Two driving charges withdrawn at Provinicial Offences Court: Tony’s Case

CHARGES:

Careless driving contrary to Section 130 of the Provincial Highway Traffic Act

Driving a motor vehicle without a license contrary to Section 32 (1) of Provincial Highway Traffic Act

BACKGROUND:

A car stopped at a red light on a Saturday night in Ottawa was rear-ended by a car that my client, Tony, was driving. After colliding with the vehicle, Tony dislodged his car from the other car and fled the scene. The driver and passengers of the car that had been hit were not injured and were able to provide Tony’s license plate number to police. Police arrested Tony at his home after he could not provide any reasonable excuse for leaving the scene of an accident.

STRATEGY AND RESULTS:

After I met with the Crown, it was agreed that these charges would be dropped at the Provincial Offences Court in Ottawa.

Fraud and theft charges withdrawn: Stephanie’s Case

CHARGES:

Theft not exceeding $5000/Shoplifting contrary to Section 344(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Fraud not exceeding $5000 contrary to Section 380(1) (b) of Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND:

Stephanie was observed by security guards at Walmart trying to return 3 woman’s jackets that she had not purchased. The officers at the store had suspected Stephanie of fraudulent returns for several months. After having the return refused, Stephanie began shopping in the store. When leaving the store, she used a self-checkout machine. After she had left the building, the Walmart employee apprehended Stephanie and found that the items on her receipt did not match the items she was leaving with. The police were called and Stephanie was arrested, charged and released on an appearance notice.

STRATEGY AND RESULTS:

After my negotiations with the Crown, it was agreed that all charges against Stephanie would be withdrawn. The charges were withdrawn in Ottawa court.

Three drug related charges dropped: Benjamin’s Case

CHARGES:

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Marijuana) contrary to Section 5 (2) of Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine) contrary to Section 5 (2) of Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Possession of Property Obtained by Crime contrary to Section 354 (1) (a) of Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND:

Benjamin was observed by police making hand to hand transactions with two other males in Smiths Falls. Police found marijuana and cocaine, a digital scale, and other drug related paraphernalia belonging to Benjamin. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested and charged.

STRATEGY AND RESULTS:

After discussions, the Crown agreed to drop all charges against Benjamin. The charges were withdrawn in Perth Court.

Over 80 charge dismissed: Natalie’s Case

CHARGES:

Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood contrary to Section 253 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

BACKGROUND: As she was driving away from an area where a loud party as taking place, Natalie was stopped by police. The officer who pulled her over conducted a road-side breath test, which Natalie failed. She was then taken by the officer to the police detachment for another breath test.  After failing the second breath test, she was charged with Over 80.

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GOALS: It is well known that the consequences of an Over 80 conviction in Ontario are very serious. Those convicted often pay heavy fines, have their license suspended and are burdened with a criminal record. In this case, we set a goal to have Natalie avoid a criminal record. Natalie and I hoped we could have her charge dismissed.

STRATEGY: I applied to have much of the evidence in this case excluded because the methods used to obtain it were in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sections 7, 8, 9, 10(b), 11(d) and 24(2). We filed a Charter application making the request. I felt like there were several problems with Natalie’s arrest:

  • The officer who pulled Natalie over lacked the required reasonable grounds to stop and arrest her.
  • Natalie was not given reasonable opportunity to choose her lawyer and contact him or her at the time of her arrest.
  • The breath test conducted on the roadside was not done in a timely manner and the officer involved did not have a “Warrant to Search” which would authorize him to conduct the test.

RESULTS: The Judge in this case agreed with several of the arguments we made, and all charges against our client were dismissed at trial.

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Three charges dismissed in impaired driving incident: Shannon’s Case

CHARGES:

Impaired operation of a motor vehicle contrary to Section 253 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood contrary to Section 253 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada:

Possession of 30 grams or less of cannabis (marijuana) contrary to Section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

BACKGROUND: Police reported to the scene of an accident in North Grenville and found Shannon sitting near to a minivan that had collided with a hydro pole. One of the officers on the scene smelled alcohol in the van and conducted a breath test on Shannon, which led to a reading of ‘F’ or fail.  Shannon was arrested and brought to the police detachment where she failed another breath test.

Before being released from the station, police officers found a small amount of marijuana in Shannon’s purse. A charge of possession of marijuana was added to her file.

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GOALS: Shannon was a very young woman at the time of her charge and so we made it a priority to have her avoid a criminal record. In addition, we did not want her to have her license suspended.

STRATEGY: I believed that the police officers questioning Shannon violated her rights under Sections 7, 8, 9, 10(a), 10(b), 11(d), and 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I argued that there were several problems with the arrest and processing of Shannon:

  • There was a lack of proof regarding the times of the arrests and tests, and it was unclear whether they were conducted within the proper time frame.
  • There was not sufficient evidence to prove that that Shannon was actually the driver in control of the van.
  • Similarly, there was nothing that proved that the marijuana found in Shannon’s bag actually belonged to her, or that she actually knew it was there.

RESULTS: All the charges in this case were dismissed.

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Over 80 and impaired operation charges dismissed: Peter’s Case

CHARGES:

Impaired operation of a motor vehicle contrary to section 253 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood contrary to section 253 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

BACKGROUND: On Innes Road, a witness saw a man drive his car into a light standard on a median.  The witness, after seeing the collision, followed the driver as he left on foot. Later, paramedics arrived and Peter agreed to be examined in an ambulance before police arrived on the scene. When officers arrived, they smelled alcohol on Peter’s breath and administered a test that resulted in a reading of “F” or fail. Peter was then arrested and brought into the police station, where he failed two more breath tests.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: I did not want Peter to be burdened with a criminal record, and we wanted him to be able to keep his license. When Peter hired me to represent him, I wanted to do everything possible to have his charges dismissed or dropped.

STRATEGY: I believed that the Crown was in violation of Peter’s rights under Sections 11(b), and 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I thought there to be several problems with the administration of the trial:

  • After multiple adjournments, the Trial commenced more than 19 months after charges were laid.
  • The delay of the proceedings was largely caused by the fact that not all efforts to serve a witness in the trial were exhausted.  Peter’s right to a trial within a reasonable time was violated.

RESULTS: According to the judge in trial, not enough had been done by police to locate a witness in this case that had relocated to British Columbia. That was one of several issues that caused Peter to have his right to a trial within in a reasonable time violated. The charges were dismissed.

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No criminal record stemming from fraud charges: Chantal’s Case

CHARGES:

Fraud contrary to Sections 380(1)(b), 462.31(1)(a), and 354(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: After several trips to Walmart where she returned and purchased various items, my client Chantal was arrested for fraud.  It was alleged that she attempted to return store merchandise without first purchasing it and received a refund in gift cards.   A loss prevention officer reported that he performed an investigation and after observing Chantal’s conduct, he placed her under arrest.

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GOALS:  Chantal is a professional with a family and needed to avoid a criminal record and severe penalties.

 

STRATEGY and RESULTS:  I sought to have Chantal enter into a diversion program and avoid criminal prosecution.  I worked to have her enter a theft prevention course and make restitution. Ultimately, the Crown agreed to drop all of the criminal charges and the case was concluded with Chantal maintaining a clean record.

Robbery and firearm charges result in no prison time: Jason’s case

CHARGES:

Robbery with a firearm contrary to Section 344 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Pointing a firearm contrary to Section 87 of the Criminal Code of Canada

Uttering a threat to cause bodily harm contrary to Section 264.1(1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: Jason entered a neighbour’s house insisting that the neighbours call 9-1-1 as he said he had just located two poachers driving all-terrain vehicles, and that he was going to hold them at gunpoint until police arrived. Before leaving the house, Jason showed his neighbours  the .22 caliber rifle he was holding.

When police arrived, they spoke with Jason, who at that time was still carrying his rifle. He said that he had to let the vehicles go, but that police should be able to find them driving on a nearby road. Later in the evening, police received another 9-1-1 call from one of the ATV drivers. The drivers said that they had been held at gunpoint and robbed. He was later arrested for robbery with a firearm, pointing a firearm, and uttering physical threats.

Read the Summary of the Police Allegations

GOALS:

The charges Jason faced were very serious and if Jason were convicted, he would be facing a minimum four year penitentiary sentence. It was my belief that Jason was a non-violent person who was caught in a strange set of circumstances. I knew it would be difficult to have Jason avoid being convicted of an offence, but I wanted to ensure that he did not spend any time in prison.

STRATEGY: I wanted to highlight the fact that Jasonwas not dangerous, and that he never had any intention to use a firearm. He even went out of his way to show his neighbour that his rifle was not loaded. I also worked diligently to gather several character witness statements in this case that would help to have Jason’s sentence be as minimal as possible.

RESULTS: After lengthy and involved discussions with the Crown attorney, this case was resolved without any jail sentence whatsoever. This really was the best possible outcome we could have hoped for in this case.

7 Counts of Criminal Charges Dropped After Signing of Peace Bond: Daniel’s Case

CHARGES:

Uttering Death Threats contrary to section 264.1 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Mischief (2 counts) contrary to section 430 (1) (c) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Assault (4 counts) contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: Daniel was involved in a very serious incident with his wife that resulted in him facing seven criminal charges. According to his wife and another witness, Daniel phoned his wife and threatened to kill her after she discovered he was cheating on her and informed the husband of the other woman involved. When Daniel returned to the house, he kicked in the door, and broke a fish tank and telephone. He pushed his pregnant wife after she tried to physically prevent him from going upstairs in the house. Once upstairs, Daniel broke his wife’s laptop by smashing it on the floor. Afterwards, he would not let his wife leave their son’s room and he bit her on the hand.

Two additional charges were laid after Daniel’s wife was asked by police about past incidents.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: In this case, it was important for me to get the best possible result for Daniel while at the same time helping him to take responsibility for his actions.  My first goal was to assist Daniel with bail conditions, as he had one young child and his wife was pregnant.  I hoped to get Daniel the help he needed while at the same time not having him serve time in prison.

STRATEGY: I submitted several requests to have Daniel’s bail conditions varied, and worked to enroll Daniel in a Partner Assault Response (PAR) program. Through this program, I hoped Daniel would receive the education and counseling he needed and that we could have this matter resolved with the signing of a peace bond.

RESULTS: We achieved the best possible result in this case. I was able to have Daniel’s bail conditions varied to allow him to visit with his child and to be present for the birth of his second child. Daniel attended all of his PAR program meetings and successfully completed the program. He signed a peace bond with conditions and was able to avoid both prison and a criminal record.

Diversion Program the Solution in Assault Case: Kyle’s Case

CHARGES:

Assault contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code of Canada

BACKGROUND: In a residence building on a post-secondary school campus, a young woman reported that an intoxicated young male unexpectedly knocked on her door and forced himself into her room. She said that she tried to stop him from entering before being pushed by the male and punched in the face. My client, Kyle, was arrested and charged for assault as it was believed he was the man who entered the residence room.

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GOALS: As Kyle was a student and a very young man, I did not want him to be burdened with a criminal record. Kyle understood that he had made a mistake, and so I sought out different options that would allow him to avoid both a criminal record and spending time in a facility.

STRATEGY: I wanted to have Kyle enter into a diversion program rather than be convicted of a criminal offence. I worked with the Crown and the diversion office at the Ottawa Court House to try and make this happen.

RESULTS: Kyle was instructed to complete 35 hours of community service and to submit a letter of reflection. Kyle successfully completed his direct accountability program. He volunteered for more than the required hours at a Church that gives out meals to the homeless. Kyle enjoyed his time volunteering and learned a lot from the experience. After completion of the program, his charges were withdrawn. He has no criminal record and the fingerprints and booking images taken by the Police have been destroyed.

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