Muskoka DUI Lawyers
Calvin Barry is an experienced DUI Lawyer in the Muskoka area for Impaired Driving / Over 80
Muskoka is one of the crown jewels of Ontario and contains such various cities are Hunstville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst. If you’re facing a DUI charge in the Muskoka area, don’t let one mistake lead to more mistakes that can affect your future. You need to take immediate steps to hire an experienced DUI lawyer like Calvin Barry to help you avoid the life-long consequences of an impaired driving conviction.
At Calvin Barry Law, our team of Muskoka DUI lawyers will use every detail that we can to give you a strong defence. A strong defence is your best tool to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI charge.
Years Experience in Criminal Law
DUI / Impaired Driving Cases
Muskoka DUI Lawyers
Hunstville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst
Dealing with Impaired Driving Charges in Muskoka?
Impaired Driving is a Criminal Offence in Muskoka
Impaired driving is not often considered as a serious offence by most people. This is a misconception that is mostly because compared to other offences, charges of impaired driving in Muskoka are quite common. However, note that the seriousness of the charge is largely based on the impact of the offence on people and society and not on how common it is. Compared to other charges, driving while high, driving under the influence, drinking and driving, and impaired driving are serious offences because they result in losses to life and property. This is mostly why impaired driving in Muskoka is charged under the Criminal Code and also why the penalties related to it are quite harsh.
Impaired driving penalties in Muskoka go beyond having to pay fines and facing losing one’s license. Because of the nature of this offence, even first-time offenders are required to pay higher insurance premiums aside from dealing with administrative fines and fees. People convicted of impaired driving in Muskoka are also required to enroll in a self-funded impaired driving education program and post-license suspension ignition interlock program. Consequent convictions mean tougher penalties more so if they come with aggravating circumstances such as having a high blood alcohol concentration level, obvious proof of reckless driving, and being involved in a road accident while intoxicated. On top of all this, know that a criminal conviction for impaired driving in Muskoka means a harder time getting loans, securing jobs, travelling, and starting a business in the future.
So You’ve Been Charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Explaining Impaired Driving Charges in Muskoka
Care & Control
An impaired driving charge for someone who is not actually operating the vehicle but has control and care of the vehicle when spotted by the police officer is called Care Control. The officer charges the individual with this when the officer has reason to believe that they will be operating the vehicle in an impaired manner if they were given the control to do so.
A charge that is made with no BAC reading via a breathalyzer is an Impaired Driving charge. This is made by the officer if the officer believes and can prove that the person will not be able to operate the vehicle safely due to intoxication or impairment with drugs or alcohol as evidenced by lack of motor coordination, erratic driving, slurred speech, and gait unsteadiness. Both the prosecutor and the charging officer must be able to prove that the impairment while driving is due to alcohol or drugs to secure a conviction for this impaired driving charge in Muskoka.
Having a blood alcohol concentration level of above 80 mg per 100ml of blood as per an approved screening device such as a breathalyzer result in an Over 80 charge. The clincher is that the officer must have probable and reasonable grounds showing that the individual is driving a motor vehicle while impaired with either alcohol or drugs before subjecting an individual to a test.
Refusing a Blood Sample or Refusing a Breathalyzer
When a driver who is suspected of impaired driving refuses to give an adequate sample or refuses to cooperate at giving a breath sample, then the officer may charge the driver with Refusing a Blood Sample or Refusing a Breathalyzer.
Our Impaired Driving / DUI Defence at Calvin Barry Law:
We make use of a variety of defences and tailor them according to what will work best according to the specific details of your impaired driving charge. These defences include:
- Challenging the reasons cited by the police officer for obtaining a breath sample
- Challenging the technical aspects of the procedure for blood testing or using a breathalyzer
- Challenging the subjective judgment of the police officer about what constitutes impairment
- Challenging other details that are exclusive to the circumstances of your arrest
- Appealing for the exclusion of evidence that was obtained by the police officer with violation of your Charter protected rights
We strongly encourage consulting with our team at Calvin Barry Law to determine the best defence strategy for your impaired driving charge. Know that it is your legal right to hire an impaired driving lawyer upon arrest or detainment related to impaired driving.
DUI Law/Impaired Driving FAQS
Sections 320.11 to 320.4 of the Canadian Criminal Code covers the impaired driving laws in Mississauga. Charges for DUI vary based on the circumstances leading to the arrest. The charges include:
- Care and Control
- Driving Under the Influence
- Failure to Provide a Breath Sample
- Impaired Driving
- Over 80 Mgs BAC Reading
The prosecutor’s strategies for establishing guilt for the above charges vary but the penalties for a guilty finding are the same.
A person is arrested for DUI in Canada after the police officer has established reasonable suspicion that the person may be impaired while driving based on observations and roadside testing. The person will be brought to the police station for further testing and evaluation. Note that refusing to provide fluid samples or perform a test carries the same penalties as a DUI conviction.
The minimum penalties for those convicted of a DUI charge in Muskoka or anywhere in Canada are as follows:
- $1,000 fine for a BAC of 80 to 119, $1,500 fine for a BAC of 120-159, and $2,000 fine for a BAC of 160 or more
- 12-month driving prohibition
- $2,000 mandatory fine for anyone with first refusal to provide a breath sample
- 24-month driving prohibition
- 30 days of jail time
Third and Subsequent Offences
- 36-month driving prohibition
- 120 days of jail time
All transportation offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years on indictment and 24 months less a day on summary conviction.
A drinking and driving charge is treated as a serious criminal offence in the Canadian Criminal Code and is met with the following consequences:
- Criminal record
- Expensive administrative fees
- Impounding of vehicle
- Increased insurance premiums
- Mandatory attendance to education and/or treatment program
- Possible ignition interlock requirements if and when driving privileges are restored
A DUI charge of Over 80 means that the accused registered a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood as measured by a screening device. The Criminal Code of Canada lays down specific requirements for the collection of blood and breath screening samples under Section 320.14(1). According to the Canadian Criminal Code, screening devices must be handled by qualified technicians for the reading to be admissible in court as evidence. The testing must be completed within a window of 2 hours starting from the time when the accused was initially detained by the arresting officer. Furthermore, individual samples should only be taken at intervals of 15 minutes. Because of the technical aspects and strict legal requirements of testing an accused’s BAC, an accused will need the services of a highly skilled DUI lawyer to challenge the results as well as identify possible errors during the procedure.
Having a criminal defence lawyer with expertise in defending DUI charges is the first step in effectively beating a DUI charge. Each DUI charge that goes to trial carries key differences that require a skilled DUI lawyer to defend effectively. An experienced DUI lawyer has a repertoire of defences to form the best strategy to defend a DUI charge based on specific circumstances and charges. An Over 80 charge will not have the same defence as a Care and Control charge and will require a different strategy.
The defence strategies that are most often used for a DUI charge are the following:
- Challenging if the accused’s Charter-protected rights were respected
- Challenging the arresting officer’s interpretation of care and control
- Challenging the validity of the drug screening or the validity of the BAC screening device
- Raising legal reasons if the accused failed to provide a sample, refused a roadside screening, or rejected a breathalyzer test
- Questioning the lawfulness of the police procedure and the original police detainment
The professional and legal fees charged by a DUI lawyer varies based on the amount of time spent to defend the accused and the complexity of the case. Although the actual court time spent for hearings of DUI charges are usually short, the DUI lawyer will spend a lot of time sorting through details to create an effective defence strategy. More so, defending some cases can take a lot of time due to assorted motions which will require additional time for case preparation, research, interviewing witnesses, and more.
A skilled DUI lawyer may be able to resolve the charges in favour of the accused by negotiating a settlement with the prosecution and/or without having to go through a trial. If the DUI lawyer can recognize a significant flaw in the Crown’s case before the trial, that information can be used by the DUI lawyer to convince the Crown to drop charges.
Generally speaking, the Crown prosecutor will reject dismissals except in instances where the recognized flaw is so obvious and cannot be ignored. In most cases, the Crown will opt to drop the DUI charges for the acceptance of a guilty plea for a lesser offence such as careless driving. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to work with the case details to achieve the most favourable outcome for the accused while making the other party think that they are not at a disadvantage.
As mentioned in response to other DUI FAQs, Crown prosecutors will usually not dismiss charges unless with a compelling reason to do so. The possible reasons for a DUI charge to be dismissed with the help of a DUI lawyer are if the accused’s charter rights were not protected, the screening methods used were impaired, the arrest was questionable, there were mistakes during the stop and detention, and other similar circumstances wherein the right processes were not followed.
The Crown prosecutor is likely to drop the DUI charge if their case is so flawed that it is impossible for them to win during the trial. If the DUI lawyer knows for certain that the case is flawed but was not able to convince the Crown prosecutor to drop the case, then the DUI lawyer can use the flaw as a key defence strategy during the trial and possibly achieve a not guilty sentence.
A DUI conviction means having to pay higher auto insurance in most cases. More so, insurance companies may choose not to renew insurance or reject an insurance application for someone guilty of a DUI. If you can find an insurance firm willing to take you as a client, be prepared to be charged minimum of twice the standard rate.
Since impaired driving offences are classified under serious criminality in Canada, Canadian immigration law Bill C-46, Part 1 says that it is grounds for revocation of permanent resident status and could lead to deportation.
Canadian law does allow for the expungement or suspension of a DUI criminal record. This action seals the record from public view while law enforcement can still access the data. Application for a record suspension is possible 5 years after a guilty plea or a conviction and may need the services of a DUI lawyer.
Reviews From Our Clients
The Latest From Our Criminal Law Blog
Underage drivers and drivers who have just newly acquired their licenses face tougher DUI-related restrictions as well as additional penalties if they were charged with driving under the influence in Ontario. Drivers under 21 and newly licensed drivers with M1, M2, G1, and G2 graduated licenses cannot have any alcohol in their system when driving.
Toronto Star: Impaired driving case collapses over chronic staff shortages at new Toronto courthouse
An impaired driving case has become one of the first criminal matters to be tossed due to delay caused by the chronic lack of staff at the new Toronto courthouse, with one advocate warning the case is the “tip of the iceberg.”
A good criminal defence is priceless and can give you more benefits than just fighting for your freedom. Below are our top reasons why you should hire a criminal defence attorney.
Contact Calvin Barry Today.
Calvin Barry is an experienced criminal defence lawyer and an impaired driving lawyer in Muskoka with more than 30 years of expertise navigating the law.
Calvin Barry Law serves clients in Muskoka, the Greater Toronto Area, and nearby areas in Ontario.