Thank you for joining me today. I want to talk about negotiating sentencing in a DUI, meeting with the Crown, resolution discussions, judicial pre trials and how this how I approach this.
I think it’s best for me to give examples but the first thing is, when you represent a client on an impaired driving, we do a lot of those type of cases. First and foremost, you hope that you have a potentially winning case, you get the case, you get to review the disclosure with the client, you receive their version of the events.
After I review that disclosure, maybe the client I know the strengths and weaknesses of the crown case, so let’s pretend to use few examples, boy I have a decent defense here, I got at least a 50% chance of winning this case, if not higher, you’ll know, now I’m in a position to go to the crown and try and massage and get a careless driving offer potentially right so because the crown might recognize I have a good case, so we start our discussions, I might have multiple meanings with the crown, to convince him this, but sometimes I don’t want to give away the farm. If it’s a defense that is kind of hidden that the crown could fix, because sometimes the police can fix their error.
That’s important point, sometimes you don’t want to give away your defence. Sometimes it’s very obvious of course, the crowns can recognize but so these negotiations go on and the good thing that’s going on in the province right now with impaired driving is I find increasingly so especially after COVID If the crown recognizes that we have a good solid defense for impaired driving, their offering us careless driving in pretty much every county with rare exceptions in the province.
So that’s a good thing because, these are cases that the defence could win, we’re not using a court time the Crown’s getting some degree of punishment the defendants avoiding a criminal record. Careless driving is still serious but it’s under the highway traffic You get your six points and I guess no points and if there’s a driving suspension no points. Sometimes we’ll put an interlock on for a careless. So that’s a great result. Now other situations, let’s look at another example. So I’ve got an impaired driving. It’s a woman, you can imagine I’ve done all of these fact patterns of over the course of 33 years, so we’ve represented probably over 2000 cases, at least if not probably 2500
401 very bad driving, very bad accident, high readings that unfortunately for a first time offender can and should attract a jail term, that’s pretty much the range now maybe a significant jail term, even on a first offender, but there’s more to it. Let’s say now I’m meeting with the crown the crown is very upset about this, well hold it now, this woman’s husband just died. They are under stress, anxiety. They’ve been going through turmoil. They develop a bit of a drinking problem we’ve got them in rehab now they’re doing better and they’re on the mend. Presents a different light.
Because there’s the offense which is very aggravated, and there’s the offender we’ve got to present the offender in the best light. In that scenario, I may be able to convince the crown to join me for a higher fine to avoid the inevitable jail term if we just read in front of the judge and tried to explain this all, because you always want to try and get the crown to join you in a joint submission.
A joint submission when you can agree on a sentence, then a judge they don’t have to go along with that but pretty much in Canada unless it offends the administration of justice a judge will go along with the joint submission see on that case, without a joint submission. It’d be very risky. Some judges might be sympathetic if they’re liberal or neutral.
A conservative judge might not care. So, there’s a lot of negotiation and working discussions with the crown, getting your client into rehabilitation counseling, and explaining things to the crown in the best possible light for strong cases we’re trying to convince the crown to withdraw the charge without really giving away everyone our secret defenses and for other cases we’re still trying to minimize the fine as much as possible and and of course minimize the driving suspension. Bear in mind on a first time Impaired driving you’re facing one to three years. It’s discretionary.
That 401 case for example. I mean, some crowns might argue that that should be at least a two-year driving suspension if that higher and you want to try and get it down to one year.
So there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and criminal law discussions with the Crown plea negotiations and sometimes you’ll want to get these things approved as well, depending on the case like the scenario I gave you about the woman on the 401 the hypothetical. What I would do after the joint submission with the crown is I would want to get a judicial pretrial where I can talk to a judge and a crown, the judge is going to be the plea behind closed doors to get that judge to approve the plea because I don’t want to go, I want to know what’s going to happen so I can explain to the client and it’s much easier to explain things behind closed doors then it is an open court if you start have a judge here that this woman’s driving on the 401 and blew 250.
They might go crazy depending on how conservative, so it’s very important to have these discussions and you have to know your judge you have to know your crown, what to say when to say it, how to present it and timings of the essence that it takes a lot of years in this business and I’ll tell you negotiations in criminal law are much like negotiations in life, it’s an art form it there’s no science to it, its learned behavior where you have to do the right thing at the right time to get the right result. And I’ll tell you I’ll repeat that you got to know your judge and know your crown. And we do at our office that’s for sure. So anyways, it’s been great day of videos guys, and we’ll see you next time. Thanks for joining our YouTube channel per usual.
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