Kamaljit D. – Oct. 23 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. A civilian was following an obviously impaired driver. He saw him pull into a parking lot. He called 911 and waited there for police to arrive. He testified that he saw no one exit the vehicle before police arrived. When police arrived, they found the defendant seated in the front passenger seat. He denied driving, saying a friend drove there and left. During my cross-examination of the civilian witness, it became apparent that he lost sight of the vehicle for 30 to 45 seconds and when he saw the vehicle again, it was already stopped in the parking lot. I convinced the trial judge that this was plenty of time for someone who was driving to exit the vehicle and leave. Thus, there was a reasonable doubt raised about whether the defendant had ever been driving the vehicle in question. THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CHARGE.

 

Stuart H. – Oct. 20 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. It was apparent during my cross-examination of the arresting officer that he did not take proper steps to ensure that the roadside screening device was in proper working order. After the evidence was concluded, the prosecutor offered us a resolution that was accepted. The defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a term that he drive with an ignition interlock in his car for 1 year. This resolution avoided a criminal conviction for the defendant and allowed him to continue driving. THE OVER 80 CHARGE WAS WITHDRAWN.

 

Matthew M. – Oct. 5 – The defendant was charged with failing to provide a proper breath sample into an approved screening device. During cross-examination of the arresting officer, I was able to raise doubts about whether he ensured that the screening device was in proper working order. Moreover, I was able to raise a doubt about whether the defendant did not provide a proper sample because he was not trying versus he just wasn’t able to notwithstanding genuine efforts to blow. As a result of the above, THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CHARGE.

 

Justin D. – Oct. 3 – The defendant was charged with care or control of a vehicle while impaired and care or control of a vehicle while over 80. The defendant was found drunk and asleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that was in the parking lot of a hotel. He testified that he was staying at the hotel with friends as they were celebrating a stag for the defendant’s brother. He further testified that he got into an argument with his brother in their hotel room so the defendant went to his car to get away from his brother for a while and just to calm down. He ended up falling asleep before police attended and investigated him. The trial judge accepted the defendant’s evidence that he had no intention to drive and was not a risk to change his mind. THE JUDGE DISMISSED BOTH CHARGES.

 

Nirosan K. – Sept. 29 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. His readings were relatively low and he had no previous criminal record. The prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act charge of Careless Driving for a fine and a period of probation which required the defendant to drive with an ignition interlock in his car for several months. This resolution avoided a criminal record for the defendant and avoided a license suspension. After the defendant entered his guilty plea to this traffic offence, the prosecutor withdrew the criminal charge of Over 80.

 

Neil A. – Sept 28 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. The defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident while allegedly impaired and above the legal limit. The only evidence that he was driving his motor vehicle at the time in question was an admission he made to police. During the trial, I was able to have the said admission excluded from evidence based on a breach of one of his Charter rights. Once this admission was excluded, there was no remaining evidence that the defendant was driving. THE TRIAL JUDGE DISMISSED BOTH CHARGES.

 

Cody S. – Sept. 26 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. During the trial, I argued that the defendant’s right to counsel was infringed in circumstances where the police discouraged him from attempting to contact his counsel of choice by telling him she wasn’t a criminal lawyer and therefore would have been of limited assistance. The judge accepted my argument that the police had no right to do this and that this resulted in a breach of his Charter right to counsel. THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CHARGE.

 

Mark S. – Sept. 25 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. Although still above the legal limit, the breath readings were at the lower end and he had no criminal record. There was no accident and the defendant was cooperative throughout the investigation. As a result of the above, the prosecutor allowed the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a Provincial Offences Act Probation Order that allowed the client to operate his car under certain conditions.  THE OVER 80 CHARGE WAS WITHDRAWN. This result avoided a criminal record for the defendant.

 

Lane A. – Sept. 15 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. It came to light as of the trial date that the defendant had ingested medication that, unbeknownst to the defendant, may have elevated his breath readings. Because of this unusual circumstance, the prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and no suspension of his driving privileges. THE IMPAIRED DRIVING AND OVER 80 CHARGES WERE WITHDRAWN. This result avoided a criminal record for the defendant as well as allowing him to keep driving.

 

Narinder M. – Aug. 10 – The defendant was charged with Driving While Disqualified, an offence that usually carries with it a jail sentence and a lengthy driving suspension. The arresting officer was not available on the trial date due to health reasons. The prosecutor was concerned that if the matter was adjourned, there was a risk the case would eventually be dismissed for delay. As a result, the Crown agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to a minor Highway Traffic Act offence of driving without a licence for a fine and a brief limitation of his driving privileges to work purposes only. THE DRIVING WHILE DISQUALIFIED CHARGE WAS WITHDRAWN.

 

Robert M. – Aug. 8 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. He was involved in a motor vehicle accident and the only evidence he was driving were 2 admissions he made, one at the roadside and one at the police station. At trial, I was able to persuade the trial judge that both statements ought to be excluded from evidence. The roadside statement was excluded because the defendant’s Charter rights had been breached prior to the statement having been taken. The statement at the station was excluded because the Crown could not prove the statement was made voluntarily by the defendant. As a result of these rulings, there was no evidence left that the defendant was driving a motor vehicle on this occasion. THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CHARGE.

 

Victoria S. – July 27 – The defendant was charged with Dangerous Driving. Because of concerns the prosecutor had about his ability to prove the defendant was the driver at the relevant time, a resolution was reached. The defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a term of probation that temporarily restricted her driving such that she could only drive for work purposes for 6 months. This resolution avoided a criminal record for the defendant. Once the defendant entered a guilty plea to this traffic offence, the criminal charge of Dangerous Driving was dismissed.

 

Helen T. – July 26 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Fail to Provide Breath Samples. The first 2 witnesses for the prosecution were the 2 officers who investigated the defendant at the roadside.  I was able to uncover several inconsistencies and incongruities in their evidence. At a recess, the prosecutor, who no doubt was now concerned about the viability of his case, offered a resolution that was accepted by the defendant. The defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and no license suspension. After the defendant entered a guilty plea to this traffic offence, the prosecutor withdrew the criminal charges of impaired driving and Over 80.

 

Katelyn D. – July 19 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. The charge was dismissed after a trial. I was able to convince the trial judge that the only statement that allowed the arresting officer to have grounds to arrest the defendant was inadmissible. Therefore, the officer did not have reasonable and probable grounds to arrest the defendant and this led to an exclusion of the breath readings provided by the defendant at the police station. There was no other evidence proving that the defendant was above the legal limit at the time and driving.

 

Minesh P. – July 21 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. His readings were only marginally above the legal limit and he had had no previous criminal record. The prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead to the Highway Traffic Act charge of Careless Driving for a fine and a period of probation which required the defendant to drive with an ignition interlock in his car for several months. This resolution avoided a criminal record for the defendant and avoided a license suspension. After the defendant entered his guilty plea to this traffic offence, the prosecutor withdrew the criminal charge of Over 80.

 

Randi C. – July 10 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. On the 3rd day of trial, after many issues were put into play including the right to counsel and unlawful seizure of breath samples, the prosecutor agreed to resolve the matter by allowing the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a probationary term that she take alcohol counselling. This resolution avoided a criminal record and license suspension for the defendant. After the defendant pled guilty to this traffic offence, the criminal charge of over 80 was withdrawn by the prosecutor.

 

Nancy K – July 6 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. The charge was dismissed after a trial. I was able to convince the trial judge that the defendant was denied her right to consult with a lawyer in private before she provided breath samples. The judge thereafter excluded the breath results from the trial and there was no other evidence that the defendant was above the legal limit at the time of driving.

 

Kyanoosh N. – July 6 – The defendant was charged with refusing to blow into a breath testing device. In a rare occurrence, the arresting officer had not been notified for trial and could not be found. The prosecutor withdrew the charge.

 

Sujay R. – June 21 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. Both charges were dismissed after a trial. I convinced the trial judge that, although the defendant blew over the legal limit and was clearly impaired after the driving had ended, the Prosecutor had not proven that the defendant was either impaired or above the legal limit while he was driving. The defendant had a previous conviction for impaired driving so this result avoided a jail sentence and a very lengthy driving suspension for the defendant.

 

Jagdeep S. – June 16 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. During my cross-examination of the arresting officer, it became apparent that he had no recollection of this arrest and was simply reading his notes. This is not permitted as an officer’s notes are only to be used to refresh an officer’s memory. At a recess, the prosecutor, who no doubt was now concerned about the viability of his case, offered a resolution that was accepted by the defendant. The defendant was permitted to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a limitation on his driving privileges for 1 year whereby he could only drive for work purposes during this period. The criminal charges were withdrawn.  This resolution allowed the defendant to avoid a criminal record and keep his job.

 

 

Joe L. – June 13 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and over 80. The trial was to start at 9:30 a.m. The arresting officer had not shown up by 10:25 a.m. The prosecutor could not determine his whereabouts. She asked for an adjournment of the trial. I opposed arguing that it would not be fair to the defendant who came to court that day ready for his trial. The trial judge agreed. He ordered that the defendant have the charges read to him and be asked how he pleads. The defendant pled not guilty. The prosecution had no evidence to offer. The trial judge dismissed both charges.

 

Matthew H. – June 5 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. The charge was dismissed by the judge after a trial. I persuaded the judge that the prosecution evidence had not established that the defendant was the driver of the vehicle in question on the date of the alleged offense. He was found next to the vehicle which had been involved in an accident. He also made statements that would have established he was the driver but I managed to keep those statements out of evidence. There was no other evidence that proved he was the driver which led to the dismissal of the charge.

 

Dean C. – May 31 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. We were able to persuade the prosecutor that there would be some difficulty in proving that the defendant drove the motor vehicle in question. As a result, the defendant was permitted to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a 12 month limitation on his driving privileges whereby he was only permitted to operate his motor vehicle for work purposes. This allowed the defendant to avoid a criminal record and maintain his job. Upon entering this plea, the Impaired and Over 80 charges were withdrawn.

 

Noah C. – May 18 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Dangerous Driving. Both charges were dismissed by the trial judge after a trial. The defendant testified that he fell asleep briefly while driving which caused him to lose control of his car and put it into a field at the side of the road. I persuaded the judge that the defendant dozed off suddenly and that he could not have reasonably expected this to happen. This was sufficient to result in a dismissal of the dangerous driving charge. Although there was some evidence he had consumed alcohol, I persuaded the judge that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he was impaired at the time of driving which resulted in that charge being dismissed, as well.

 

Scott N. – May 16 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. His breath readings were towards the lower end (although still above the legal limit) and he had no criminal record. In light of this, the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a 6 month probation order whereby he could not operate a motor vehicle that was not equipped with an ignition interlock.  After the plea, the Over 80 charge was withdrawn.

 

Christopher F. – May 2 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. I argued that his right to counsel had been infringed on the night of his arrest as the police did not give him the opportunity to speak to a third party for the purpose of getting a private lawyer’s number. Part way through the trial and during a break in proceedings, the prosecutor advised me she had concerns about this issue based on the officer’s evidence up to that point in the trial. She offered to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act charge of Careless Driving for a fine. The defendant accepted this offer as it avoided both a criminal record and a license suspension for him. Upon entering this plea, the Over 80 charge was dismissed by the judge.

 

J.W. – May 2 – The defendant, a young offender, was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. The prosecutor recognized that there would be some difficulties proving that the defendant drove the vehicle in question at the time in question. A resolution was reached whereby the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the offence of Mischief for a conditional discharge (which is not considered a criminal record in Canadian law) and for 3 months a limitation was put on his driving privileges whereby he could only drive for work purposes during that 3 month period, thereafter there would be no further suspension of his driving privileges. Upon entering this plea, the Impaired Driving and Over 80 charges were dismissed by the judge.

 

Caroline A. – April 7 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving, Over 80, Drive while Disqualified and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.  All charges were dismissed by the Judge after a trial.  I convinced the Judge that the evidence of impairment was marginal and did not amount to reasonable and probable grounds to arrest the defendant and demand breath samples from her.  This resulted in the Impaired Driving and Over 80 charges being dismissed.  The Judge dismissed the weapons charge because the Prosecutor did not lead evidence that the defendant had the weapon for a dangerous purpose.

 

Manhar D. – March 31 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  The breath readings were only marginally above legal limit and the defendant had no previous criminal convictions.  The Prosecutor withdrew the Over 80 charge against the defendant and allowed him to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving.  The defendant had to pay a fine and put an ignition interlock device in his vehicle for a period of time but this resolution avoided a criminal record for him.

 

Brian C. – March 20 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving, Over 80, Fail to Stop and drug possession.  The drug charge was withdrawn at the commencement of the trial as the Prosecutor acknowledged the proper notice had not been served on the defence as a precondition for admissibility of the documents needed to prove the drug charge.  The remaining 3 charges were dismissed by the Judge after a trial.  I convinced the judge that the impaired evidence was weak, that the readings were not taken “as soon as practicable” (a legal requirement to the admissibility of breath readings) and that the Prosecutor had not proven the defendant had knowledge that he had been involved in an accident when he left the scene.  The defendant has a previous conviction for impaired driving so a finding of guilt on any one of the 3 driving offences would almost certainly have resulted in a jail sentence and a lengthy driving prohibition.

 

Qutub H. – March 17 – The defendant was charged with Impaired and Over 80.  There were several weaknesses in the Crown’s case, including an alleged breach of the defendant’s right to speak with counsel prior to making any statements to police.  The Prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act for a fine and a period of probation with conditions imposed upon his driving privileges.  The Impaired Driving and Over 80 charges were withdrawn.

 

Brandon T. – March 14 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80. The defendant was involved in a single motor vehicle accident.  The only evidence that the defendant was the driver of the vehicle was a statement the defendant gave to police during the breath testing sequence.  I was able to persuade the judge that the statement was not made voluntarily, a legal requirement for admissibility in any criminal trial.  Without the statement as part of the Crown’s case, the Prosecutor could not prove the defendant was the driver at the relevant time.  The Judge dismissed both charges.

 

 

Gurjinder S. – Feb. 21 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  I intended to argue at trial that the right to counsel of the defendant has been infringed.  Specifically, although English was not his mother tongue and his command of English was weak, no attempt was made by the police to get him an interpreter for the purpose of exercising right to counsel. Ultimately the prosecutor agreed that this was an infringement of the defendant’s right and that they had no reasonable prospect of conviction. The prosecutor withdrew the charge.

 

 

Alex T. – Jan. 31 – The defendant was charged with Impaired and Over 80.  The prosecutor agreed with the defence position that the matter had taken too long to get to trial.  The prosecutor invited the judge to stay proceedings, which is equivalent to a dismissal of the charges.  The judge stayed the proceedings with respect to both criminal charges.

 

 

Thuy D. – Jan. 23 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80.  There was a motor vehicle accident involved in this case and by the time the police arrived, the defendant was not in the motor vehicle.  Prior to trial, I served a Charter of Rights argument on the prosecutor arguing that the statements taken from the defendant that implicated her in the alleged offence ought to be excluded from the evidence for constitutional reasons.  On the morning of trial, the prosecutor advised me that they would not be proceeding as they did not believe they had a reasonable prospect of conviction.  Both criminal charges were withdrawn by the Crown.

 

 

Muhammad K. – Jan. 6 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  His readings, although above the legal limit, were towards the lower end and he had no criminal record.  He was a young man and was most concerned with avoiding a criminal record.  We were able to negotiate a resolution with the prosecutor whereby the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and requirement that any vehicle he operated for the next year had to be equipped with an ignition interlock device.  Once this plea was entered by the defendant, the prosecutor withdrew the criminal charge.