How to Handle a Fail to Appear in Court Charge

Failing to show up for a court date when directed by a judge is deemed as a criminal offence, same as failing to appear for fingerprinting and photographs as directed by the police. A legal charge may be filed against an individual who’ve committed any of the above. More information about handling a charge of ‘failing to appear in court’ is shared below.

Am I Guilty of Failing to Appear in Court if I Forgot About My Court Date?

“For someone to be considered guilty of a ‘failure to appear in court’ charge, the act of not showing up for a hearing or not showing up for fingerprinting and photographs must be deliberate” says Oakville family lawyer Malerie Rose. It must be proven as an intentional act committed by the individual. Forgetting to appear in court will not lead to a conviction if it can be proven that the action was not done with intent.

Are There Lawful Excuses for Failing to Appear in Court?

Missing out on a court date may be accepted by a court provided that there was a really good reason for the act. Lawful reasons include health reasons necessitating a hospital stay as well as other circumstances that will make it physically impossible for a person to be in court (such as being in jail for an unrelated charge). Inexcusable reasons include being hungover, not waking up on time, or attending another engagement such as a job interview.

What to Do If I Missed My Court Date?

A warrant of arrest will be issued by the judge if a person failed to appear in court. As for photograph and fingerprinting, the police will issue a similar warrant. It is best to contact the court (or the police) as soon as possible with your lawyer’s help as soon as the mistake has been realized. If nothing is done within 2 to 3 days, the warrant will stay and have to be enforced.

Will Surrendering Help Prevent a Charge?

Surrendering one’s self as soon as possible together with your lawyer’s explanation is often enough to get charges of ‘failing to appear in court’ dropped as well as for the warrant to be canceled.

Remember that timing and prompt action is of the essence if you failed to make an appearance in court. You need a defence lawyer who can present your reasons in a positive light to avoid a charge and a conviction. Calvin Barry is a Toronto criminal lawyer who can help. Contact Calvin Barry today!



Beware of media, say lawyers after televised recording of breath test leads to acquittal

Lawyers say defence counsel and their clients must always be aware of those watching and listening following the acquittal of a driver who had his failed roadside breath test and legal consultation recorded by a TV news station.

It was on Aug. 24 that Justice David Rose, in R. v. Gautam 2017 ONCJ 577, acquitted Kunal Gautam of driving over the legal limit after he found that his constitutional rights were violated at a York Regional Police spot check after Global News recorded his breath test and on-site phone call with a lawyer.

“That right to counsel, of all the Charter rights, it is one of the most sanctified rights in the Constitution because of solicitor-client privilege and your right to get legal advice … when you are under arrest or [under] detention,” said lawyer Calvin Barry, of Calvin Barry Professional Corporation. “The other [Charter breach] was unreasonable search and seizure [in that] he had a reasonable expectation of privacy and not have somebody have a camera in his face and be recording when he’s trying to get some legal advice and providing the samples.”

In the end, it remained a mystery as to who at York Regional Police ultimately gave Global the green light to film all aspects of that night’s RIDE operation. “No police witnesses could answer that question, but their conjecture that it was someone well above the rank of police constable is entirely reasonable,” stated Justice Rose. Lawyers say defence counsel and their clients must always be aware of those watching and listening following the acquittal of a driver who had his failed roadside breath test and legal consultation recorded by a TV news station.

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Arrested? Here is Why You Should Speak to a Lawyer ASAP

Calling your lawyer should be the first thing to do (or ask for) when you get arrested, but not many people would consider this for their first action even though the arresting officer would cite this as a right of the arrested individual.

The police is mandated by law to inform anyone that they arresting of the right to legal counsel; and if they don’t or refuse to fulfill that part of their duty, then the arrest will have loopholes that a lawyer can use against the arresting officer.

When to Contact a Lawyer and Why

Upon being informed of your arrest, the police have an obligation to help you contact your lawyer or get you in touch with one (if you don’t have a lawyer yet) as soon as possible. They’re also obligated to help you contact a specific lawyer if needed as part of your right to choose your counsel. This is stipulated in the Canadian Charter of Rights.

Legally speaking, the police cannot interview you if you haven’t spoken to your lawyer and if not given reasonable opportunity to do so. This is because what you say may be used against you, same as procedures or tests you take without consulting your lawyer may be used as evidence against you as well.

Police Obligations

The police is bound by duty to help you contact your lawyer by several means, including making multiple phone calls if the lawyer’s contact details are unreachable. The police is also obligated to help you talk to more than one lawyer if the first one contacted isn’t the right one to assist you with your arrest. If for any reason your lawyer is not answering or can’t be found, the police is expected to wait for a reasonable time before going for the next steps, such as getting you another lawyer.

Understanding your legal rights is part of making sure that you get the best defence possible for your case aside from getting a seasoned lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer yet or is looking for one, Calvin Barry has extensive experience in criminal law and can help you with your arrest. Contact Calvin Barry today!

Pleading Guilty for a DUI in Canada

Pleading guilty just to get things over with may work in your favour for a lot of cases, but that isn’t really true when pleading guilty for a DUI in Canada.

It  is often the case that those who’ve had their first DUI charge don’t want to deal with the anxiety and stress of going to court appearances and think that pleading guilty can result to less issues down the road. This is far from reality and the following reasons will tell you why.

It is Okay to Take Your Time

There is no rush when pleading guilty for a DUI in Canada because the court’s process takes months! You’ll have a few weeks to procure a criminal lawyer after your first court appearance (guilty plea or none). Your hired lawyer will take weeks to review the case against you, combing the disclosure for details and requesting for more information if needed.

You’ll Be Better Off When Making an Informed Decision for Real

Pleading guilty for a DUI in Canada during your first court appearance is like trying to pilot a plane on your first day at flight school. You don’t know how things work and by insisting on plunging head-on, you’ll be putting yourself in trouble and jeopardizing your future.

A Strong Case Against You May Be Absent

Your first court appearance is all about obtaining your disclosure – the file that contains the evidences against you as well as other important details that can help defend your case. It is possible that the disclosure can unlock the gates to your freedom!

Your Disclosure Can Clear Your Name

Some DUI arrests have mistakes that can mitigate circumstances or it is possible that you’re not supposed to be charged due to lack of evidence to begin with. A seasoned criminal lawyer can uncover all that and advise you on the best course of action to take to make the case’s outcome more favourable for you.

Remember, pleading guilty may or may not be the best course of action if you’ve been arrested for a DUI. It is best to consult with a criminal lawyer with an extensive experience handling DUI cases. Calvin Barry is a criminal lawyer in Toronto who can help. Contact Calvin Barry Law today!

Reasonable Doubt and DUI Charge Acquittals in Canada

Although getting involved in a DUI usually starts with an officer suspecting (within reason) that someone has been drinking before driving, and only progresses into a DUI arrest when the officer has come to believe that the driver’s driving is affected by being impaired by alcohol, it should be noted that an arrest doesn’t always have to end in a conviction.

DUI Charges and Over 80 have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt before someone can be convicted. This means that anyone arrested for the said charges should be properly investigated and the findings recorded to prove that they are indeed truly guilty of the charges against them.

Things Can Get Tricky

There will be times when a person can get arrested for a DUI because of suspicion or circumstantial evidence. For example, if a person has been observed to be slurring his speech, walking unsteadily, driving in a weird or suspicious way, or have liquor in the vehicle. All of these details can arouse suspicion, but it should be noted that they do not prove that someone is indeed intoxicated while driving. This is where technicalities come in and why the arresting officer will have to get the arrested individual to give a breath sample at the station to determine their blood alcohol level. However, even a recorded blood alcohol level can be countered with technicalities which a DUI lawyer can come up with as part of the case’s defence.

Lawyer Up

Whether it is your first time to be charged with a DUI or not, your first step should be to get your case legally sorted out with the help of a DUI lawyer. If one or a few details leading to one’s arrest for a DUI or a charge of Over 80 can be utilized to disprove that the arrested individual is indeed guilty, the charges will have to be dropped and the person will be acquitted.

Getting arrested for a DUI doesn’t have to end with a conviction for a DUI. A seasoned DUI lawyer can help you get acquitted. For updates on cases that like this, you may follow Calvin Barry Law in Twitter, Facebook, or Medium. If you need a Criminal Lawyer in Toronto to formulate the best defense for your case, don’t hesitate to contact Calvin Barry.



Can Police Enter Your Home Without Permission?

Most people will allow the police to enter their homes if asked, and are not aware that they can refuse entry to police officers trespassing on their property by using a reasonable amount of physical force to physically remove an insistent officer.

Honoring the Sanctity of the Home

“The sanctity of the home is a legal doctrine that states a citizen’s right to enjoy his property and determine who’ll be allowed or not allowed to enter it. For the police to be legally allowed entry into a private home, they should obtain the homeowner’s permission or be in a circumstance wherein exceptions to the sanctity of the home applies” says Oakville family lawyer Malerie Rose of Rose Family Law. Note too that a prior permission can be revoked by the homeowner.

Exceptions to the Rule

The police are legally allowed to enter someone’s home without permission only in the following circumstances:

  • When in hot pursuit or continuous pursuit of someone fleeing to evade arrest
  • When protecting life or assisting someone who is in grave danger
  • When entering private grounds is necessary to prevent the commission of an offence
  • When making an arrest with an arrest warrant
  • When there is imminent harm to life or imminent destruction or loss of evidence
  • When in possession of a search warrant

When the above doesn’t apply, a homeowner can physically remove a police officer from his/her home using reasonable force (shoving, shutting the door, etc). In the event of a lawsuit, the court will decide if the force used was of reasonable level or not.

Allowing a police officer to enter your home can be a tricky decision that can impact the outcome of any case filed against you. If you have some questions about your rights or perhaps looking for a defence lawyer in Canada, contact Calvin Barry Law today! Calvin Barry has an extensive experience as a Criminal Lawyer in Canada for the past 3 decades. Talk to us today!