Connolly & Associates
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Lethbridge
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The Largest Criminal Defense Law Firm in Lethbridge

Connolly & Associates offers a full range of criminal defence services to both private and legal aid clients throughout Lethbridge, Cardston, Taber, Brooks, Medicine Hat, Fort Macleod, and Pincher Creek. Our team of lawyers and traffic agents ensures that our clients receive a full legal defense to a wide range of criminal and quasi-criminal matters. With over 30 years of combined defense experience, Claudia R. Connolly, Vincent Guinan, Darcy Shurtz, Jeremy DeBow, Daniel Gryba (Student-at-Law), Heather McCuaig (Family Lawyer) and Michael Byce (Traffic Court Agent)  are here to help you.

Claudia Connolly

Claudia is the sole owner of Connolly and Associates Criminal Defense. Claudia has established herself as a highly-respected and recognized name in Southern Alberta’s legal community through her 27 years of experience practicing criminal defense in Lethbridge, and the surrounding communities.

Over the course of her 27 years in practice, Claudia has represented clients in complex matters in all areas of the criminal law, and uses this wealth of experience to benefit her clients as well as other members of her firm. Presently, Claudia’s practice is largely resolution focused, which means working tirelessly to ensure her clients receive the best possible sentences.

Claudia can be seen advocating for her clients in criminal court on a daily basis. Claudia is committed to providing the highest level of legal assistance to some of the most marginalized groups in our society, and her dedication to this cause was recognized when she received the Legal Aid Alberta Access to Justice Award in 2008. Claudia prides herself on developing excellent relationships with her clientele, and ensuring that she obtains the best outcome possible on both a legal, and a personal level.

Claudia was born and raised in rural Manitoba, and began her post-secondary education at Brandon University. Shortly thereafter, Claudia relocated to Lethbridge, where she finished her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Lethbridge in 1988. Claudia then went on to attend law school at the University of Calgary, completing her LLB in 1991. Claudia was the recipient of multiple Academic Awards throughout her university career, and was able to do so while maintaining employment and raising her two young daughters.

As a long-time resident of Lethbridge, Claudia remains an active member of the community, and takes a keen interest in participating in and learning from Traditional Indigenous events and ceremonies on the Piikani and Kainai Reservations. Claudia makes annual contributions various to community initiatives, including sponsoring the Kainai Little Chiefs children’s hockey team for the past two years. Claudia also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the John Howard Society.

To retain or book a free consultation with Claudia, please call our office at (403) 329-8188, or email Claudia at [email protected]

Vincent Guinan

Since joining Connolly and Associates as a Student-at-law, Vincent has worked tirelessly to establish his professional reputation by acting as an aggressive advocate for his clients. During his 8 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, Vincent has sharpened his skills as a trial lawyer, and has secured not-guilty verdicts and lenient sentences for countless clients, many of whom who were facing serious and complex criminal charges.

Vincent has successfully defended clients against charges including second-degree murder, sexual assault, break and enter, assault, drug trafficking and possession, and many more. Vincent has also diversified his legal practice by representing clients in quasi-criminal regulatory proceedings arising from legislation such as the Firearms Act, the Species at Risk Act, the Fisheries Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Customs Act. Vincent’s practice revolves around his ability to effectively assist clients with all manner of charges, and to provide compassionate, client-focused service throughout the process.

Before his admission to the Bar by the Law Society of Alberta, Vincent received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in History from the University of Alberta, and then shortly thereafter, proceeded to complete a Bachelor’s of Commerce Degree at the University of Saskatchewan.

After obtaining these two undergraduate degrees, Vincent was awarded his law degree from the internationally renowned law program at Bond University in Australia. After law school, Vincent returned home to Southern Alberta, and he has since spent his career vigorously advocating for his clients against a broad variety of criminal and regulatory charges.

Vincent’s work as a trial lawyer has resulted in numerous published court decisions recognizing his exemplary advocacy work, and has solidified his status as one of Southern Alberta’s most prominent criminal defense lawyers.

To retain or to book a free consultation with Vincent, please call our office at (403) 329-8188, or email Vincent at [email protected]

Darcy Shurtz

Darcy Shurtz was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 2016. He was born and raised in the Lethbridge area and attended Athabasca University before obtaining a law degree in Western Michigan. Darcy was awarded a Juris Doctor (magna cum laude) from Western Michigan University in 2014. Darcy completed his articles with Connolly & Associates where he has subsequently been practicing as an associate lawyer.

Darcy practices in all aspects of criminal defence and works vigorously to defend the rights of his clients. Darcy appears regularly in criminal court in Lethbridge, Taber, Fort Macleod, and Cardston. Impaired driving, assault, property offenses, and drug-related offenses are some of the areas Darcy has significant experience and expertise.

Contact Darcy direct at: [email protected]

Jeremy DeBow

Mr. DeBow is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick Law class of 2006. Upon being called to the Alberta Bar, Mr. DeBow immediately began work as an agent for the Director of Public prosecutions of Canada. For eleven years, Jeremy was a criminal prosecutor working throughout much of southern Alberta, reaching from Lethbridge, Fort Macleod, Taber, Cardston, and Pincher Creek.

As a crown prosecutor, Jeremy’s practice focused solely on federal and criminal litigation. During his years of experience as a crown prosecutor, Mr. DeBow has clocked countless hours in criminal courtrooms.

Contact Jeremy direct at: [email protected]

Heather McCuaig

Heather L. McCuaig has been practicing law since her admission to the Alberta Bar on September 9th, 2005. Heather graduated from the University of Lethbridge, where she obtained her Bachelors of Art achieving Honours with Distinction.

After receiving her degree, Heather obtained her LLB from the University of Alberta. She then completed her articling here in Lethbridge and has been actively practicing here ever since then. Heather is a certified mediator and regularly practices in collaborative law as well. In addition, Heather has immense expertise and practice in Family Law, Wills, and Estate Law, as well as Real Restate Law.

Heather specialises in client relations and places great emphasis on meeting the needs of her clients. As such, she runs a very client centered practice in order to ensure all clients receive the best possible service. She is also heavily involved within the community and volunteers on various boards and project throughout Southern Alberta.

Contact Heather direct at: [email protected]

Daniel Gryba


Daniel Gryba was born and raised in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. After high school Daniel obtained a bachelor’s degree in history (with great distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2018 Daniel was awarded a Juris Doctor after completing law school at the University of Saskatchewan.

Daniel joined Connolly and Associates as a student-at-law in November 2018, and looks forward learning about all aspects of criminal defense alongside our firm’s lawyers.

Contact Daniel direct at: [email protected]

Michael Byce, Traffic Court Agent

Michael Byce was raised in Camrose, Alberta, where he completed his primary schooling. After high school, Michael moved to Lethbridge, Alberta for post-secondary schooling within the Criminal Justice program at the Lethbridge College. From here, Michael obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the Athabasca University, which included extensive education and training within the Traffic Safety Act and Courtroom procedures.

Michael joined Connolly and Associates as a Court Agent in September of 2017, and looks forward assisting on any and all traffic ticket related offences.

Contact Michael direct at: [email protected]