What Happens When I’m Arrested And It’s Not My First Drinking & Driving Offence?

Drinking and driving laws in Ontario are already quite strict for first-time offenders, so what happens if someone has been arrested for subsequent offences?

Consequences for First-time Offenders

Under Ontario’s Stream A program, first-time offenders are required to pay a minimum fine of $1,000 and can get back to driving again after 3 months provided that they agree to have an Ignition Interlock device for the next 9 months. This is a welcome change because prior to this, first-time offenders are prohibited from driving for a full year. Does this mean that the law is lenient for first-time offenders? Yes and no. The fact is that majority of individuals who are convicted of drinking and driving are first-time offenders who have never been in trouble with the law. The law still wants them to be punished to discourage further drinking and driving offences but at the same time, the focus is on education and rehabilitation so that they can continue with their lives as productive citizens.

Consequences for Subsequent Offences of Drinking and Driving

Penalties are severe for those who are convicted of drinking and driving for subsequent offences. The minimum jail sentence starts at 30 days for a second offence and can go to a minimum of 120 days for subsequent offences. If your second offence happened on or after July 1, 2018, and occurred 10 years after your first offence, you may be eligible for a program that can allow you to drive with an Ignition Interlock device for 18 months after you observe a driving prohibition of 9 months as long as you plead guilty within 89 days of your offence. Your license will be suspended for 3 years if you go to trial despite qualifying for this program.

Note that the maximum penalties for impaired driving for instances wherein there is no bodily harm have been recently increased to 2 years less a day from the previous 18 months of jail time for summary conviction. For indictment, it has gone up to 10 years from the previous 5 years.

Other Driving Offences Can Count as Priors

Under the Criminal Code, charges of Failing to Remain at the Scene of an Accident and Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle count as priors for a drinking and driving charge. Having these on your record will have an effect on sentencing, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. More so, no matter how many times someone has been charged with a DUI, refusing or failing to provide a breath sample or having a blood alcohol concentration of over 80, will face immediate license suspension for 90 days.

In addition to the above, previous offences that were from more than 10 years ago can still be brought up by the Crown as reasons for more severe punishment especially in the presence of aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include details that make the offence more serious such as having an extremely high blood alcohol concentration.

There are so many ways that the Crown can severely punish you for subsequent DUI charges. A great DUI defence can help you avoid the harshest consequences that can follow you for life. Contact Calvin Barry if you want to hire a DUI lawyer in Toronto. Our offices support both in-person and virtual meetings for our clients at this time.


Calvin Discusses the Alex Minassian Case with Kelly Cutrara on AM640

Calvin was interviewed on March 3rd by Kelly Cutrara to discuss the Alex Minassian verdict. Listen below:

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: https://www.marniegrundman.com/

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”.

What Happens After a Charge of Domestic Assault in Canada?

Both the family and criminal courts in Ontario treat domestic violence as a serious issue with severe punishments. As such, it is best to act as though you are expecting the worst outcome when charged with domestic assault and seek advice from an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that proper actions are taken on your behalf.

What to Expect as an Accused for Domestic Assault?

Charges of domestic violence requires a court appearance; the first of which means that the accused will appear before a Justice of the peace and the Crown prosecutor will present documents that may be used against the accused. After this, a return date will be scheduled to continue the prosecution proceedings.

When you appear in court as an accused for domestic violence, you have to make sure that you hire a criminal lawyer for your defence and be in court at least half an hour before your scheduled time. Your lawyer will be able to advise you as well as brief you on the things you can expect to follow. If a charge is your first case, you may be eligible for a PAR or a Partner Assault Response program which may cause the Crown to withdraw charges after your completion of the program. A peace bond may be possible too depending on circumstances. What is certain is that there will be non-contact conditions and geographic restrictions, the details of which can be better explained as it applies to your specific case by your lawyer.

Other Legal Matters

You may expect that there will be a restraining order and possible clauses on protecting children (if there are any involved) such as custody provisions and the child support details. Know that a charge of domestic violence or domestic assault does not excuse one from parental duties.

Were you or someone you know charged with domestic assault in Canada? Contact a criminal lawyer right away! Calvin Barry is a criminal domestic assault lawyer in Toronto who has been defending domestic violence charges successfully. Contact Calvin Barry today.


Rising Incidents of Domestic Violence in Toronto During COVID-19 is Alarming, Police Say

As the weeks pass by with key cities in quarantine, more and more people are having a challenging time staying indoors and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is the good news that overall crime rate dropped 13% when comparing March 2020 to March 2019, there is a marked increase for domestic incidents such as domestic violence, stunt driving, and vehicle theft.

Rising Numbers of Crime

Authorities are concerned about the rising numbers of certain crimes since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. Below is a breakdown:

  • 45% increase in commercial breaks and enters
  • 44% increase in vehicle theft
  • 22% increase in domestic incidents
  • 60% increase in stunt driving incidents of people driving above the speed limit or more than 50 kilometres per hour

York police spokesperson Andy Pattenden told CBC Toronto that the above numbers are truly troubling, saying that the marked increase in domestic incidents could be attributed to more people staying home and thus, spending more time in closed quarters for extended periods of time. Empty streets due to social distancing and closed businesses were cited as possible reasons for the increase in stunt driving and breaking and entering. Pattenden added that the authorities are hoping that people can be more patient and look forward towards the future when the threat of COVID-19 would be finally over, even if it may take longer than anticipated. Note that the numbers shared above are not yet the official statistics according to the police as they are unaudited.

Impaired Driving and Fraud on the Decline

Because of the limited movement of people, some crimes are decreasing. The police reports that fraud and impaired driving are seeing an overall decrease since the onset of COVID-19, although the numbers of COVID-19 scams may askew perception. Below are the unofficial figures for the crimes that have decreased in number since the onset of the pandemic.

  • 32% decrease in traffic violations
  • 29% decrease in impaired driving
  • 16% decrease in overall frauds
  • 13% decrease in weapons offences such as shooting

Adapting to COVID-19 Changes

The York police said that they are trying to adjust to the changing crime statistic so that they can provide better service to the Toronto community. Part of the changes the police are adapting to are complaints about stores staying open, with people making up to 200 calls a day to report non-essentials businesses that are staying open or to report people who are not maintaining physical distance and failing to isolate themselves. There are no charges filed for reports like these, but the police are also trying to come up with ways to work with the community to adjust to new provisions related to COVID-19.

More Help on the Way

Some good news is that Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey announced that the province will be providing $2.7 million in funds to help victims of domestic violence, stating that they recognize that the home is not always the safest place for those who are experiencing domestic violence in these trying times. Another $1.3 million was also allocated to upgrade technology so that courts and tribunals can operate remotely and be better equipped to handle the changing patterns of criminal activity related to COVID-19.

Have you been charged with domestic violence? Contact us today and let us walk you through how our team of lawyers may be able to help you.

Article Source: Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Warns of the Following COVID-19 Scams

Covid-19 seems to be everywhere and so are fraud attempts and scams that are related to it. It isn’t new that fraudsters typically take advantage of times when people are confused to create more mayhem and cash-in from fear. Creative fraudsters do not care about what happens tomorrow, they only care about benefitting themselves and will exploit any avenue to do so, even the outbreak of Covid-19.

Covid-19 Scams

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and local police departments have been performing COVID-19 fraud investigations and are warning people about the rise of fraudulent activity, particularly those that are related to Covid-19 which are spreading faster than the virus itself. The warning talks about fraudsters profiteering from consumer’s uncertainties, misinformation, and fears. Below is a list of Covid-19 related scams to watch out for.

Quick Covid-19 Tests

Note that testing for Covid-19 is only done by hospitals because they are the only ones authorized to do so. Beware of fake kits and swabbing procedures that are being sold for a premium.

Essential Products Hoarding and Selling

This activity has many faces. Some consumers have hoarded essential products to sell later at a much-inflated cost. Some people are taking advantage of consumers who are stocking up by knowingly selling fraudulent or expired products at a bargain. There are people selling products that they claim can ward off the virus or provide a miracle cure. Even U.S. Federal agencies have warned the public about this and government agencies are clarifying that no such product exists yet.  And lastly, some scam artists create ads selling products that do not exist and they do not intend to send once payment has been made. It is best to be wary of products that are priced too high or too low or are promising results that are too good to be true.

Fake Anti-Covid-19 Filters and Cleaning Services

Believe it or not, some scheming heating and cleaning companies came up with fake services that offer Covid-19 filters and other similar claims just to drum up business.

Fake Calls About Hydro/Power Disconnection

Fraudulent individuals started making calls to people claiming their hydro or power could be disconnected if they do not pay them or agree to a special deal, claiming that the victim is behind with his/her bills.

Fraudulent CDC and WHO People

The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will never offer to sell access to a list of infected people nor offer tests for sale.

False Calls from Public Health Agency of Canada

Fraudsters are pretending to be from Public Health Agency of Canada and calling people to tell them that they’ve tested positive for Covid-19; and that to get access to a prescription and treatment, they will have to comply with providing their credit card and health card numbers.

Phishing Emails from Fake Government Agencies

Some scam artists are sending phishing emails that look like they are from government agencies. The emails are asking for personal details such as financial details and other sensitive data.

This list just contains some of the most common scams that are related to Covid-19. Know that anything that could be too good to be true and cannot be verified through reliable sources are likely to be scams or misinformation. If you’ve fallen victim to what you think may be a Covid-19 scam, be sure to report to the proper authorities.