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.



Has There Been an Increase in DUI and Other Criminal Activity During COVID-19?

It can’t be ignored that despite stay at home orders and rising cases of COVID-19, crime and DUI remained about the same, if not more. Businesses and individuals both local and elsewhere are feeling the effects of a slower economy, but law enforcement may be seeing an increase in some criminal activity.

Has Crime Changed?

Closed-door crime has had a recent rise. There are more reports of domestic violence and abuse because more people are staying indoors and are forced to be together more than usual. Other crimes such as shootings and robberies have gone down but car theft has seen a perplexing increase. Law enforcement speculates that it could be because people are not tending to their vehicles as much, giving thieves more opportunities to steal cars. The police also report that calls to their department have decreased overall.

How About Burglaries and Breaking and Entering?

Commercial break-ins and burglaries have seen a slight increase. With businesses closed down, criminals are taking it as an opportunity to rob stores and other businesses, often those that do not have security measures in place. On the other hand, home burglaries and break-ins are experiencing a sudden drop.

Is it True That More People Are Committing DUI?

Although drinking and driving have always been a common crime, it is baffling if it is to have as many cases during the pandemic. COVID-19 caused businesses to shut down. Bars, restaurants, clubs, and gatherings are now at a halt, giving people fewer opportunities to get drunk. This observation of fewer cases of DUI cases is not just seen in Ontario. The same observation is evident in other major population centers in North America but this does not mean that a DUI charge can be taken lightly.

Pandemic or not, criminal charges are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If you know someone who needs a criminal defence attorney or a DUI lawyer in Toronto, rest assured that Calvin Barry is available to take cases. Calvin Barry is a criminal defence attorney in Toronto with decades of experience championing the law.


Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in Canada

The police reports that there is a surge in the number of domestic violence charges in Canada as people are forced to stay home following weeks of the pandemic, but what constitutes domestic violence and who may be charged with it?

Domestic violence and related charges are taken very seriously in Canada due to the close-relationship and proximity of the people involved. Oftentimes, the police, courts, and the prosecutors will take a strict approach and make sure that the accused is met with serious consequences even when the victim decides to recant some statements. The consequences are usually those with life-long effects even when the accused is not found guilty of the offence.

What Falls Under a Domestic Violence Charge?

It is a common misconception that domestic violence is only about physical violence. The fact is that a threat to property also falls under domestic violence although there is no direct physical harm to the victim. If another person interferes with the use of another’s property or utters threats to do so such as threatening to destroy a cellphone or punching a wall, these actions will also fall under domestic violence and may result in a charge. Domestic charges may also result from verbal threats of damaging a property, like in the case of threatening to slash someone’s car.

Related Charges to Domestic Violence

Other non-violent behaviour can result in criminal harassment charges if they are not filed under domestic violence. Words or any form of communication that can make another party reasonably fear for their safety can result in a charge. Don’t forget too that the police can charge based on accusation alone.

Remember that the authorities apply a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence. A simple act such as holding your partner’s hand while trying to explain your side while in an argument may result in a charge. It is best to consult a domestic violence lawyer if you think you may be charged or if you’ve been arrested for a charge. What is important is to talk to a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible if you’re the accused because a single wrong move can mean years of jail sentence and facing other life-long consequences. Contact Calvin Barry if you’re looking for a domestic violence lawyer in Toronto. Talk to Calvin Barry today!