Defence for An Impaired Driving Charge
When Experience Matters
Cases of impaired driving are typically won by an experienced lawyer using legal technicalities for defence. The technicalities that can be used are any or a combination of the following:
- If the breathalyzer test was performed properly and legally
- Where, when, how, what, and who is involved in the impaired driving charge
- Whether the rights of the accused have been violated under the Canadian Rights and Freedoms
- If the police officer was able to prepare all the charging documents and paperwork properly
- Whether the court system was able to do everything properly such as if the trial was done in a timely manner or if there were any disclosure issues
- If the police officer were able to present the allegation to the judge properly
- Whether there is ‘reasonable doubt’ in the mind of the judge at the end of the trial
With over 30 years of legal experience at Calvin Barry Law, we have not yet come in contact with a case that cannot be defended. If you have specific questions about your impaired driving charge, do not hesitate to give us a call and avail of our obligation-free initial consultation.
Understanding Your Legal Rights When Dealing with An Impaired Driving Charge
Being arrested or having a charge of impaired driving does not automatically mean that you are guilty. When you are charged with a criminal offence, just know that you have the right to defend yourself and:
- Talk to a lawyer of your choice
- Find ways to have the charge dismissed
- Seek a way to resolve the charge or to plead not guilty to proceed to a trial
Note that you do not have to plead guilty to a DUI charge. Pleading guilty when you are not at fault can result in severe and life-long DUI consequences.
Know that under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the following are true:
- Every individual has the right to defend themselves in court
- Every individual has the right to be free of unreasonable seizure and search by the police
- Every individual has the right to be heard by a judge within a reasonable span of time when charged
Pleading Guilty for An Impaired Driving Charge
A lot of people believe that getting arrested for an impaired driving charge by the police will automatically make them guilty. This is not true because:
- The police can make mistakes
- Some charges are done improperly
- Some arrests violate people’s rights
- There are many instances of people who are arrested or charged when they are not guilty
Know that under Canadian law, the driver has the right to discuss the charge with the crown attorney to reduce or withdraw the charge. The driver also has the right to defend themselves in court or to find legal representation to do so. Know too that everyone charged with impaired driving has the right to be heard by a judge and that the police and the crown attorney must conduct everything properly and legally in order to make a legal conviction of the accused. Without doing so, the rights of the accused will be deemed violated and the case can be dismissed.
Common Defences to DUI Charges
Defences for DUI charges can include issues such as the following:
- Improper arrest of the accused
- Improper reading of the breath samples
- Improper collection of evidence against the accused
- Violation of the rights of the accused to speak with a lawyer in privacy
- Violation of the rights of the accused to have a trial in a timely manner
- Mistakes on the part of the arresting officer
- Incongruencies in the documentation by the police
- The prosecution being unable to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt
To be clear, it is the responsibility of the prosecutor and the police to prove that the accused is guilty of the charges against them.
Impaired Driving and Breathalyzer Tests
One of the most common grounds for dismissing a case of impaired driving is when the breathalyzer test was not performed properly or not administered in a timely manner. Since the result of the breathalyzer test will be used as evidence in court, any mistake in the administration of the test as well as inconsistencies with protocol can render the results inadmissible in court. Evidence that was not secured properly cannot be used in court. This is why the time when the arrest was made as well as the time when the breathalyzer test was administered has to be taken into consideration. If the breathalyzer test was not administered by a qualified person or if it was administered beyond the allowable time, then the results will no longer be accurate.
Once an impaired driving charge goes into a trial, the breathalyzer technician will need to come to court together with the arresting officer to provide the court with the proper documentation to prove the breathalyzer readings in support of the charge against the accused. They also need to prove that the test was done in a way that fully respects the rights of the accused.
Hire A DUI Lawyer to Defend Against an Impaired Driving Charge
An impaired driving charge can give rise to conviction consequences that can follow you throughout your life. Some of the consequences of an impaired driving conviction include difficulty finding a job, difficulty securing a loan, having issues with travelling outside the country, and dealing with issues when buying a house or starting a business. The best way to avoid a conviction is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who can help you dismiss the case, ask for a more lenient sentencing, or avoid a conviction for impaired driving. At Calvin Barry Law, our impaired driving lawyers have decades of experience defending DUI charges such as impaired driving. Our Toronto criminal defence lawyers are willing to listen to you and work on a defence that protects your rights and freedom. Contact us today.
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Calvin Barry is an experienced criminal defence lawyer and an impaired driving lawyer in Toronto with more than 30 years of expertise navigating the law.