Normally, the police will provide an accused with a Promise to Appear (which may have a requirement to attend for fingerprints and a photograph on a specific future date). If an accused fails to attend for his photographs and fingerprints, this will result in a further criminal charge. If a person has already been convicted of a related drinking and driving offence, a Notice of Application for Increased Penalty will eventually be served on the accused.
By serving the Notice of Application for Increased Penalty, the Crown is able to rely on a previous conviction in support of a mandatory minimum jail term.
|Michael Kruse is a leading Ontario DWI attorney with over 20 years of trial experience practicing in the areas of impaired driving and criminal law.|
Finally, a 90-day administrative licence suspension and a computer print out of the intoxilyzer readings and/or the breath certificates are often served at the time a person is charged.
The above paperwork which is provided to or served upon an accused, is only the "tip of the iceberg". In order to properly process an impaired driving or exceed charge, the police must prepare extensive and detailed paperwork, criminal information, summary of incident, detailed police and civilian witness statements, detailed police notebooks, a Certificate of Analysis and an Alcohol Influence Report. Most larger police forces now also videotape the breath test procedure at the police station. This package of paperwork is known as "disclosure".
Once Kruse Law Firm has been retained, one of our Ontario DUI attorneys will order disclosure from the Crown Attorney and receive the extensive paperwork and documentation, which the police should have filled out in and around the time of the arrest. Most Crown Attorneys offices across the Province strive to provide the initial disclosure package to defence counsel by the date of the accused’s first appearance.
In most jurisdictions, there is an initial ‘intake’ or court ‘remand’ process of approximately 3 months. During this 3-month period, there will be a first appearance in front of a Justice of the Peace, in the Ontario Court of Justice. This first appearance will usually be followed by multiple court appearances in front of a Justice of the Peace.
Most jurisdictions, with a few exceptions, will not even require the accused to attend any of the ‘remand’ court appearances if the accused has retained counsel and files what is called a ‘designation’ (basically a form signed by the accused stating he or she has retained a particular lawyer). An Ontario DUI lawyer from our office will attend on your first appearance and file the designation on your behalf and you will not have to experience the stress of attending criminal court until your trial or disposition date.
During the 3-month ‘intake’ or remand period, our firm will review the disclosure, do any necessary legal research, meet with you and your witnesses, provide you with an opinion as to your odds of winning and whether you should proceed to trial or negotiate a resolution, meet with the Crown Attorney to discuss the case in detail and receive their position, attend multiple court appearances to report the progress of the case to a Justice of the Peace and possibly meet with a Judge, with a Crown Attorney present, to discuss your case.
By the end of the typical 3-month remand period, most jurisdictions (some provide more or less time than 3 months) will require us to set a trial date or a date for plea. Typically, trial dates will be set anywhere from 6-12 months from the first appearance, depending on how busy the jurisdiction is and how much of a trial backlog there is.