Friday, May 25, 2018

Definition of Impaired Driving Has Limitations As Shown on an Ontario Ruling

Getting convicted for driving under the influence means that a DUI charge will be linked to your name. This link will be there for years to come until such time that you’re able to get a record suspension or a DUI pardon with the help of a DUI lawyer.

But what constitutes impaired driving? 

Is it impaired driving if you simply slept in your parked car while waiting for the effects of alcohol intoxication to go away?

Would you be fine with going to jail for sleeping in your car when you’re drunk because you did not want to drive until you are feeling much better?

Location, Location, Location!

What defines impaired driving or driving under the influence differs widely between provinces and territories. In a 2016 case in Ontario, a drunk man was found sleeping inside his car which was parked outside a housing complex in Burlington. He was charged with DUI.

The Ontario ruling by Justice Alan D. Cooper stated that the man, Ryan Toyota, was not guilty of any criminal offences despite leaving the engine and the exterior lights on because of several factors. One factor is that he meant to stay in a friend’s house but got locked out. Another is that he had to stay inside the car because this occurred in February 2015 in sub-freezing temperatures.

The ruling focused on a section of the Criminal Code which establishes the presumption of care or control of the vehicle – stating that the risk of danger is a fundamental element of care and control.

In the court’s opinion, they believed that Mr. Toyota had no intention of driving his vehicle and that the engine was just left on to keep himself warm. They also believed that Mr. Toyota had no means of getting inside his friend’s home because the homeowner passed out after accidentally locking the door on the way in.

The court said that it was clear that Mr. Toyota intended to spend the night in his friend’s home and made do with the safer course of action when given no other options except staying in his car or driving home.

What Really Happened

The police report did say that they found the defendant inside his vehicle which was parked outside the housing complex in sub-zero temperatures. The officer opened the door and smelled alcohol so he asked Mr. Toyota to step out and found that he was intoxicated. Mr. Toyota was then arrested and brought to the police station to be tested.

Real Justice

Justice Cooper noted in his ruling that the data from the police clearly stated that Mr. Toyota’s car was parked properly and in no danger to anyone at the time the police officer found him. Although there was a realistic risk of the defendant choosing to drive in his intoxicated state, the fact remains that he did not.

The court also believed that although Toyota’s blood alcohol level was lot higher than what defines legally drunk, it is highly unlikely that he would have suddenly change his mind and go driving if the officer didn’t find him. At the end of the day, the details of the circumstances dictated the court’s ruling.

The above is why you need a seasoned DUI Lawyer to help you deal with a DUI charge. Not everyone who is in a vehicle and intoxicated mean to do harm or is a danger to people. Calvin Barry Law specializes in uncovering the truth. He is the Toronto Criminal Lawyer that you need on your side! Contact Calvin Barry today!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Calvin Barry | Alcohol Boating and the Law | What You Have to Know

Boating in Ontario is a common past-time that is loved by many more so for warmer months when it can feel like there’s not a better feeling than being on the water with a cold beer in hand. Before you get too excited, know that alcohol is frowned upon by the law when boating and more importantly, there are a lot of things you must know regarding the law doesn’t like you mixing boating and alcohol together.

When Are You Boating?

Are you aware that simply floating on a drifting kayak is part of what is considered boating? Vessels include inflatable rafts, sea-doo, dinghy, canoe, sailboat and canoe as defined by S.124 of the Canadian Criminal Code.

When Are You Boating and Drinking?

Being on a vessel (with no one else controlling it) while with a higher than the standard blood alcohol level is penalized with the same severity as committing Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol and Impaired Driving.

What Happens When Caught Boating with Alcohol?

A person on a vessel when stopped by an officer will be arrested for Impaired Operation if the officer perceives that the person in question is not fit to operate a vessel or if the officer has reason to believe that the person has had quite a lot to drink.
In the station, the arrested individual will be asked to provide breath samples into a breathalyzer to determine his or her blood alcohol level. A blood alcohol level that is more than 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters is considered to have committed an Over 80.

Specifics vary widely in terms of what was actually committed and how the arrest was made. The bottomline is, you cannot be ‘in control’ of a vessel and drinking alcohol as well. Barring certain circumstances, it is better for everyone on board to not be drinking to be on the safe side of the law and not get convicted because of a technicality.

Need help handling an alcohol-related boating offence? Call DUI Lawyer Calvin Barry ! He handles more than impaired driving cases and can assist you with your boating and alcohol-related charge.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Bail Hearing Process in Canada

Dealing with an arrest related to a criminal offence is not just scary, but is emotionally draining and very stressful as well. You’re not sure if a criminal charge will be your future, whether you’ll be simply released, or if you’ll be held for a bail hearing.

A bail hearing is part of your rights in Canada, as it is stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under Section 11(e) that detained individuals in Canada have a right to reasonable jail except in instances when they should remain in custody.

From Arrest to Bail

After an arrest, the accused person is transported to a police detachment for interview and questioning. The police is required by law to inform the accused of his right to remain silent as well as his right to a defence lawyer. The police will also inform him that if he does not have a lawyer, access to one will be provided to him. Once the accused has had a chance to talk to his lawyer, the police can then proceed with the interview.

After the above is completed, the police can either release the accused or keep him in custody for a formal bail hearing. A Justice of the Peace at the bail hearing shall determine whether the accused will be held further or released on bail based on the severity of the crime or crimes committed and other details.

Prompt Action Is A Must!

There are a lot of technicalities involved in this that can be best explained by an experienced criminal lawyer. You will want to ask about what is a surety, what are typical bail conditions, and ensure that you talk about bail variations.

Need a criminal lawyer’s help for someone who’ve been arrested and charged with a criminal offence? Contact Calvin Barry Law today! Calvin Barry is a Toronto Criminal Lawyer with decades of experience defending accused individuals and helping them get bailed.

Calvin Barry Representing Mike Bullard Comments on New Charges Against Him

Calvin Barry's client, former tv and radio talk show host, Mike Bullard was recently arrested and charged with 3 new counts against him. 2 counts of fail to comply with previous bail conditions and attempt to obstruct justice.

Outside the courthouse Calvin said "the new fail to comply charges relate to alleged offences dating back more than a year... The attempt to obstruct justice is connected to an incident that allegedly occurred January 18th, 2018".

 Mr Bullard was released on bail and as a condition is noew staying with his brother Joseph Jackson at his home in Brantford Ontario. Mr Barry said "He can go anywhere, anytime with those four people, including the surety's common-law wife, but has to stay in Canada. So it's very flexible," said Barry.

Read the full article on The Toronto Star here. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

What You Have to Know About Impaired Driving Charges in Canada

Having an impaired driving charge in Canada is a serious matter that can be mitigated if acted upon quickly. In this article, we’ll tackle what details you have to know about having an over 80 charge against yourself and how having a DUI lawyer as soon as possible can help you out.

Drinking and Driving in Canada

Drinking and driving in Canada will result to an impaired driving or an over 80 charge if caught by authorities. Basically, this means that you’re charged because you’ve been found to have an over 80 alcohol level in your blood and was driving when you shouldn’t have.

At the point of having an active DUI charge, you’ve probably already:
  •         Had a few hours spent in police custody
  •         Have a 90-day license suspension
  •         Paid fees for towing and impounding if your vehicle
  •         Have no vehicle because it is currently impounded for a week
  •        Experienced a lot of mixed emotions and is most likely feeling upset about the whole situation

And on top of the above, you have no idea what to do and how to deal with the criminal process plus your upcoming court appearance.

The fact is that thousands of Canadians face charges of impaired driving every year. An impaired driving charge is the most common criminal offence in Canada. Although it is embarrassing to be charged, it is not the end of the world.

DUI Charge in Canada – What You Have to Do

Drinking and driving in Canada is a very serious criminal offence despite how common it is. To ensure that you’ll achieve the best outcome for your case, you have to understand that there are certain technicalities regarding timelines that have to be observed (especially in Ontario).

In view of the above, seeking legal counsel for impaired driving as soon as possible is for your best interest. A DUI lawyer will know what information is relevant for you and what course of action is the most important one to take.

DUI Charge in Canada – What You Should Not Do

If you don’t have a DUI lawyer yet but have been charged with an over 80, know that pleading guilty is not going to help you a lot (even for a first offence). There are instances wherein pleading guilty may work in your favour but generally speaking, simply entering an early plea is not a guarantee of having a more favourable outcome. More so, a guilty plea means having a criminal record that can severely affect your ability to travel, buy property, get a loan, and seek employment.

Remember, the outcome of your DUI charge rests on many factors that are inter-dependent and are time-sensitive. No two cases of a DUI charge are exactly alike and thus, outcomes vary as well. It is best to seek legal counsel from a DUI lawyer before doing anything that can make life a lot more difficult for yourself.

Have you been charged with impaired driving in Canada? Calvin Barry Law can help! Calvin Barry is a Toronto Criminal Lawyer with almost 2 decades of experience helping those with driving offences. Contact Calvin Barry today!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Canada To Increase Fines for DUI Over .12

The Canadian government is going to increase fines for criminal DUIs and making a move to codify aggravating factors that are usually left for a judge to decide on.

Fines to Change

The omnibus Bill C-46 brought on the changes related to drinking-driving offences, even changing the designations for DUI now having DUI over 0.12 and DUI over 0.16.
Different punishments will be meted for different blood-alcohol concentration in the new proposed law. If it pushes through, a person with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.12 will face a minimum fine of $1,500 and a person with a BAC of 0.16 will face a $2,000 fine. The fine to be paid is on top of facing a criminal conviction, needing to attend remedial programs, and having a 1-year driving prohibition.
The new fines are a bit hefty compared to what judges usually order particularly for first time offenders. However, to be fair, a lot of impaired driving cases do involve people driving around with a BAC 0.12. The fact that the difference between a 0.11 and a 0.12 can be chucked to a breathalyzer error or some other factor has been considered but wasn’t given much weight.

Judges No Longer Have a Say on Aggravating Factors

Getting fined $2,000 because you resisted arrest, have a BAC of 0.25, and tried to flee an accident site is fair but under the new law, a person simply driving with a BAC 0.16 will be fined the same. This may raise your eyebrows and you won’t be alone in thinking something isn’t adding up. However, the new law will have to be observed and implemented whether people agree with it or not.
It is clear that bill C-46 aims to create a mandatory list of minimum fines for different BAC of those caught committing a DUI. This change means that further evaluation of the case and circumstances will no longer have a bearing on the fine. It is now only a matter of months before the bill becomes an actual law.

New Punishments for DUI Offences

Minimum punishment will be comprised of paying a fine of $1,000 for first offence, an additional of 30 days imprisonment for second offence,, and imprisonment of 120 days for the third offence and above. Imprisonment of no more than 10 years will be meted if the offence is prosecuted by indictment. For offence that is punishable on summary conviction, punishment will be an imprisonment of not more than 2 years minus a day. Paying a fine of $1,500 for a BAC of 0.12 and paying $2,000 for a BAC of 0.16 goes on top of previously mentioned punishments
Do you need assistance from a DUI Lawyer in Toronto? Contact Calvin Barry Law for help! Calvin Barry specializes in Criminal Law and has handled an impressive number of DUI cases. Make sure that you’ll tackle your DUI charge as smartly as possible by talking to us as soon as possible. Call Calvin Barry today!