Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and Stratford
Here are some points to consider regarding a few of the types of cases that I deal with most frequently:
Impaired driving means driving any motorized vehicle including cars, boats, aeroplanes, and trains while impaired by alcohol or drugs. "Over 80" is the charge that is laid when someone blows into a breathalyzer and the results are over 80 milligrams of alcohol per centilitre of blood.
Impaired driving cases can have the greatest impact on your life of any charges in the Criminal Code. It is one of the few charges that has a mandatory minimum sentence. For a first offence it is a $1,000 fine and 1 year driving prohibition. For a second offence the minimum is 30 days in gaol and two years driving prohibition. After the driving prohibition is completed, the Ministry of Transportation Ontario requires you to complete the "back on track" programme and have a breathalyzer installed in your car, costing many hundreds of dollars more.
DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY WITHOUT CONSULTING A LAWYER. Even if you blew over the limit, there may be defences available. Because the law gives broad powers to the police to investigate drunk driving, they must be held to a high standard since these powers affect everyone.
Canada has some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, and some of the heaviest penalties are handed out not under the Criminal Code, but the Wildlife Act. For a very minor mistake, a person can not only lose his hunting priveleges and F.A.C., but could have his firearms, hunting gear, and even car confiscated.
In many cases, the use of the firearm in the commission of another offence is an aggravating factor and will substantially increase the penalty a person faces; in certain cases, minimum gaol sentences which would otherwise not be present come into play. But people can also be charged with Careless Use of a Firearm for merely storing it incorrectly. A conviction for a firearms offence can have serious consequences on your life, so you should consult a lawyer before entering any plea on a charge involving a firearm.
Many offences are considered violent offences, from a scuffle outside of a bar up to robbery and murder. The situations that give rise to such charges are almost always more complicated than they might appear on the surface to the casual observer.
There may be defences available such as self-defence or consent, or you may just need the "full picture" to be placed before the Courts. That is why you need the representation of a skilled lawyer.
Many police forces today, including the Waterloo Regional Police, have dedicated Domestic Violence Units. This means that crimes committed within the context of a family or other intimate relationship receive extra scrutiny and attention from the police. One must also be aware of the politically-charged atmosphere and the existence of "zero tolerance" policies which often serve to make criminals out of regular citizens who made a one-time mistake (or have not even committed a crime).
Ontario has a zero tolerance policy and police officers are instructed that they must lay a charge "if there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed in relation to the Criminal Code, Child and Family Services Act, Children’s Law Reform Act or Family Law Act". In the politically-charged atmosphere of "domestic violence", 'reasonable grounds' is often as little as a 911 call being made.
If the police are interviewing you in regards to one of these cases, they are not trying to obtain evidence of your innocence or even what really happened. They are trying to build a case to lay a charge in keeping with their mandate. You should not give a statement, but instead insist on speaking with a lawyer.
While with Manitoba Justice , Mr. Wansbutter was designated as a specialist in Criminal Harassment. He also dealt with many cases of dometic violence. He can assist you with such charges. To learn more about your charges and your options, please contact us.
NOTE: THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT, SO YOU MUST CONTACT A LAWYER TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE RECEIVING PROPER LEGAL ADVICE.