Julio T – June 14 – The defendant was charged with 80 and Over.  His blood alcohol was only slightly above the legal limit but the case against him was strong if the matter proceeded to trial.  After discussions with the prosecutor, they agreed to resolve the matter without requiring a plea to the criminal charge.  The client entered a plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code offence of 80 and Over was withdrawn at the request of the prosecutor.

 

Jaskaran A June 7 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  Review of the disclosure revealed that there was a significant breach of his right to counsel while he was receiving legal advice over the phone.  Due to the elevated readings, the prosecutor was not willing to offer a resolution that did not involve a plea to the criminal offence and the matter was set down for trial.  Discussions with the prosecutor continued and a trial was ultimately avoided after an agreement was reached that didn’t involve a criminal conviction.  The client entered a plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act and received a fine and a probation order that placed restrictions on driving but did not involve any time off the road.  Upon the plea being entered, the prosecutor withdrew the criminal charge of Over 80.

 

Ogen E. – June 7 – The defendant was charged with impaired driving and driving above the legal limit of alcohol. On what was supposed to be the first day of a 3 day trial, the prosecutor called 4 witnesses.  After I cross-examined these witnesses, it became apparent to the prosecutor that he would not be able to prove either charge, likely because there was weak evidence of identification of the defendant as the person in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and weak evidence of impairment. There was also a strong right to counsel issue that would have been advanced had the trial continued. It didn’t. After the lunch break, the prosecutor withdrew both charges.

 

Matthew P. – June 2 – The defendant was charged with driving over the legal limit of alcohol along with having cannabis readily available and failing to surrender a driver’s licence. During pretrial discussions with the prosecutor we identified several alleged Charter breaches including a lack of grounds by the police to make a breath demand and several different breaches of the defendant’s rights to counsel. In light of these triable issues the prosecutor agreed to take a plea to the Highway Traffic Act charge of Careless Driving instead. The defendant received a fine and a period of probation which included an interlock requirement. Following the completion of the plea all remaining charges before the court, including the criminal charge, were withdrawn.

 

  1. E. – May 19 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving and driving above the legal limit of alcohol. Prior to trial we served a motion advancing several arguments including an allegation that the defendant had been subjected to inhumane treatment by police as he was not afforded an opportunity to change his clothes after not being able to control his bladder function. Partway through the trial, the prosecutor agreed that the evidence supported this argument. A resolution was reached whereby he was permitted to plead guilty to the alternative offence of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. A sentence of a fine and a period of probation requiring the use of an interlock device was imposed. Following this plea, the criminal charges were withdrawn.

 

Kristopher D. – May 13 – The defendant was charged with Over 80. The matter was initially set down for trial, however given pressures on the courts arising due to the pandemic the prosecutor agreed to take a plea to the alternative charge of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. The defendant did some up front work including making a charitable donation, completing alcohol counselling and writing an apology letter to the police. A position on sentence was jointly proposed to, and accepted by, the court for a fine with no driving consequences. Following the completion of the plea the criminal charge was withdrawn.

 

Erica C. – May 11 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Driving as well as Excess Blood Alcohol (Over 80). The prosecutor, given that the trial would not be proceeding as originally scheduled, and after reviewing Charter materials submitted by the defence alleging a breach of the defendant’s rights to counsel, agreed to take a plea to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving. A plea was entered to this charge and a fine was imposed along with a probation order requiring an interlock device be used while driving and restricting the purposes for which driving was permitted. The order also required the completion of counselling. Following the completion of the plea both criminal charges were withdrawn.

 

Graziano S. – April 19 – The defendant was charged with impaired driving and driving above the legal limit of alcohol. In advance of the trial date, we served a motion advancing an argument that the defendant’s right to counsel was infringed because the police had failed to get an interpreter for the defendant whose mother tongue was not English. It was to be argued that he could not have understood his right to counsel without such translation. Just prior to the commencement of trial, I had discussions with the prosecutor who recognized the frailties of his case. A resolution was reached whereby the defendant was permitted to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a period of probation that included a term requiring him to drive with an ignition interlock in his car for several months. Once the defendant concluded his plea to the Highway Traffic Act charge, the prosecutor withdrew both criminal charges.

 

Jamie M. – April 16 – The defendant was charged with the offences of impaired driving and driving above the legal limit of alcohol. The case involved a single motor vehicle accident. There were no witnesses to the accident and when police arrived, the defendant was out of his vehicle. Just prior to the court date, the prosecutor advised me that he did not believe he had a reasonable prospect of conviction (a required belief for a prosecutor to take a case to trial) as he did not think he could prove that the defendant drove the car at the relevant time. He further advised me that, as a result, he would be withdrawing both charges. True to his word, on the trial date the prosecutor withdrew both charges.

 

Virginia S. – April 14 – The defendant was charged with Over 80 as well as a minor traffic offence. After pretrial discussions where the defence pointed out some issues regarding the provision or rights to counsel, the prosecutor agreed to take a plea to the alternative charge of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. The court gave effect to the jointly proposed position of a fine and a period of probation during which the defendant would be required to use an ignition interlock device. Following the conclusion of the plea all remaining charges, including the criminal charge, were withdrawn.

 

Kayla G. – April 12 – The defendant was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle with Excess Blood Alcohol (‘Over 80’). At the pretrial stage we raised an issue with the prosecutor regarding the lack of washroom privacy provided to the defendant. Upon further review of the file the prosecutor acknowledged this triable issue and agreed to take a plea to the alternative charge of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. The defendant received a fine and a period of probation during which she was required to have a blood alcohol of zero while operating a motor vehicle. Following the plea to the traffic offence the criminal charge was withdrawn.

 

Sharon N. – April 7 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Operation of a Conveyance as well as Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident. Due to the nature of the accident the prosecutor agreed that they would not be able to prove the charge of Failure to Stop. Further negotiations resulted in an agreement that, following upfront restitution for damages caused, the defendant could plead guilty to the alternative offence of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. A joint position was proposed (and accepted by the court) for a fine and a period of probation during which the defendant would be required to maintain a blood alcohol content of zero while driving. Following the completion of the plea all criminal charges were withdrawn.

 

Venorth B. – March 26 – The defendant was charged with failure to provide a breath sample into a roadside screening device. The matter proceeded to trial. Once all the evidence was presented by the prosecutor, I was able to persuade the trial judge that the prosecution had failed to prove that the arresting officer had the grounds to make a lawful demand. As a result, any failure by the defendant to comply with a breath demand that was not proven to be lawful did not constitute an offense. The trial judge dismissed the charge.

 

Jude M. – March 12 – The defendant was charged with a single count of Operating a Motor Vehicle with Excess Blood Alcohol (‘Over 80’). After a prosecutor adjournment of the defendant’s first scheduled trial date, and not being able to proceed with the second scheduled trial date due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the prosecutor agreed to take a plea to the alternative charge of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act rather than attempting to reschedule the matter for a third trial date and risk issues of delay being successfully raised. The defendant entered his plea and received a fine and probation order requiring the use of an ignition interlock device. The criminal charge was subsequently withdrawn.

 

Leanna J. – March 11 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Operation as well as Excess Blood Alcohol (‘Over 80’). This matter was originally scheduled for trial. After receiving the Charter materials provided by the defence alleging several breaches of the defendant’s rights to counsel, the prosecutor reached out and offered to withdraw the criminal charges in exchange for a plea to Careless Driving contrary to the Highway Traffic Act. Initially the prosecutor wanted a term requiring an ignition interlock, however after further negotiation they agreed to abandon that request. A plea was entered to the traffic offence and a sentence was imposed involving a fine and a period of probation that restricted the defendant to driving only for employment purposes for a period of time. Following the plea, all criminal charges were withdrawn.

 

Malick A. – March 5 – The defendant was charged with a single count of  Excess Blood Alcohol (‘Over 80’). Give the low end readings and the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to negotiate a plea to the alternative charge of Careless Driving contrary to the Highway Traffic Act. The defendant received a fine as well as a probationary period requiring the use of an ignition interlock when driving for personal purposes. Following the completion of the plea the criminal charge was withdrawn.

 

Stephen S. – March 3 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Operation as well as Excess Blood Alcohol (‘Over 80’). On the unique facts of this case we were able to retain the services of an expert toxicologist to show that the defendant’s blood alcohol may have been under the criminal limit at the time that he was behind the wheel. Based on this evidence, the prosecutor agreed to take a plea to the alternative charge of Careless Driving contrary to the Highway Traffic Act. A plea was entered to the traffic offence and a fine was imposed along with a period of probation requiring the use of an ignition interlock device and counselling for alcohol as directed by the probation officer. Following the completion of the plea, all criminal charges were withdrawn.

 

Mandeep K. – Feb 22 – The defendant was charged with impaired driving and driving over the legal limit of alcohol. Prior to the commencement of the trial, I advanced a motion arguing that the matter had taken too long to get to trial thus infringing the defendant’s right to be tried within a reasonable time. The trial judge accepted this argument. The trial judge stayed the charges which is the legal equivalent to dismissing the charges.

 

 

Ben B. – February 4 – The defendant was charged with operating a conveyance with excess blood alcohol. During the pretrial discussions with the prosecutor the defence pointed out issues both with the execution of rights to counsel as well as the grounds police were relying on to make their roadside breath demand. Given these issues and the relatively low readings the prosecutor agreed that this matter could resolve by way of a guilty plea to the charge of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. The court agreed with the jointly proposed position on sentence and imposed a fine along with a period of probation during which the defendant would be required to have no alcohol in his body when operating a motor vehicle. Following the plea the criminal charge was withdrawn by the prosecutor.

 

 

Jason C. – February 4 – The defendant was charged with Impaired and Over 80. Though initially the matter was set down for trial, further and ongoing resolution talks with the prosecutor resulted in an agreement that the defendant would be allowed to plead guilty to the charge of Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. Motivating this resolution in part were concerns the prosecutor had about their ability to prove that the defendant had operated or been in care and control of the vehicle. The court imposed a fine along with a period of probation during which the defendant would be required to have a blood alcohol content of zero any time that they occupied the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle. Following the plea, all criminal charges were withdrawn by the prosecutor.

 

 

Zaurbek N – February 2 – The defendant was charged with Over 80.  Review of the disclosure revealed triable issues relating to the officer’s grounds for making an Approved Screening Device demand at the roadside and a language issue in relation to the steps taken by police to ensure the defendant was able to properly exercise his right to counsel.   Discussions were initiated with the prosecutor in order to set the matter down for trial.  During those discussions, the prosecutor agreed to a resolution that avoided a trial on the Criminal Code charge.  The defendant pled guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving and received a sentence of a fine and a probation order with a requirement that he maintain a zero blood alcohol level while driving.  The probation order also included a condition that he only operate a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device, but the prosecutor agreed to an exception for work vehicles so that the defendant’s employment was not impacted.  Upon entering the plea, the criminal charge was withdrawn by the prosecutor.

 

 

John L. – February 1 – The defendant was charged with both Impaired Driving and Over 80. After the initial trial dates were lost due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic the defence renewed discussions with the prosecution. Rather than rescheduling this matter for trial it was agreed that the defendant would be allowed to deal with this matter by way of a guilty plea to Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act. The joint sentencing position was further improved after an agreement that the defendant would complete some alcohol counselling upfront in advance of the plea being entered. A fine was imposed in addition to a 3 month licence suspension and a 9 month period of probation that included a term requiring a blood alcohol content of zero while driving. Once the plea was entered, the criminal charges of Impaired Driving and Over 80 were withdrawn by the prosecutor.

 

 

John R. – January 28 – The defendant was charged with impaired driving and driving over the legal limit. There was an accident involved and the prosecution called the other driver to testify at trial. The other driver was not able to identify the defendant as the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Although the defendant admitted to being the driver to police, there were legal issues that made the admissibility of these statements questionable. During a recess, I had discussions with the prosecutor and because of the uncertainties in the case, a resolution was reached. The defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of careless driving. He received a brief three month suspension and a fine. Upon pleading guilty to careless driving, the judge dismissed the criminal charges.

 

 

Kunal V. – January 26 – The defendant was charged with impaired driving and driving over the limit. Both charges were dismissed by the trial judge after a trial. I was able to convince the judge that the prosecution had not proven that the defendant had driven a vehicle on the alleged offence date. Although 2 civilian witnesses testified at trial about seeing a drunk person in a motor vehicle, neither of them could identify the defendant as the person they saw in that vehicle. There was insufficient other evidence to establish the defendant as the driver.

 

 

Thomas D – January 18 – The defendant was charged with Impaired Operation and Over 80.  The evidence on the impaired charge was weak and issues were identified relating to the steps taken by the police to ensure that the defendant’s right to counsel was properly provided.  Initially, the prosecutor insisted on proceeding on the criminal charges in spite of the issues with their case.  On that basis, I indicated that the matter would have to proceed to trial.  Talks continued and an agreement was reached wherein the defendant could plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Act offence of Careless Driving for a fine and a condition to have a blood alcohol level of zero when driving.  After the plea was entered the prosecutor withdrew both of the criminal charges.