Get Home Safe this Holiday Season

Although we are in the middle of a surging pandemic and holiday parties aren’t happening as they usually do, you may still find yourself in a situation where it is harder to say no to indulging in alcohol. Maybe you’re not the partying type, but had a bit too much to drink at a socially distanced event before you realized it is time to go home. What should you do when you’re more buzzed than what you think is safe to drive or know someone who seems too intoxicated to drive?

The answer is easy. Stay safe and don’t drive home.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Think about it, if you try to drive home, chances are you might get pulled and possibly face a charge of drinking and driving. Note that a conviction for drunk driving will have consequences that can last a lifetime. Even if you somehow avoided getting pulled over by law enforcement, is it really worth it to place yourself and other people in danger? While an accident isn’t a sure thing, safety isn’t guaranteed either.

Are you truly willing to drive even when there is a huge statistical chance that you may not get home safely? Forget about facing legal trouble or a possible DUI charge, are you willing to brave icy roads driving while half passed out? Even when you think you are okay, remember that it only takes a second of your hands letting go of the wheel or nodding off for an accident to happen.

Get Home Safely

Do you know that hundreds of people die in car crashes each year between Christmas and New Year? Instead of just thinking about avoiding a DUI charge, think about saving your life when it comes to not drinking and driving this season. Try to get a ride with family or friends. Call someone you know or get a cab instead. If going out with a group, try assigning a designated driver. There is no shame in letting someone else drive you home. Remember, the consequences of driving home while drunk may be a lot worse than facing a DUI charge.

If you got pulled over or know someone who was charged with a DUI, the best thing to do is to make sure that you call a drinking and driving lawyer as soon as possible. Call Calvin Barry if you need a DUI lawyer in Toronto.

Choosing a Toronto DUI Lawyer to Defend You

Getting charged for a DUI is a serious offence in most parts of the world and more so in Canada. Driving under the influence means that someone has taken control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated and placed their lives and the lives of other people around them in danger. Because of this, a DUI charge in Canada is met with serious penalties.

Why You Need a DUI Lawyer

A conviction for a DUI charge in Canada can mean losing one’s privilege to drive for some time or for good, having to pay fines, spending time in jail, and having to attend some mandatory classes. This is why avoiding a DUI conviction is one of the goals of defence for a charge of impaired driving in Canada. You need the best defence possible to do this and you can achieve that with the help of a competent and experienced DUI lawyer.

Now that we have established why you need a DUI lawyer for your defence, we will shift the focus as to how you can choose the right DUI lawyer to represent you.

Choosing a DUI Lawyer

Choosing a DUI lawyer is not as easy as some may think. There are so many lawyers available today that it can be confusing to choose which one is best for the task at hand. You need to make sure that you are looking at the right pool of candidates before making your choice. Only choose between experienced DUI lawyers who you can verify have successfully defended DUI charges in the past.

To go about choosing a DUI lawyer, looking up referrals is ideal if you have friends, colleagues, and family who worked with a DUI lawyer in the past. You can get first-hand experience from them and tips regarding what to avoid and possible fees that you will have to pay. If you can find someone who can tell you about a good DUI lawyer whom they hired and how the lawyer handled their case, that will be great. However, if you do not know anyone who can give personal referrals, then your next best bet is to look for a DUI lawyer using the internet.

Another consideration when choosing a DUI lawyer is choosing someone with the right qualifications. You will want someone with a solid educational background and whom previous clients speak highly of. You will also want someone who is a good communicator. Know that any lawyer can defend you but to increase the chances of the case turning out in your favour, hire someone who has a long track record of defending DUI charges too.

DUI Defence at Calvin Barry Law

Calvin Barry is a Toronto DUI lawyer who has over 30 years of combined legal experience both as a prosecutor and as a defence lawyer. At Calvin Barry Law, we know what defence strategy to use because we know how prosecution for DUI works. Do not underestimate the role of an experienced DUI lawyer in your defence. If you are looking for a DUI lawyer in Toronto for a consultation or to represent you, contact Calvin Barry today.


Superior Court of Justice upholds the trial judge’s acquittal and dismisses the Crown appeal

Calvin Barry Professional Corporation lawyer Ahmad Karzai successfully defends appeal by the crown regarding the dismissal of charges against Claudia Flores.

Here is an overview:

  • The judge decided that the respondent’s s. 8 rights were violated by a warrantless search of the house.
  • The judge also decided that the Charter breach was sufficiently connected to the respondent’s subsequent discovery and provision of breath samples. After conducting an assessment under s.24(2) of the Charter, the trial judge excluded the breath readings and the respondent was acquitted.

Read the full verdict here.

Impaired Driving and DUI in Ontario – Things to Remember

A charge of DUI in Toronto or anywhere in Ontario is a serious offence with equally serious punishments and other consequences. Far from what most people think that it only means a license suspension and some fines, a DUI conviction can mean huge fines, jail time, losing the privilege to drive, and can impact you throughout life. Below are some other things to remember about impaired driving and DUI in Canada.

You Can Be Stopped and Tested Even When You Were Not Operating A Vehicle

Most people think that they can only be charged with impaired driving if they were operating a vehicle but being inside a vehicle while intoxicated is enough to be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test and possibly be charged with a DUI. Officers now have a two-hour period from when you were pulled over to administer the test according to the provisions of House of Commons Bill 46-C as of 2018. This means that in a scenario wherein you were observed to walk out of a bar intoxicated with a friend, and an officer saw you approaching your vehicle, the officer has a reason to ask you to submit to a test within a two hour period. If it were found that you have a blood alcohol level of above 80, then a DUI arrest is possible. Note that refusing to take the test can likewise lead to an arrest.

Can You Get A Summary Conviction or A Criminal Conviction for A DUI Charge?

A DUI conviction is classified as a criminal conviction in Canada. Note that the law can’t do any further action towards you until it has been confirmed that you were truly intoxicated over the legal limit.

What Happens After A DUI Conviction?

The consequences for a conviction vary by a lot depending on whether you have previous similar offences and convictions in the past. A fine is guaranteed but jail time may or may not happen. Your vehicle may also be installed with an ignition interlock device plus you might be required to attend a rehabilitation program. You may need to undergo some type of evaluation as well if you’re still planning to drive in the future.

How About Losing Driving Privileges?

There is a huge possibility of losing your driving privileges for some time. This can be as little as 30 days or longer. In most instances, the court will issue some requirements that you have to follow for your driving privileges to be restored. Note that repeat offenders can lose driving privileges permanently.

How Long Does a Conviction Remain on Someone’s Record?

This varies from one Canadian province to the next but in Ontario, this is present in someone’s driving record for three years with day one marked as the day of conviction.

Can A DUI Conviction Show Up on Background Checks?

The short answer is yes, and this can be viewed by prospective lenders, employers, and insurance providers. On the other hand, an arrest without conviction is not likely to appear in a background check.

Will a DUI Conviction Affect Employment Opportunities and Insurance Premiums?

Yes to both. This is why it is better to avoid a DUI conviction by making sure that you have a solid DUI defence so that future employers will not disqualify you and insurance providers will not charge you higher premiums.

Never underestimate the role of a DUI lawyer in defending a DUI charge. Hiring a good DUI defence lawyer is fighting for your future. If you need a DUI lawyer in Toronto, contact Calvin Barry.


Here’s How to Brighten a Life This Holiday Season

Every now and then we come across a great initiative that we want to share with our friends and clients. This is one of them.

Every December 25th Marnie Grundman does something very special for the homeless in our great city. Watch the video below.

Here’s how to take part!

From Marnie:

Our greatest need is backpacks.
Below are a few links where you can order as well as my shipping address. If you find a less expensive option please let me know 🙂

The one thing we do want to make sure of is that there are wheels on the backpack (no duffle bags please) to lighten the load for the person who is carrying all of their worldly possessions.

SHIP to: 

Marnie Grundman
902-88 Cumberland Street
Toronto, Ontario

Click to order here Backpack #1

Click to order option #2 

Current needs

  • 96 Backpacks
  • 68 gift cards to Tim’s, McDonald’s or Subway in $15 denominations. Gift cards provide food, a moment of shelter AND bathroom access.

NEW items (unisex)

  • 18 pairs of Heavy socks
  • 74 hats
  • 81 pairs of gloves
  • 80 scarves
  • 100 large long sleeve undershirts (XL or XXL)
  • 83 travel packs of wet-ones
  • 100 travel size hand sanitizer (the Dollar Store has 2 packs available)
  • FILLED! travel packs with toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • 51 tubes of chapstick
  • 100 snack packs – cheese and crackers, protein bars, goldfish etc.,
  • 86 journals
  • 60 pens 
  • FILLED combs
  • 100 manicure kits
  • 100 travel shaving kits
  • Large bags of chocolate or assorted candies
  • Large boxes of bandaids
  • Large boxes of tampons (all types of feminine products are welcome)
  • 2 large bags of dog food

To contact Marnie directly, please visit:

Best Ways to React When Arrested for Impaired Driving in Toronto or the GTA

Most people do not have any idea what to do if they have been pulled over or arrested for impaired driving. It is also difficult to think about what actions are the best when you’re scared, confused, worried, or in shock over getting arrested for impaired driving. Below are some suggestions by an impaired driving lawyer to make it easier for you to deal with the situation.

Stay Calm at All Times

Although it may be very aggravating to be confronted by a police officer, it is in your best interest to remain calm and focused even when things are not. Making any gesture or action that can make it look like you are not in control of your emotions such as flailing your arms or raising your voice can make things harder for you. By remaining calm, you will be able to remain focused on the situation and what the officer is saying. This will let them know that you’re rational and cooperative.

Cooperate with the Authorities

When you’re arrested for impaired driving, you must cooperate with the police officer no matter what your personal feelings may be. Cooperating includes submitting to a breathalyzer test on the scene. Note that although you can refuse to take the test, doing so may lead to more difficulties and additional charges with severe penalties.

Remain calm and cooperate when the officer asks you to perform several tests at the scene. You may be asked to repeat tongue twisters or to walk in a straight line as a way to test your level of intoxication. Even if the results of the tests lead to an arrest, know that cooperating will be noted on the documentation and will sway things in your favour should you go on trial.

Get a Lawyer as Soon as Possible

The officers should tell you that you have a right to a DUI lawyer. If they don’t, you can request to contact a legal representative as soon as possible. The officers should provide you with a way to get in touch with your legal counsel and if you can, inform them that you wish to talk to your lawyer before proceeding with the rest of the processes for an arrest.

Refrain from Answering Questions Until Your DUI Lawyer Is at Your Side

You have the right to defer further questioning until your lawyer arrives. The best scenario is to resume questioning when you have your lawyer at your side so that your lawyer can advise you during the questioning.

If you can, be sure to take notes of all the details that you can remember because your lawyer will need all the information you can recall related to your charge. Your DUI lawyer will also want to know what happened before, during, and after your arrest and will ask to see the police report to compare with what you have to say. These things are done by your DUI lawyer to make sure that your rights are observed and to look for information that can be used in your defence.

An Arrest Does Not Have to Mean a Conviction

Some people think that pleading guilty is the best thing that they can do after they are arrested for impaired driving in Canada. That is far from being one of your best options for defence. What you should do is to hire a DUI lawyer as soon as you can to make sure that you do not make mistakes that you will regret later. Never underestimate the role of a DUI lawyer in your defence. If you’re looking for a DUI lawyer in Toronto, call Calvin Barry today.

DUI and Impaired Driving Charges – Facts That You Should Know

Some people think that impaired driving charges only apply to those who were involved in an accident or those who were visibly intoxicated when they were pulled over. The truth is that driving under the influence and impaired driving applies to more situations which can be better explained by a DUI lawyer. If you have been arrested for impaired driving or arrested for a DUI and you are not sure why, it is best to remain calm and be careful about what you say because small mistakes can easily lead to a conviction. Below are some of the most important things to remember if you’re facing DUI and impaired driving charges.

The Vehicle Does Not Have to Be Running or Moving

You can be arrested for a DUI even if you’re only waiting in your parked vehicle for someone to drive you home. The engine does not have to be running and the vehicle does not have to be moving for an arrest to be valid. If you’re intoxicated, it is best to stay outside of your vehicle while waiting for another driver or someone to pick you up.

It is Still A DUI Even Without A Car

Being in any type of vehicle can lead to a DUI arrest. If you’re inside any type of vehicle, it is still possible to charge you with impaired driving because the idea behind the arrest is that you are still a possible danger to yourself and others when you’re inside a vehicle while intoxicated.

Alcohol is Not the Sole Substance to Watch Out For

Having too much to drink is just one reason for a DUI arrest. Being intoxicated in any substance that can affect the senses and perception can result in a DUI charge. This means that if you’ve used medications that can cause drowsiness such as the common side effect for anti-allergy medications, there is a potential for this to lead to a DUI charge in Canada.

Rejecting A Breathalyzer Test Can Lead to An Impaired Driving Charge

If you have been approached by an officer to take a breathalyzer test, the smartest thing to do is to comply because this will work in your favour no matter whether you’re intoxicated or not. If your blood alcohol level has not reached the legal limit, you may only receive a warning. If your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, your actions with how you complied and how you behaved during the arrest can help you avoid a conviction. On the other hand, if you refused a breathalyzer test, the officer will have to arrest you and the resulting consequences can be very challenging to defend even for a seasoned impaired driving lawyer.

The above is just a glimpse of the important things that you must remember if you’re involved in a DUI charge. Note that a DUI charge is a serious case that needs top-notch defence. If you are looking for a DUI lawyer in Toronto, be sure to contact Calvin Barry.

The Role of A DUI Lawyer in Your Defence

A common mistake of those who have been charged with a DUI is to think that it is not a serious offence and that they can just defend themselves or wait for a court-appointed lawyer to be sent their way. The fact is that a DUI charge in Canada is a criminal offence that can have life-long consequences that affect several aspects of one’s life. The best way to address it is to avoid a DUI conviction with the help of a DUI lawyer who has a long track record of successful defences. Note that avoiding a DUI conviction is not always possible and the only way to find out if your defence is strong enough is to book a DUI lawyer for a consultation.

Your DUI Lawyer Can Let You Know About Your Rights

One wrong move can mean a DUI conviction and wrong moves are usually brought upon by ignorance about the law and your legal rights. For example, you are entitled not to disclose some information to law enforcement prior to having a lawyer. If you are not aware of this, you could end up giving the prosecution a whole line of possible charges that they can hurl against you by talking too much.

Your DUI Lawyer Can Submit Paperwork for You to Avoid Missing Deadlines

Several legal documents need to be filed when you are charged with a DUI. Missing deadlines can look bad for you and may even result in a conviction in some cases. An example is failing to submit dashcam footage on time. If you missed the deadline for submission, you will be sabotaging your own defence because the footage is needed to get key evidence that can be used for your defence. This can also be taken as an admission of guilt or trying to avoid a trial. This is just one example. Many similar deadlines can look like nothing important but can be important factors in the development of your case.

Your DUI Lawyer Will Negotiate Plea Bargains with the Prosecutor

One of the most ideal ways of handling a DUI charge is to not go on trial by entering a plea agreement. If your defence is not strong enough, going to trial has a higher chance of getting a conviction and a plea bargain can help you avoid that. Your DUI lawyer has an expert understanding of how the court functions and what defences can work or not. By opting for a plea bargain negotiated by your DUI lawyer, you can minimize the negative effects of a DUI charge on your life.

Why Book A DUI Lawyer for Consultation?

A good DUI lawyer will be able to give you the information you need to avoid possible mistakes even before the trial takes off. Any interaction you have with law enforcement concerning your case can be used against you. For your own interest, it is best to be legally guided regarding the answers that you will provide. If you’re looking for a DUI lawyer in Toronto, contact Calvin Barry now! Calvin Barry is a Toronto DUI lawyer with over 3 decades of legal experience.

Stephen Young – Interview a Lawyer Assignment w Calvin Barry

It’s a pleasure having this fine young man doing his work placement at our firm. See his interview with Calvin below:

By Stephen Young

For this assignment, I interviewed criminal defence lawyer, Calvin Barry. I am currently doing my work placement at his firm, Calvin Barry Professional Corporation. His scope of practise focuses on criminal and regulatory offences. Calvin has been in the legal profession for over thirty years. Calvin spent over sixteen years as a Senior Crown Attorney. In the year 2004, he made a switch and started practising criminal and regulatory offence law through his own practise. The thing that Calvin enjoys the most about the job is having his own firm, where he gets to decide his own hours. Additionally, criminal law and regulatory offence matters are always current. Calvin states that there will always be accused persons with drunk driving related charges, who require a defence to ensure their access to justice.  Ultimately, the defence council’s job is  to promote rehabilitation.

Calvin states that the advice that he would give someone entering the profession is that it is a lot of work, and one should expect to work sixty to seventy hours a week to be at the top of their legal discipline. There is also a lot of sacrifices one has to make, because being a criminal defence lawyer is not a nine-to-five job. The main challenges he faces is in relation to Covid-19, where a lot of trials have been moved to Zoom. He foresees in his profession that jury trials will be a challenge due to social distancing. When asked if prefers the Covid-19 methods of phone trials to the traditional in court trials, Calvin replied that he would like to see a combination. Although there are a lot of legal professionals already in the Greater Toronto Area, Calvin thinks that there is still room for new talent who are passionate about practising law. When hiring he looks for legal professionals who are exceptional.

In recent years, there have been many driving under the influence (DUI) offences, resulting in a large amount of victim deaths. This prompted me to ask him if he has observed if the amount of DUI offences that he has been retained for, has increased in the last five years? He replied, “no”. He elaborated that unfortunately there have just been more high-profile ones that have resulted in a large number of victim deaths. When asked where he sees his practise in five years, Calvin hopes to spend less days at the office and would like to do further world travelling.

I asked Calvin about being a defence lawyer and the stigma that comes with defending the “wrong side”. Calvin stated that everyone is entitled to a defense and that he is not the decider of what is right and what is wrong. Calvin believes that all of the accused are entitled to due process and a defence. Additionally, there is always the possibility that the accused did not commit the crime and is innocent. It is the accused’s right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to a fair trial.

I learned from this interview that one must have a passion to practise law and know that it is not a nine-to-five job. Criminal defence involves mediation, negotiation and diversion. This allows less serious offences to be settled out of court, which allows the courts to have the resources to try the more serious crimes. Additionally, from a criminal lawyer’s perspective  people make mistakes in society and instead of punishing them they should be rehabilitated. I learned that criminal  law is always changing and thus, one must stay informed by reading the news and staying current on new criminal law via a legal database. I learned that my theory that the amount of DUIs has gone up was wrong despite there being more news about DUIs in the media. I learned that by having your own practise, allows you to make your own hours and can be more successful from a monetary standpoint. Lastly, I learned that it is important to have a good work-life balance, as during this interview Calvin was on his way to Port Carling, Ontario to spend the weekend on his boat, “Knot Guilty”.

Facts About DUI Charges in Toronto and the GTA

Drinking and driving remain as one of the top public health concerns in Toronto despite warnings and campaigns by the law and media against driving while intoxicated. A recent survey ranks Canada as number 1 in alcohol-impairment roadway deaths amongst 19 wealthy countries, which is why a DUI charge is met with severe punishments and other life-long consequences.

DUI is A Criminal Offence In Canada

Some people still think that a DUI charge is a minor offence needing only a fine and license suspension to fix. That is far from reality. DUI is a criminal offence in Canada and can result in years of imprisonment as well as a criminal record.

DUI Charges Can Affect Your Livelihood

Because a DUI conviction is marked as a criminal record, it affects one’s ability to get certain jobs and avail of loans for a business venture. It is widely believed that employers do not want to hire someone who is a convicted criminal and nobody wants to conduct business with an ex-con.

Drunk Driving Charges Can Be Dropped         

An experienced drinking and driving lawyer can come up with a defence that can result in getting DUI charges dropped. Your DUI lawyer should be able to identify and point out flaws in the Crown’s case against you to make this possible.

A DUI Conviction Means No Driving for a Year

Even just a charge can result in license suspension as well as hefty fines, especially for repeat offenders. A second offence means 3 years of license suspension, fines, and jail time. A third offence means lifetime license suspension and more jail time, fines, and other penalties.

Not Pleading Guilty is Your First Defence for A DUI Charge

Once you’ve pleaded guilty for a DUI, there is no going back even if you are innocent. It is important to remain calm, hire a DUI lawyer, and stick to facts if you want a fair trial. If you’re looking for a DUI lawyer in Toronto, contact Calvin Barry.