Drinking & Driving Offence Lawyers Toronto

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How DUI Charges Can Affect You

Impaired driving is linked to hundreds of deaths and injuries every year. Because of this, a conviction on DUI offences leads to severe penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences. For a first offence, the mandatory minimum sentence is a $1,000 fine and one-year driving probation. The second and third offences carry minimum jail sentences of 30 days and 120 days, respectively. Keep in mind that serious driving violations, such as an accident causing bodily harm, have more severe penalties on top of the minimum sentences. Also, an impaired driving conviction leads to an increase in your insurance premiums and a criminal record.

To avert or alleviate the effects of DUI charges, retain Zamani Law criminal defence lawyers. We’ll review your case exhaustively and devise a strong defence strategy for a favourable outcome.

How We Can Help You Defend DUI Charges

When charged with DUI or other related offences, having an experienced criminal defence attorney by your side gives you a better chance of achieving positive results. This is because they are well-versed in criminal law and can effectively exploit all the defence avenues for DUI charges.

Here are some of the defences we utilize at Zamani Law:

  • Challenging the legal reasons for obtaining a breath sample. For example, we can argue that an officer obtained a breath sample, violating your “protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
  • Challenging the breathalyzer condition and procedure when obtaining the breath sample.
  • If the police violate your Charter Rights when investigating or making an arrest, we maybe get the evidence they obtain excluded from the case.

Every case is unique and requires a tailored defence strategy for the best results. By contacting our DUI lawyers in Toronto, you’ll have an excellent team devising and implementing the best ways to deal with your charges. Call us at (647) 363-7739 for a free consultation.

Impaired Driving Charges in Toronto

As per the Criminal Code of Canada, numerous drinking and driving offences result in criminal charges. All of them pose serious consequences, including driving prohibition and fines.  Some impaired driving charges that one can face include:

OVER 80 MG

Having “over 80 mg” of alcohol in your blood is a serious DUI offence in Canada. The determination of blood alcohol content is done through a Breathalyzer or other approved screening methods. Most people tend to plead guilty when charged with an “over 80” offence, which is a huge mistake. An “over 80” charge has many technicalities that an experienced criminal lawyer can utilize to create a strong defence.

IMPAIRED DRIVING (BY ALCOHOL OR DRUG)

An impaired driving charge is made when an officer believes you cannot properly operate a vehicle due to alcohol or drug impairment. The charge can be made if you portray a lack of motor skills, slurred speech, unsteady walking, or erratic driving. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alcohol or drug in your system impaired your driving capability. A skilled impaired driving lawyer can help you mitigate such charges.

REFUSE SAMPLE

When an officer wants you to provide a breath or blood sample to determine your BAC (blood alcohol content) level, and you refuse, you’ll be charged with refusal to provide a sample. This is usually done when an officer suspects you of driving under the influence. When facing such a charge, enlist the services of an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you.

IMPAIRED/OVER 80/DANGEROUS CAUSING BODILY HARM OR DEATH

When charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm or death, you should immediately retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer. This is because it’s an indictable offence, and a conviction carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, among other minimum consequences.

DANGEROUS OPERATION

You can face a dangerous operation charge if you drive a motor vehicle in a way that, accounting for all circumstances, endangers the public or results in bodily harm or death. This is a hybrid offence that can be prosecuted by indictment or as a summary conviction. As an indictable offence, a dangerous operation conviction carries up to 10 years in prison.

CARE & CONTROL

In Canada, you can be charged with impaired driving even though you were not operating a vehicle or behind the wheel. When charged with being in “care and control,” the prosecution must prove that you intended to drive or could have accidentally set the vehicle in motion while impaired.

In some cases, you can face more than one DUI charge. For example, you can be charged with over 80 and impaired driving as two separate charges. Whichever allegations you face, Zamani Law criminal defence lawyers can help you fight them and obtain the best possible results.

Impaired Driving Penalties in Toronto

DUI charges carry severe penalties, which aim to minimize drinking and driving offences in Canada. All convictions have mandatory minimum penalties, including Canada-wide driving prohibition.

Here’s a recap of the minimum mandatory penalties you should expect upon the finding of guilt:

First Offence

  • Mandatory treatment program or alcohol education program
  • $1,000 fine
  • 1-year license suspension
  • 1-year requirement to drive a car fitted with an ignition interlock device after license reinstatement

Second Offence

  • Minimum 30 days in jail
  • A fine at the judge’s discretion
  • 3-year license suspension
  • 3-year requirement to drive a car fitted with an ignition interlock device after license reinstatement

Third and Subsequent Offence

  • Minimum 120 days in jail
  • 10 years to life license suspension
  • Lifetime requirement of driving a car with an ignition interlock device
  • A fine at the judge’s discretion

With such drastic penalties and other negative impacts that a DUI conviction will have on your life, including your employment, reputation, and travel, the need for an experienced DUI lawyer is irrefutable. Contact Zamani Law for a free, no-obligation consultation on impaired driving charges.

Get Help from the Best Lawyers for Driving Offences in Toronto

At Zamani Law Firm, our lawyers provide expert legal representation and assistance to individuals facing impaired driving charges. With our expertise in criminal defence and extensive knowledge of impaired driving laws, the firm can offer valuable support in fighting these charges and achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.

We begin by thoroughly evaluating the circumstances of the case, examining all available evidence, and identifying any potential weaknesses or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. This evaluation helps in formulating a strong defence strategy. We then use the evidence to develop a customized defence strategy tailored to each client’s situation. They explore various legal defences, such as challenging the legality of the traffic stop, questioning the reliability of the breathalyzer or blood test results, and scrutinizing the collection and handling of evidence.

If the case goes to trial in Toronto, our impaired driving lawyers provide strong courtroom representation. We are experienced litigators who present a compelling defence, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate vigorously for our clients’ rights. Our lawyers offer compassionate support and guidance to our clients throughout the legal process. We take time to explain the potential consequences, keep clients informed about the progress of their case, and provide reassurance during what can be a stressful time.

Remember, time is of the essence in impaired driving cases, as there may be strict timelines and procedures to follow. You can take the first step towards protecting your rights and ensuring a robust defence by contacting us. Call Zamani Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation, and let us fight for you.

FAQs

What is impaired driving?

Impaired driving refers to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that impairs the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. Impaired driving is dangerous and illegal, putting the driver, passengers, and other road users at risk. Impairment can affect a person’s judgment, coordination, reaction time, perception, and ability to drive safely.

Is impaired driving a Criminal Offence in Toronto?

Yes. Impaired driving is a criminal offence in Toronto covered under Sections 320.11 to 320.4 of the Canadian Criminal Code. As a criminal offence, impaired driving can have long-lasting consequences, including difficulties obtaining employment, travel restrictions, and limitations on daily life.

How long will an impaired driving conviction stay on my record?

In Toronto, impaired driving charges are considered criminal offences, and if convicted, they can result in a permanent criminal record. This means the charge will remain on your criminal record indefinitely unless you take specific steps to remove or seal it.

What are the legal limits for impaired driving in Toronto?

In Toronto and the rest of Canada, the legal limits for impaired driving are as follows:

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit: 0.08% or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 10millilitresrs of blood
  • Cannabis (THC) limit: 2 nanograms (ng) per millilitre of blood
  • Combined alcohol and cannabis: If both alcohol and THC are detected, the limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 10millilitresrs of blood and 2.5 ng of THC per millilitre of blood.

When should I call a lawyer about impaired driving charges?

If charged with impaired driving, you should contact your lawyer immediately. This gives them more strategies to use to defend you against the allegations. When you wait for too long, vital defence strategies can become irrelevant. Also, contacting your DUI lawyer ensures that your rights are protected from the start and that you avoid making costly mistakes.

Can I still drive while my impaired driving case is ongoing?

In Ontario, if you are charged with impaired driving, your license can be suspended immediately upon arrest. This suspension is typically administered by the police officer during the incident and is known as an administrative driver’s license suspension.

During the ongoing impaired driving case, the Ministry of Transportation will initiate a separate process called the Administrative Driver’s License Suspension (ADLS). The ADLS is an administrative measure that takes effect seven days after your arrest, regardless of the outcome of your criminal case.

Under the ADLS, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days for a first offence and longer for subsequent offences. However, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary driver’s license known as the Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program (IICRP), which allows you to drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device during the suspension period.

What happens if I get pulled over for Impaired driving?

If an officer pulls you over and suspects that you have alcohol or other drugs in your system, they’ll perform a roadside test to determine how intoxicated you are. This includes taking a breath sample to check your alcohol level. Depending on your blood alcohol content, the officer can arrest and charge you with impaired driving and/or “over 80” or issue HTA summons.

What Happens to my driver’s license if I get charged with an Impaired Driving related offence?

If you get charged with an impaired driving offence, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately for 90 days under the Administrative Driver’s License Suspension(ADLS). This is an administrative suspension that is separate from any court-ordered license suspensions. If your criminal charges result in a conviction, your license will be suspended for 1 year for a first offence, 3 years for a second offence, and 10 years to a lifetime for a third offence.

What Happens to my car if I get charged with an Impaired Driving related offence?

If you are charged with impaired driving, the vehicle you were operating will be impounded for 7 days.

Why was I charged when I was not even driving?

An officer can charge you with impaired driving or over 80 if they find you in “care and control” of a vehicle while impaired but not driving. This can happen even when you were not behind the wheel. In a “care and control” charge, the officer and prosecution must prove that you intended to drive or could have accidentally set the vehicle in motion.

Why was I charged with two charges: Impaired Driving and Driving While Over 80?

Impaired driving and being over the legal alcohol limit are two different drinking and driving offences under the Criminal Code of Canada. You can be charged with one of the offences or both, depending on your condition and blood alcohol content. If you have more than 80 mg of alcohol in your system, but your driving capability is unaffected, you may only be charged with an “over 80” offence. On the other hand, if your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired, you’ll be charged with two violations: “over 80” and impaired driving.

An impaired driving charge is not affected by your blood alcohol content. This means that the alcohol level in your system can be well below the legal limit, but you still get charged if your ability to drive is impaired. In this case, you’ll only face impaired driving charges.

About Zamani Law

Zamani Law is a leading criminal law firm that provides exceptional criminal defence services for Ontario residents. We have been in the industry for many years, and through commitment, legal excellence, and proven success in defending clients, we have grown to be one of the most reputable defence firms.

Our criminal defence lawyers are well-versed in drinking and driving offences as they defend many clients facing such allegations yearly. We handle cases through a team approach, which ensures a thorough evaluation of your case details. No matter how complex your case may seem, our lawyers can create a defence that alleviates or averts unwanted consequences. Contact us for a free assessment of your case.

 

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