How does an impaired driving trial work? I want to talk about the typical process or how your day would proceed if your charged with impaired driving and your case is set for trial say today. So, what will happen your case is set from say 10 till five, 4:30, making five, it might run to first thing in the morning you will plead. Not guilty. The clerk will read you the charges, you’ll plead not guilty. Now the Crown Attorney as a prosecutor, they’re responsible for presenting the case. So, what will they do? Well, let’s say there’s a civilian witness who saw you get a car accident so that civilians going to testify first. The crown is going to ask them examination chief questions. That’s called examination chief, open ended questions which don’t suggest the answer in other words, who, what, where when why type questions. As a defence lawyer, I’m then going to cross examine using leading questions which typically suggest the answers I’m going to be trying to challenge their credibility that reliably their accuracy any motives to lie that they might have to weaken their evidence effectively. Okay. Now that process goes on and after my cross examination, the crown will, may apply to reexamine them to clarify anything so if there’s something that needs to be clarified, that the crown couldn’t have anticipated a chief and defence counsel raised, which is new. Now typically, maybe the next officer person that testifies will be the arresting officer who attended the scene who arrested you again, same procedure examination in chief by the Crown. cross examination by me reexamination by the Crown. Sometimes there’s two police officers called one of the most important witnesses is in the breath technician. That’s the person who took the two breath samples Intoxilyzer breath samples. That officer is going to be examined in-chief goes through all these checklists and procedures are what they did. As defence counsel, you’re then going to cross examine them using leading questions to try and show mistakes, poke holes in their testimony, challenge their credibility and reliability with a view to showing that there was a fatal error or mistake made now at that point that really concludes the case. Well. I shouldn’t say that doesn’t conclude the case because now you have a decision to make. That concludes the crowns case I should say. Now you have a decision make, should you call your client to testify. Every case is different, but in impaired driving cases and over 80 cases, sometimes you call your client to testify. Sometimes you don’t, I won’t get into when and why because that’s a topic for another video. It’s a very delicate decision. You have to decide whether there’s reasonable doubt enough reasonable doubt that you’ve raised during your cross examination, or even during the examination-in-chief by the Crown. That raises a reasonable doubt. And you make that decision with your client’s decision, you give them advice, but you might call the client so if you do call the client again. We’re going to be calling you. I’m going to be calling you examination-in -chief. The Crown cross examines I mean, reexamine you. Ow were in a final closing argument file submission, because if I called evidence I have to go first as a defence counsel. And I make my submissions they might be 30 they might be 60 minutes somewhere in between. Crown does the same thing summing up the evidence, say there’s no reasonable doubt I’m putting up a lot and case briefs, all that sort of thing. And after the crown finishes their submissions, I have the right to reply to any new matters that arose in the crown brought that I couldn’t anticipate it, and then the judge will make a decision. Typically, they don’t make a decision that day that the judgment is called they’ll put it over for another day. Now conversely, if I didn’t call evidence, the crown is required to do their closing submissions first, followed by defence counsel. So that’s in a nutshell how a simplified version of impaired driving trial works, very quickly a complicating factor when you file a charter application now, a charter application is really a pre what’s called a pretrial application, but typically they’re heard of the same day as the trial. There are different types but suffice to say a charter application is designed to by the defence counsel to try and exclude evidence in other words throw out breath samples or throw out statements. Sometimes that can be done within the context of the trial itself, which is called a blended voir dire. That’s a Latin term for a dire. Or sometimes it’s done before the trial starts as a separate pretrial charter application, for example, rights to counsel applications are sometimes done in the beginning of the day and that may in the case, if you win it we may not even get need to get into the trial because the crown that’ll throw out the over 80 maybe the crown, if there’s no impaired that the case is over, if there’s an impaired, the Crown might think it’s weak and offer a careless or you continue on to the main trial proper, okay. Now, if it’s a reasonable probably grounds application that’s really blended within the trial. So that’s just a bit of a complicating factor. Though DUI trials, impaired driving trials. I mean, with charter applications sometimes it’s difficult to finish one day, sometimes you’re set for days, day and a half or two, if there’s no charter application, and not a lot of witnesses, we can often finish in one full day. So, there it is, there’s your trial process for your typical impaired driving with a charter application and without a charter application. 

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