A vehicle offence (such as a DUI) is a serious criminal charge, and comes with a set of equally serious penalties. Operating a vehicle over the legal limit or while prohibited is extraordinarily dangerous, and we in no way condone the act of driving under the influence.

However, we also understand that police are often unfair in their methods of collecting evidence, and that you are innocent until proven guilty. The punishment for being convicted is too severe to allow yourself to be charged without a solid defence. Living with a criminal record will seriously affect your chances of employment and education, and a roadside driving prohibition will threaten your livelihood. You could even end up in prison.

You don’t have to live with a criminal record from a DUI, though. As these two following case studies show, our DUI defence lawyers have helped Canadians against the heaviest of odds live criminal record-free.

Impaired Driving: Slumped Over the Steering Wheel

The Details: The police were called to a gas station about a woman who had been seen vomiting next to her car. The police arrived to find her slumped over the steering wheel “clearly intoxicated”. She refused to provide any breath samples, leading to a mandatory 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition.

In addition to this, she was also criminally charged with Impaired Driving and Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample.

The Defence: Our criminal defence attorneys are well aware of the discrepancies in police reports and the unreliability of details. In a matter as severe as this, we should be able to trust everything that’s written down. However, that is rarely the case. For the Administrative Driving Prohibition, we pointed out several issues with the police report as well as legal precedent for the adjudicator to not rely on said report. For the criminal charges, we attended court and obtained the witness statement and police report. Aside from pointing out problems with police conduct of the case, we also demonstrated the steps our client had taken toward rehabilitation and her previous good character. We negotiated a plea deal.

The Result: Prohibition overturned. No criminal conviction. No criminal record.

 

Driving While Prohibited: Driving for Work Purposes

The Details: Our client, who already possessed a lengthy criminal record and even longer driving record, was caught by police driving his vehicle while prohibited. This is an offence that often leads to a criminal charge, criminal record, and even worse fines and penalties. And worse, he needed to drive for work purposes. This means that not only was he facing a larger criminal record, his ability to provide for himself or others was in jeopardy.

The Defence: The Crown often base their initial assessment of a case on the police report and recommendations, with little understanding of the consequences for a particular accused person.  Our criminal defence attorneys are no stranger to this, and we fought hard to show the Crown that we wouldn’t accept their terms based on the weaknesses in their case. What really made the difference though was how we supported our client’s good character and pointed out steps he had taken toward rehabilitation.

The Result: The Crown agreed that the weaknesses in its case, steps the accused had taken toward rehabilitation, and his need to drive for work purposes should result in his pleading guilty to the lesser charge of Driving Without a License. No criminal record. No Driving prohibition.

As you can see, being charged with a vehicle offence such as a DUI or driving while prohibited can have very serious consequences. The good news is that you may not have to receive a criminal record and may be able to avoid some or all of the punishments normally associated with these charges. With a criminal defence attorney, your rights will be fully protected and you give yourself your best possible chance at remaining free of a criminal record.