Impaired Driving and Over .08
The offences of impaired driving and over .08, also described as impaired operation of a motor vehicle and excess blood alcohol, require the assistance of a lawyer. There are many technical defenses to drunk driving related charges.
If you are convicted of one of these offences in British Columbia, your driver's license will be suspended for at least one year and you will frequently be prohibited, by the judge, from driving for one year. That may have a significant impact on your livelihood. A second conviction means at least 14 days in jail. Additionally a minimum fine of $600 is imposed on a first offence.
If a proper roadside screening demand or approved instrument breath demand is made to you in Canada you must comply. However, the results of any test taken may be rendered inadmissible if the police fail to comply with certain technical requirements under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Charter of Rights.
It is important that you diligently exercise your right to counsel at the police station by contacting your own lawyer or duty counsel forthwith. Whenever a police officer advises that you have a right to counsel (meaning a lawyer) say "yes, I want to contact a lawyer immediately." Diligently use that opportunity to consult with a lawyer of your choice or duty counsel to obtain immediate advice about your obligation to provide breath samples, your right in British Columbia to refuse physical tests, and your right not to make any statement.
Once released you should immediately retain the services of a lawyer to defend you. Choose a lawyer with substantial experience related to this area of criminal law.
The usual fee for an impaired driving matter is about $3000.00 up to and including the first scheduled trial date. Additional trial days, expert evidence from a toxicologist, extensive preparation respecting Charter applications, and unreasonable delay motions cost more. Disbursements for breath room videos, transcripts, and other out-of-pocket expenses are also extra. Stephen Taylor can give you a written opinion about your case for $500 or less. This will give you advice on how to proceed and whether to go to trial or plead guilty.
Unlike Perry Mason, your lawyer will request payment of a major proportion of the fee in advance of the first Court appearance , to be placed in a trust account. Once retained, an experienced criminal law trial lawyer will request disclosure from the Crown and police of all relevant materials including all documentation, Crown brief, and videos. He or she will carefully review these materials looking for technical defects. The process may take some time. Don't be afraid to book a consultation with your lawyer to go over the disclosure in detail well before trial.
In your jurisdiction your lawyer may be required to attend a pre-trial meeting with the Crown Attorney or a Judge prior to setting a trial date.
If you have any questions please contact Mr. Taylor directly by phone toll-free at 1-877-753-9180 at any time.