Deepak C. – June 25 – The Defendant was charged with Over 80.  The matter was scheduled for trial but had to be adjourned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  After re-entering negotiations with the prosecutor and again highlighting the multiple issues with the manner in which the police implemented the defendant’s right to counsel, they agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic offence of Careless Driving.  The matter was resolved and a fine was imposed along with a 6 month period of probation with the only condition being a requirement to have a blood alcohol level of zero at all times while driving.  Once the plea was complete, the prosecutor withdrew the Over 80 charge.

Alana R. – June 23 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. Following the defendant’s release, the arresting officer continued to engage with the defendant in a concerning and problematic manner. We brought this behaviour to the prosecutor’s attention and assisted the defendant in providing a statement as part of a police disciplinary investigation. In light of the allegations raised, the prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving. The defendant received a fine, a 1 month driving suspension and a further period of probation requiring that she only drive for employment purposes and only if her blood alcohol was zero. Following the completion of the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act, the prosecutor withdrew the Over 80 charge.

Suntae Y. – June 23 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  After cross-examination of the arresting officer, it became clear to the prosecutor that he would have difficulty establishing that the officer had grounds to make the roadside screening demand.  During a break in the trial, a resolution was reached wherein the defendant would be permitted to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving.  In addition to a fine, the defendant was received a period of probation with a requirement to refrain from driving any vehicle other than one with an ignition interlock installed for a period of one year.  Following the plea to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving, the prosecutor withdrew the Over 80 charge.

Marie C. – June 22 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Refuse Breathalyzer. We brought to the prosecutor’s attention issues with the grounds for arrest, delay at the roadside, and the manner in which police handled the defendant’s rights to counsel. The prosecutor, in light of the issues raised, the background circumstances of the pandemic, and the advanced age of the defendant combined with her lack of a criminal record agreed to take a plea of guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving. The defendant received a fine and a period of probation requiring that she not drive except for certain medical purposes and once a week to do her shopping. Following the completion of the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act, the prosecutor withdrew the Impaired and Refuse charges.

 

Michael T. – June 16 – The defendant was charged with being Impaired by a Drug and consequently also being in Breach of a Court Order. Both charges were dismissed after trial. After leading evidence from multiple witnesses that the drugs in question were not ingested voluntarily, the judge agreed that the prosecutor had not proven this essential component of these offences to a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Samantha H. – June 11 – The defendant was charged with Over 80 as well as several provincial offences. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the court was unable to proceed with the defendant’s scheduled trial date. Due to concerns with delays and the expected backlog courts will be facing upon resuming full operations, the prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving. The defendant received a fine and a period of probation during which she was only permitted to drive to and from employment. Following the completion of the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act, the prosecutor withdrew all other charges, including the Over 80.

Greg P. – June 10 – The defendant was charged with Impaired and Over 80. We brought to the prosecutor’s attention a problem with their case related to the way rights to counsel were handled by police. Ultimately the prosecutor agreed to resolve the matter by way of a plea to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving. The defendant received a fine and a period of probation that required him not to have any alcohol in his body while driving. Following the completion of the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act, the prosecutor withdrew the Impaired and Over 80 charges.

Kaveh M. – June 9 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  The matter was scheduled for trial and a Charter Application was served on the prosecutor identifying issues relating to the privacy issues at the police detachment and the length of time the defendant was detained at the detachment following the provision of breath samples.  Prior to the scheduled date of the trial, the prosecutor agreed to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving.  The defendant received a fine and no further restrictions on his ability to operate a motor vehicle.  Upon the completion of the plea to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving, the prosecutor withdrew the Over 80 charge.

Laura H. – June 8 – The defendant was charged with Impaired and Over 80. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and concerns regarding the backlog that courts were facing upon resuming full operations we were able to persuade the prosecutor to allow the defendant to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving. The defendant received a fine and a probationary term requiring that she not have any alcohol in her body while driving. After the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act was completed the prosecutor withdrew the Impaired and Over 80 charges.

Lelio D. – June 3 – The Defendant was charged with Impaired Driving, Over 80 and Dangerous Driving.  As a Permanent Resident, he was extremely concerned about the prospect of a criminal conviction.  As part of negotiations with the prosecutor, issues were identified in relation to the manner in which police implemented the defendant’s right to counsel, as well as an issue with a significant delay in transporting the defendant to the detachment for breath testing following his arrest.  As a result, the prosecutor was persuaded to agree to a plea to only the Dangerous Driving offence, which allowed the defence to seek a conditional discharge as opposed to a criminal conviction.  At the sentencing hearing, the judge was persuaded that a conviction was not necessary and granted a conditional discharge.  Following the plea, the prosecutor withdrew the Impaired Driving and Over 80 charges.

 

Andrew P. – June 2 – The defendant was charged with the criminal charge of Over 80, and Stunt Driving under the Highway Traffic Act.   In the early stages of the traffic stop, the officer demanded that the defendant blow into his face.  This was followed by a delay in making a roadside screening demand.  Initially, the prosecutor was prepared to proceed to trial in spite of these issues.  After further negotiation, they were persuaded that the officer’s conduct raised enough of an issue to allow them to offer a plea to Careless Driving and the original Stunt Driving charge.  The defendant received a fine and no further restrictions on his ability to operate a motor vehicle.  Following the plea to the Highway Traffic Act offences of Careless Driving and Stunt Driving, the prosecutor withdrew the Over 80 charge.

Kenneth J. – Jan. 14 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80.  Close to the trial date, it became apparent that the arresting officer would not be available for court for medical reasons.  Because of concerns the prosecutor had of how an adjournment may infringe the defendant’s right to be tried within a reasonable time, an agreement was reached whereby the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a period of probation where the defendant could only operate his motor vehicle for work purposes for six months after which he would be entitled to operate his motor vehicle for any purpose.  After the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act was entered the prosecutor withdrew the Impaired and Over 80 charges.

Danuta L. – Jan. 9 – The defendant was charged with Refuse to Comply with a Drug Recognition Evaluation.  The prosecutor had to seek an adjournment of the trial dates that were set on more than one occasion. Because of concerns the prosecutor had of how the adjournments may infringe the defendant’s right to be tried within a reasonable time, an agreement was reached whereby the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving  for a $1,000 fine and 12 month probation order whereby she could only operate her motor vehicle with no alcohol in her system and complete the Back on Track program. After the plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act was entered the prosecutor withdrew the criminal charge of Refuse to Comply with a Drug Recognition Evaluation. 

Ryan – K. – Jan. 2 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving, Refuse Breathalyzer and Dangerous Driving.  All three of these charges were dismissed after a trial.  The trial judge accepted my contention that the prosecutor had led insufficient evidence to prove that the driving on this occasion met the legal definition of “dangerous” even though there was a serious one-car collision involving the defendant.  The trial judge also accepted my argument that because of the serious injuries suffered by the defendant, it was impossible to conclude that he was impaired by alcohol on this occasion or that he wilfully refused to provide breath samples.