Get Home Safe These Holidays

It is that time of the year when attending social gatherings is a must and it is harder to say no to having a great time and indulging in alcohol. Maybe you’re not the partying type but had a bit too much to drink 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.


Calvin Barry Discusses the Landmark Impaired Canoeing Case on CBC Radio

Calvin Barry was recently interviewed by Rita Celli regarding the recent conviction of an Ontario man for impaired operation of a canoe, which resulted in the death of an 8 year old boy.

Police laid four charges against Sillars: impaired operation of a vessel causing death, operating a vessel with more than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL blood, dangerous operation of a vessel, and criminal negligence causing death. He was convicted of all four and faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, though more likely a sentence in the range of two to 10 years.

The issue of whether paddlers can be charged with impaired operation is not new. Canada’s impaired driving laws have applied to “vessels” since 1961, but they do not define what exactly a “vessel” is. Many police forces have long taken the view that canoes, kayaks and even stand-up paddleboards count as vessels; prosecutors, however, have been more skeptical. In Ontario, there have been times — most recently in 2011 — where police have laid charges for impaired paddling, but prosecutors later withdrew the charge. “The information we had from prosecutors was that impaired operation of canoes and kayaks was not charged,” a federal justice official told MPs on Sept. 27, 2017.

At the very least, case law tells us this: Until Sillars, nobody had ever contested impaired paddling charges in court.

Listen to the interview here:


Impaired Driving Charges in Canada and Related Charges

Impaired driving charges are the most common criminal offences in Canada. It is not unheard of for someone who is a ‘good’ person to have a DUI charge when found to be driving while having a blood alcohol level of over 80.

Impaired Driving Charge in Canada

A DUI charge in Canada is a serious offence no matter how relatively common it is. It is considered even graver when charged with more than one charge such as when found to be doing so in several instances. A conviction or a guilty plea will result to a criminal record that can affect one’s ability to get a loan, travel, buy property, and get jobs.

For the above reasons, it is best to refrain from divulging personal information or providing sensitive details to the authorities until you’ve spoken to a DUI lawyer when found to be driving under the influence. It is your right to tell the police that you want to speak with your lawyer first after they inform you that you’re being arrested or being detained for a DUI.

The timeline as well as the details of your arrest and DUI charge will determine the outcome of your case. Know that despite being a relatively common criminal offence, a DUI charge is going to stick to your name for a very long time if handled the wrong way. Your actions as well as your DUI lawyer’s knowledge are key factors in helping minimize the impact of the criminal charge on your life now and on your future.

How a DUI Lawyer Can Help You

Aside from helping make sure that your life won’t be derailed from having a criminal charge against you, the right DUI lawyer will also:

  • Meet with you and give you advice on the many issues that may be cause by a DUI charge
  • Review the evidence provided by the Crown Attorney’s office
  • Help you understand the presented evidence as well as check for inconsistencies with your version of the incident
  • Assess legal arguments from the above and formulate possible defences for the charge(s) against yourself
  • Make further requests for evidences that may not be provided initially
  • Attend court on your behalf
  • Negotiate and discuss the case with the assigned prosecutor
  • Seek to have the charges against you withdrawn or try to reach an acceptable outcome without going to trial
  • Attend formal negotiations before a charge (go to judicial pre-trials on your behalf)
  • Prepare for your trial including preparing you, your legal argument, and documents for examinations
  • Attend trial to seek dismissal of charges or reduction of charges
  • Work to mitigate your sentence if you’ve been found guilty

Understand that a DUI charge and related charges can be filed against you but a skilled DUI lawyer can look into every detail and determine if a certain piece of evidence was improperly obtained or not. Every detail counts!

Do you need assistance handling an impaired driving charge or related charges in Canada? Contact Toronto Criminal Lawyer Calvin Barry! Calvin Barry Law has been helping people charged with impaired driving charges for years!

Do You Really Need a Lawyer When Buying or Selling Property in Ontario?

Buying or selling a home, no matter how small, is a huge financial transaction wherein small mistakes can prove to be costly. It is in your best interest to make sure that your real estate transaction will not end up in a nightmare by getting legal help from a professional.

Real Estate Lawyers, To Hire or Not to Hire?

Real estate lawyers prevent you from making costly mistakes and doing anything that can have a disastrous outcome when buying or selling property. To do this, a real estate lawyer’s roles involve the following.

Review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale

The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a binding contract that is also the starting point of the selling and buying process. Though a lawyer is not needed to sign this, a lawyer can make sure that you understand the terms therein and that your rights and wishes were respected before you sign anything. You may tell your real estate agent that the APS will have to be approved by your lawyer prior to you signing the document. Your lawyer can request for a revision or add certain clauses that will make sure to protect your rights and best interests.

Perform Due Diligence

Your lawyer can check the property titles to make sure that the legitimate owner is selling it or that there are no issues on the property if you’re the one selling it. In the event any issues were found, no matter how small, your real estate lawyer may advise you on the risks involved and what can be done to mitigate those risks.

Guide You Through the Entire Transaction

A good real estate lawyer will be by your side for every step of the way in buying or selling a home. Your lawyer will review all paperwork, make sure that fees are paid to the right individuals, and that the right taxes are paid. Your lawyer will also inform you of possible fees early on in the transaction to make sure that you won’t be caught off-guard with the numerous fees together with the closing costs. Your lawyer may also help you secure a land title insurance to make sure that you’re covered for every possible mishap.

Prepare Your Mortgage and Title Documents

Your real estate lawyer will typically prepare your mortgage instructions and your title documents, register your mortgage and the transfer deed upon closing, and make sure that the closing is properly documented for legal purposes.

In view of all of the above, hiring a real estate lawyer is an investment that can save you a lot of time and money as well as help you avoid the risks that come with selling or buying a home. A good lawyer won’t be cheap, but the peace of mind that you’ll get is priceless.

Charged with DUI? Know What Factors Affect Your Blood Alcohol Level

Are you aware that blood alcohol level as a basis for determining intoxication isn’t as straight up as it seems? Although defined as the amount of alcohol present in an individual’s blood, just the numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. A person’s blood alcohol level is used as a determining factor when charging someone with a DUI based on the legal limit; however, understanding the factors affecting the blood alcohol level can help formulate a defence against DUI. Below are some factors that can cause the blood alcohol level to be higher or lower.

Genetics and Biology

Some people just have a lower alcohol tolerance level because of genetics, or may appear more heavily intoxicated because of facial flushing or reddening of the skin. Women often have a lower tolerance for alcohol because of lower body mass and muscle mass as compared to men. This is important to consider because people who have more muscle are able to metabolize alcohol faster.

Foods Eaten On The Same Day

People who have a meal before drinking alcohol tend to have a slower rise in the blood alcohol level as compared to those who’ve had alcohol on an empty stomach.

Medications and Other Drugs

Some substances increase the effect of alcohol. Examples are depressants drugs which can magnify the effects of alcohol by as much as 10 times. Someone who’s taking a depressant drug and had a single shot may appear heavily intoxicated despite the low alcohol consumption.

Amount and Time

The alcohol consumption rate directly affects the blood alcohol level. Someone who’ve had 3 shots over the course of 3 hours will register with a lower blood alcohol level as compared to someone who’ve had the same 3 shots in just 30 minutes.

If you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving or have a DUI charge, it is best to contact a DUI lawyer experienced in criminal defence as soon as possible. You need a drinking and driving lawyer to advise you as well as formulate your defence. Call Calvin Barry if you’re looking for a DUI lawyer in Toronto or need a defence lawyer for a consultation.


The Worst Mistakes People Make When Charged With a DUI

Being charged with a DUI can be a nerve-wracking experience and people often make mistakes when they let emotions get the better of them. However, no matter how nervous you may be or stressed out when charged with a DUI, it is of utmost importance to remain calm and try to look at the situation from a legal perspective. After all, any information you divulge or say can be held against you. Here are the mistakes that you must avoid when you’re charged with a DUI to minimize the chances of you getting a criminal record.

Admitting or Assuming Fault

Do not say anything to assume or admit guilt, especially in front of officers who may note what you say as a blatant admission of fault.

Thinking You’re Guilty

Just because you’ve had a drink doesn’t mean that you’re guilty of a DUI or an over 80 charge. An official charge of driving under the influence or an over 80 means a violation of specific parameters set by the law. This is the reason why a breathalyzer is used to determine the alcohol level and why a second test is needed at the station because equipment can malfunction and you can look drunk when you’re not.

Driving When You’re Not Supposed To

Once a DUI charge has been filed against you, are not supposed to drive whether you are guilty or not, especially since your license was taken from you as part of the charge. The ramifications when caught is simply not worth it.

Not Taking the DUI Charge Seriously

A DUI charge is not just a traffic offence, it is a criminal offence with severe consequences. This means that a conviction will go into your record and will hamper your ability to travel, get certain jobs, or even own a home. Realize how serious a DUI charge is and base your next actions on that understanding.

Not Talking to a DUI Lawyer

You need a lawyer who has extensive experience in handling drinking and driving lawyer to make sure that you get the best legal representation possible. You can ask your family to help you look for a DUI lawyer or search for one yourself. Better yet, give Calvin Barry a call.

Calvin Barry is a DUI lawyer in Toronto who has a long track record of winning DUI cases and over 80 charges. Take a look at his credentials via LinkedIn or contact him via Twitter.


Can I Win a Drinking and Driving Charge or a DUI Charge if I Blew Over the Legal Limit?

Most people who blow over the legal limit immediately feel guilty of a DUI not knowing that devices can malfunction or show that they’re heavily intoxicated when they are really not. This can some persons to mistakenly admit guilt or plead guilty when the truth is, there was no strong basis for a DUI charge against them.

Why You Shouldn’t Admit to a DUI Charge

You have to understand that pleading guilty to a DUI charge or admitting guilt for a drinking and driving charge is a serious matter that shouldn’t be undertaken prior to consulting with a DUI lawyer. Not defending yourself against a DUI charge can result in a conviction that will affect your future ability to get a job, buy or rent a house, or even drive again. Insurance companies might cancel your account and blacklist you because of having a criminal record.

Fight A DUI Charge with a DUI Lawyer

A lawyer that specializes in DUIs or drunk driving cases know all the possible defences that can be used to win your case. Not only can a DUI lawyer help you formulate a defence based on the information you share, a DUI lawyer can also try to minimize the possible impact of a DUI charge or conviction in your life.

Blowing Over the Legal Limit

In light of the above, blowing over the legal limit doesn’t immediately condemn you or incriminate you. A false reading is more common than most people think. If you’re charged with drunk driving, there are many ways that you can get out of it unscathed as long as you’re able to defend yourself according to the standards of the law with a DUI lawyer.

If you want to explore possibilities regarding handling your DUI charge, it will be best to contact Calvin Barry more so if you’re looking for a DUI lawyer in Ontario or around Toronto. Don’t let a breathalyzer result dictate your future and forever mark your name with a conviction. Consult with Calvin Barry today!


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!



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!