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When Do You Need a Driving Offences Lawyer?
A criminal charge for any driving offence comes with an assortment of technicalities and intricacies that require the assistance of our criminal defence lawyers, based in Calgary. Impaired driving, commonly known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), is one of the most common driving offences and may result in significant consequences. When you get in the car after a party or an evening at the bar, you may not realize that your ability to drive is impaired. In the moment, getting pulled over may seem absolutely terrifying. Whether a police officer charges you with driving over the legal limit (or driving over 80), refusal to provide a breath sample, or failure to provide a breath sample, your first call should be to Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers. Navigating the complexities of the legal system and providing a compelling case for all driving offences is what we do best.
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You may be convicted of impaired driving if a prosecutor proves that you were in control of a motor vehicle, that your ability to operate the vehicle was impaired, and that alcohol was the cause of the impairment. One of the most important things to remember if an officer charges you with impaired driving is to say as little as possible while in police custody. Upon being charged, you will have your license suspended until the case goes to trial. Other possible punishments for impaired driving include further license suspensions, substantial fines, a criminal record, and some jail time based on your number of previous offences. Because impaired driving involves several technicalities, we can build a strong defence using methods such as questioning the reliability of the breathalyzer, analyzing varying blood alcohol levels, or challenging observations of impairment. These techniques may allow us to build a compelling defence to rid you of, or at least minimize, the consequences of your conviction.
Over Limit for Marijuana
The consequences of driving while under the influence of cannabis are similar to those of impaired driving. If you are convicted, punishments may include a hefty fine, jail time, a permanent criminal record, and a license suspension. In Canada, there is currently no guidance as to how much cannabis is safe to consume before driving. As such, we can use the ambiguity of the current legislature as well as the nature of cannabis to defend your case. We’ll consider everything from the method of consumption, the quantity of cannabis consumed, and the specific strain ingested, as well as the reason for taking marijuana, whether medical or recreational.
Refusals of Testing
The government of Canada identifies refusal or failure to blow a breathalyzer as a failure to comply with a demand under the criminal code. A police officer may demand a breath or blood sample if he or she suspects that you have alcohol in your body or suspects that the impairment of your ability to drive is due to alcohol. While an officer will automatically suspend your license upon charging you, we can help to ensure that no further consequences befall you by reviewing and challenging police evidence including the grounds on which the demand was made, the proper functioning of the device used to collect the sample, and any asthma or respiratory you may have.
Dangerous driving is a charge given based on the operation of a vehicle deemed hazardous to the public. A dangerous driving charge may account for the nature, condition, and location of the vehicle, as well as the amount of surrounding traffic. Impaired driving and driving under the influence of drugs are both considered to be examples of dangerous driving, but even something as small and innocent as falling asleep while driving may result in a criminal charge. As always, the first step after receiving a charge for dangerous driving is to call a trusted criminal defence lawyer. We can help to lessen the blow of a driving offence and potentially eliminate your criminal record.
Leaving Scene of Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is often referred to as a hit and run. These charges may apply if you are in a collision with another person or vehicle and, with the intent to escape liability, fail to stop or offer your necessary information. The punishment for leaving the scene of an accident is disqualification from driving and, potentially, a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years based on the severity of the scene. If the other individual involved in the accident dies, the typical prison sentence is life. We know that being in an accident is a stressful and scary time, and panic may lead you to leave the scene. If you’re concerned about your involvement in a hit and run incident, give us a call; we can create a compelling case to prove that your intentions were not malicious and do our best to decrease or eliminate the potential punishment.
Flight From Police
As with all driving offences, flight from police can result in a serious criminal conviction. You may be liable for charges if you fail to stop your vehicle as soon as is safe and reasonable when being pursued by a peace officer or if you attempt to evade the police officer without a reasonable excuse. If found guilty, you may be subject an extended license suspension, up to five years in prison, and three years of probation. We approach these cases with the same determination that we do with all driving offences. We can make a case against the original reason the police attempted to get your attention, the video evidence of your driving pattern, any reasonable excuses for not stopping the car, and any external circumstances that could have hindered your ability to notice the police.
Driving While Disqualified
Operating a vehicle with an active licence suspension or without reinstating your licence following a previous suspension can result in serious charges. While you may believe it is unlikely you will be caught, there is a specific unit of officers in Calgary assigned to investigate individuals suspected of driving while disqualified. This offence is considered to be a disregard of a court order, and as such, most judges handle the case with solemn severity. However, backed by our knowledge of the court system, we can evaluate and use to our advantage the particulars of your case including the initial reason for the license suspension, whether or not you were committing any other offences at the time, and your reason for driving. Together, we can help you avoid jail time and probation by solidifying a strong defence.
Traffic Safety Act Offences
Traffic Safety Act offences do not typically result in a criminal record, but the results can still be severe. For assistance in negotiating a substantial fine, driving suspension, accumulation of demerit points, or jail time, you may choose to hire a criminal defence lawyer to minimize some of the consequences. Traffic Safety Act offences include everything from minor parking infractions and photo radar tickets to careless driving, exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 km/hr, and more. As Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers, we operate under the obligation to act in your best interests and to achieve a result that is both reasonable and positive.
Tough on the Law
What an Alberta DUI & DWI
Lawyer Can Do For You
As DUI and DWI lawyers, we can help you get out of even the most severe driving offence charges. Out of the 1,500 people charged with impaired driving every year in Calgary, many of them are first-time offenders and probably also last-time offenders. Even though you’ve made a mistake, you don’t have to spend the rest of your life paying for it; a criminal record can impede everything from your career and education to your travel and family opportunities. Our goal is to maximize our knowledge of navigating the court system to negotiate a sentence that is practical but also positive. When you’ve been charged, a driving offence lawyer should be your first call.
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Yes. While it may come as a surprise to you, but the Criminal Code states that the offence includes operating or having care or control over a vehicle while impaired. Thus, you may still be convicted of impaired driving, and a criminal lawyer may be your best defence.
The punishment for impaired driving depends on the number of offences, but generally, the consequences are as follows:
- 1st offence — $1,000 fine & 1-year driving suspension
- 2nd offence — 30 days in jail & 2-year driving suspension
- 3rd offence — 120 days in jail & 3-year driving suspension
While it is under the discretion of the border agent whether you are permitted to enter the United State, a DUI conviction will not directly affect your ability to cross the border.
No. Unfortunately, being asked to provide a breath sample at the roadside may be an instance that requires you to incriminate yourself in the absence of legal advice.
As with all driving offences, it is best to call a criminal defence lawyer to help decide on the best plan moving forward. A strong defence may include arguing that your actions were a result of an unexpected medical impairment or an involuntary intake of drugs.
Why Choose Us
We are honest and realistic with all of our clients. We will not sugar-coat or oversell the potential outcome of the case. However, we will always strive to achieve the best result possible.
We are personable with our clients. To us, you aren’t just another name. We seek to understand your story and build a positive relationship with you while defending your rights against the State.
We believe you should know what you’re up against; most people don’t know what to expect once they have been criminally charged. We will always strive to keep you informed every step of the way.
We have built a reputation of having a high success rate for our clients throughout Alberta. Often our clients will escape a criminal record or incarceration.
We have streamlined the process of contacting and working with a criminal defence lawyer. We make all docket court appearances on your behalf so you don’t have to attend.
We have over 65 years of combined experience as defence lawyers. We've built relationships in the industry that allow us to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Think of us as your friendly neighbourhood defence lawyers, serving clients across Alberta for over 40 years. Based in Calgary, we travel everywhere from Lethbridge to Fort MacMurray.
We offer flexible payment schedules and flat-rate fee plans so you’ll always know what you’re paying upfront. Total fees depend on the complexity of your case.
What You Can Expect From an Impaired Driving Lawyer
As Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers, we have decades of experience representing individuals charged with any number of driving offences, including impaired driving, driving while disqualified, leaving the scene of an accident, and other driving infractions. When you’ve been charged with a DUI, your first call should be an impaired driving lawyer. We’ll begin by sitting down with you for an initial consultation. If you’re not sure what to expect from a criminal defence lawyer, know that we are here to protect and defend you; we are on your side! We’ll keep you involved as we attend all court appearances on your behalf and learn more about the outlook of your case. We work together to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Call us today!