Putting it simply, yes, you can defend yourself in court. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Acting as your own defence in an Ontario DUI case may not lead to the best outcome. Even if you think you can do all the steps, you likely lack experience and perspective in legal issues like this. An experienced lawyer will have the skills and knowledge to help you get better results.
Basic Self-Defence Challenges You May Face
Even on a more basic level, there are simple things that may get in your way if you choose to represent yourself. This is before you even come up with how to defend yourself against the impaired driving charge. Challenges of acting as your own lawyer include:
- Staying on top of required hearings or court appearances
- Missing other requirements
- Confusion over the “promise to appear” or bail hearing
- The need for an interpreter if there are language barriers
- A physical disability that makes it hard to attend the courthouse
- Saying the “wrong” thing by accident
- Filling out any forms or documents incorrectly
- Getting in touch with people related to your case, like the prosecutor
- Access to police records and other documents
- Lack of legal knowledge and experience
The last point is the most important. An impaired driving lawyer can help you best prepare for your trial. They can stay on top of any details and paperwork on your behalf too. Failing to appear in court can result in criminal charges. Your lawyer can help you make sure you don’t miss anything.
Building a Stronger Defence Case
Did you drink and drive? Don’t be so fast to admit fault right away. Even the Ontario Court of Justice strongly encourages you to get legal advice before you decide to plead guilty. A lawyer can look into your case. Then, they can see how to build a stronger defence. They can see what you might have missed.
Did the police officer who pulled you over for drunk driving follow the correct procedure? Did they fill out the paperwork correctly and provide the right technical evidence? If they missed anything, your lawyer would know. This can reduce your sentence or even dismiss your case outright.
Offering More Than Just Legal Advice
Legal advice and insight are very valuable. A lawyer can help guide what you can and should do with your Ontario DUI case. They can even help you resolve the case before the first court date! As part of taking on your case, your lawyer can also:
- Give an overall assessment of your case
- Scrutinize the prosecutor’s case against you
- Review the evidence against you
- Look for new evidence to support you
- Seek out new witnesses to support your case
- Find technical errors in court documents to drop your case
- Reveal possible defence options you can use
- Determine if your rights were violated
- Prepare for trial and present evidence
- Argue to have your case dismissed
- Propose motions to reduce consequences if you are found guilty
Remember that a DUI charge in Ontario can result in more than fines and jail time. Your insurance rates may increase. You might also experience lost wages or fewer opportunities for employment. The courts may decide to suspend your driver’s licence. With a good impaired driving lawyer, you can work to avoid these challenges.
Not all criminal charges will go to trial. Your lawyer can help you get the best possible outcome, which might mean skipping court altogether.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
Fill out our online contact form or call us toll-free at 1-800-699-0806 today. Our Ontario law firm can review your impaired driving case and start building the strongest possible defence right away. With offices in Toronto (North York), Kitchener, London, and Windsor, we’re prepared to help clients throughout Ontario. Get the legal counsel you need with the respect and confidence you deserve.