Whenever one of our clients is charged with a DUI, or impaired driving, or drinking any type of drinking and growing up as refusal, our first goal of course, is to hopefully have the charge to withdrawn, you know, the Crown withdraw the charge outright. But you know what, getting a plea to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act, which is a non-criminal offence, that’s always a win in an impaired driving cases. How often does that happen and how do we go about doing that? Well, it all depends on the facts of your case and whether you have a defence for example, so when we received the disclosure, as a lawyer, I’m pouring over that disclosure and trying to figure out, is there a Charter  issue? Did the police make a mistake? How can we defend this we received the client’s version events and you know, and I go over that disclosure on multiple occasions, I like to review it once initially? I like to go at it with a fresh mind a couple of days later, and even a day after that. So, I’ve reviewed it essentially three times because it’s a very tricky area of law and even an experienced lawyer can miss things, so you’ve got to, you know, I’m confident that I’m not missing things after three things going over going through my checklist going through my procedures you know, are they doing things right. Are there any Charter  issues? Once I have that solidified in my mind, I know I really absolutely know if this is a decent case that we have a chance of winning at and then when I received my client’s version of events he may or she may add to that in the context of their facts. So when I have that meeting with the client, I’m basically able to tell them within a range at least what their odds of winning are, their odds maybe none or low.There’s always some chance on any case or they may be okay. They may be 50/50. Now we’re getting somewhere where they maybe you know what this is a pretty good case, we have a better chance of winning a crown. Occasionally we have either close to a slam dunk or hesitate to say it occasionally an absolute slam dunk but I guess never nothing’s ever slam dunk. So how does the crown approach this and how do I approach it? So, let’s say let’s say we have a good chance of winning, there’s a Charter  issue. There are rights to council. There’s the reasonable probable ground argument the police made some errors. In that case, I’m going to be able to go to the crown and negotiate with them and show them where the error is because they can’t fix the error, they can’t fix an error right to counsel error necessarily they can’t necessarily fix a reasonable probable ground. And in many counties, if not most, if not really all in Ontario, if you have a good solid defence and particularly now during COVID the crowns going to off you a careless driving, they’re going to that’s great. Now the slippery slope is as we get below, let’s say it’s a 50/50 case. Well, that’s going to depend on the county you’re in.

Every county is a little bit different how they approach impaired driving, drinking driving case, there’s some counties now especially during COVID, where there’s any reasonable Charter issue or any reasonable mistake, the police made, or the crown thinks it’s a 50/50 case, and were going to resolve to this a careless That’s great. We’re going to get that. I’m not going to name any counties; well, I’ll name one. Windsor is good for that. For example, our office operates across the province and Windsor moving your files very nicely and I tremendously respect that. So, if you in Windsor have can show them a reasonably good chance of winning a 50/50 is a really good chance, we always go to trial on that. They’re going to offer you a careless driving. There’s no question about that. Other counties not necessarily some are very difficult even when you’ve got to, it has to be almost a slam dunk in some counties I hate to say it.

If it’s below 50/50, you’re not getting a careless. You’re not getting careless in Windsor, you’re not getting careless in Toronto, Paris, London are all the cities we operate in. Now the other interesting thing about impaired driving and this is a policy that was brought into beginning of COVID If you’re charged with blowing over the legal limit, the ministry of the Attorney General put a new director of policy towards their Crown Attorneys. If you have a reading that’s under 120 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood, not a very high reading, it’s still quite over the limit but that’s not considered a high reading is considered a lower reading. The crown in that situation has been directed by the ministry of the attorney general to consider not they don’t have to. It’s discretionary. Offering a careless driving pulley as long as they’re not aggravating factor, what are aggravating factors?

Well, you got into a car accident they’re probably not going to offer it unless you can show a defence maybe had children in the car, or there were drugs in the car, are you using, are you drinking in the car drug drugs, especially children that’s a devastating thing, especially accident but we’ve been getting great deals. We’ve been negotiating great deals across the province for cases under 120. We’ve had great deals when we’ve been able to show the crown a particular defence. And by the way, sometimes you can’t, you don’t want to show the crown your cards because there’s some errors that the police made and there’s some Charter issues that they might be able to fix. And you don’t want to play that card. So, you’re playing cards when you know you see it in the disclosure. It can’t be It can’t be fixed. And you’re now trying to negotiate a careless driving. The other interesting thing about this is sometimes the Crown will say no to us, you know they we meet with them. They don’t review the file that hard. There’s a lot of work to this by the way there’s case law because there’s hours and hours and hours work and the Crown looks at the file, but I don’t agree with you.

Okay, great. Let’s go to Trial. So, 30 days before the trial or 60 days before the trial we file documents called a Charter application which is a factum and long written submissions. Case Law plonk it on the Crown’s desk, serve them. Oh my god, they look at me go. He’s right. Or she’s right. There’s a great defence here I should have resolved at 10 months ago. That happens all the time. I mean, it’s like studying for exams. I think for the crown. They never sometimes come to grips with your exam too late before sometimes even the morning of sometimes in the middle of trial even I can’t tell you how many times in my career. It’s been frustrating. I wish they’d resolve it. You know, eight months earlier because it’d be so much cheaper for the client legal fees. We have to serve all these documents do all the work client pays all these legal fees. The Crown says hey, you’re right 8 months ago. Well, I know I was last I talked about this eight months ago, but you didn’t read the file. It happens every day across the province. But my view, I can tell you this, the Crowns been doing much better during COVID period. There are delays in the court system. They’ve been moving the files better. They’re taking a harder look in court, but it still happens. I mean we resolve matters halfway through trial where the Crown still won’t offer a deal and now, they see were winning the case and the judges rolling their eyes at the crowns case and just wants to go to lunch because they know we’ve already won. Oh, here’s your careless deal. Or here’s your no unsafe left turn deal. And you might say well, if you’re winning, why would you accept the careless because you don’t know if they’re still careless? Remember what I started off with creativity, counts driving plea avoiding a criminal record is a win. It’s a win. It’s a win on the impaired driving case there it is in a nutshell whether we’re going to be able to get you a careless driving plea in this province.

By Published On: July 26, 2023Last Updated: July 11, 2024Categories: Impaired Driving/DUI, Video

Contact Us

Complete the form below to get a free meeting and quote.

Protected By Google reCAPTCHA | Privacy - Terms