I want to talk to you about a recent winning DUI trial that I had in the London Ontario Court of Justice. The client was ecstatic. I won’t get into the facts because I do not want to identify the client for confidentiality reasons.
We had a very hard fought trial. This was probably the most complicated impaired driving trial I have ever personally been involved in. In fact, it was one of the most complicated DUI cases I have ever seen. The trial took place over 6 full days of trial time. There were literally I believe, 12 different major legal issues which we argued based on the evidence that was called by the crown and defence.
There was a very involved Charter application under sections 7, 8, 9, 10(b) and 24(2) of the Charter dealing with breaches of my client’s right to counsel, unlawful detention issues and unreasonable search and seizure. There were all sorts of legal and factual issues related to the crown’s case that the defence was able to successfully challenge and convince the court to dismiss charges.
Our client was charged with impaired driving and refusing to comply with a breath demand. The facts of the case and the various mistakes the police made presented strategic and successful ways and means of attacking both the impaired driving and refusal charge. This was one of the more interesting right to counsel cases I have been involved in (if you find this sort of thing interesting), and this was very gratifying win based on the amount of work and effort the client and I put into the case.
I worked very well with this client as he was very committed to doing the necessary and detailed hours of preparation that are required to win any criminal case. I prepared him to testify at great length for many hours and he did a great job on the witness stand and his evidence was ultimately believed by the trial judge. The judge specifically found that he was a credible and reliable witness who told the truth. The judge was actually very critical of the police in this case, but will I not get into the details of that. However, there was a lot of criticism directed towards the police in terms of the way they conducted themselves on the night in question. This was a case where at the outset, I thought there was a less than 50/50 chance of winning, but as things developed throughout the course of the trial, the odds got better and better and that often happens in these types of cases. The odds of winning sometimes improve during the course of a trial, including sometimes going the other way.
The client was so thankful and gratified when the judge dismissed the charges against him and can now get on with his life and career. I am frankly relieved this case is over because I have never worked harder on a DUI case in my career in terms of the sheer hours of legal research, preparation and determination to win.