of an event, namely a driver registering a WARN or FAIL:

    • [19] The ARP regime provides for a mandatory driving prohibition when a motorist's ability to drive is affected by alcohol, as evidenced by an analysis of breath by means of an "approved screening device" (ASD) that registers either a "warn"... or "fail" ...
    • ...
    • [105] Primarily, the ARP legislation provides for a license suspension and incidental penalties and costs on the happening of an event: a peace officer, based on an approved screening device showing a "fail" or "warn", believes that a driver's ability to drive is affected by alcohol, and imposes a prohibition and related consequences accordingly. [Emphasis in original.]

    The prohibition follows "the happening of an event"; not the happening of an event and something more supporting a reasonable belief. There is no suggestion in Sigurdson J.'s analysis that more than a WARN or FAIL is required for the officer to conclude a driver's "ability to drive is affected". In my view, this characterization of the working of the scheme offers further support to the conclusion that the adjudicator's interpretation was reasonable."



If that was confusing, then here's the short form summary: the IRP legislation does NOT require specific evidence of bad driving in addition to a "warn" or "fail", so if a police officer demands you give a sample of your breath at a roadcheck stop and you blow a 'fail' or you refuse to blow (EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT IMPAIRED), then that is sufficient to issue an IRP and its penalties.

However...that does not mean your case cannot still be won.

There are a number of other procedural grounds to still consider in each case.  For example, is the document properly sworn?  Are the devices properly calibrated?  If you refused to blow, was the officer's demand based on lawful grounds?  If you blew a Fail, was that fail reliable or might it have been contaminated by mouth alcohol? 

Although success is never guaranteed, it's worth at least looking into it and seeing if you have a shot.  Worst case scenario: you end up in the same spot you were in had you chosen to do nothing.

Contact Us


Tessmer Law Offices
272 Bernard Avenue,
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 6N4


tel. 250-762-6747
fax. 250-762-3163

email. [email protected]

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